Eating healthy at work isn’t hard to do—it just takes a little preparation, planning, and a determination to do it. Sounds pretty simple, right? Hey, I know it isn’t all that easy, which is why I’ve got some great wholesome snacks for work, as well as tips on how to be healthy while working. Whether you are in an office, healthcare space, or in your home, these snacks + tips can help you win the work day!
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Tips For a Healthy Work Day
Eating healthy at work actually starts before the workday… and prep is key! Here are my top 4 tips on how to have a healthful workday, snacks and all!
Healthy dinner leftovers = lunch
When you make dinner, make enough to have leftovers for lunch. It’s really that simple. Maybe that means doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling a recipe so you have enough for tomorrow’s lunch. Try roasting large pans of vegetables or making salad jars out of the leftovers.
I created Rawk the Year, my plant based meal planning guide, to help my family make easy + healthy dinners. If you struggle with this then I encourage you to check out this meal planner, and learn how to feed your crew nourishing whole foods. You’ll not only find great dinner recipes, but also snacks for work, smoothies, non-smoothie breakfast options, desserts, and beverages.
To avoid eating a big lunch that might lead to the afternoon sleep-ys, try eating half of your leftovers for lunch, then half in the middle of the afternoon (if you get hungry again). This spaces out the meal, breaks up the afternoon, and may even help break the 3pm coffee fix!
Healthy snacking starts with breakfast
Beginning your day with breakfast is a smart idea for several reasons. If you let yourself get too hungry by skipping your morning meal, it’s harder to resist junk food when your stomach starts to rumble. Or worse, when you get hangry. Eating a healthy breakfast helps your body absorb nutrients better throughout the day, as well as sets you up to crave healthy snacks at work, instead of more processed foods.
A nourishing breakfast sets your day up for success, so that you can do your job to the best of your ability.
What can you do to make breakfast simple and healthy? I suggest prepping smoothie packs to blend up before you leave for work, whether commuting to an office building or to your den. If breakfast smoothies don’t work for you, then try another healthy breakfast option, like vegan yogurt + healthy granola.
If that green smoothie doesn’t seem to keep you full, make sure to add in protein + healthy fat, like my plant-based protein powder recipe, which helps the body turn that smoothie into long-lasting energy.
Hydration is vital
Drink plenty of water during the day. Keep a glass or bottle of water next to your workspace. If you aren’t a fan of plain water, spice it up by making fruit-infused water with fruit, herbs and veggies. Or drink sparkling mineral water. (No diet soda, if you can help it!) Set a timer on your phone or try to sip water a few times an hour.
Cut out high-calorie, sweetened beverages and cut down on coffee, especially if it’s sweetened. Both can be dehydrating and therefore have a negative effect when trying to stay hydrated. Plus that extra sugar is definitely not good for you.
Did you know that sometimes “hunger” is actually thirst? Next time you start snacking, intentionally drink water in between bits of that healthy work snack, to naturally up your water intake.
Take a healthy lunch break
Ah, the lovely lunch hour! It means you’ve made it halfway through your work day. Eating a healthy lunch is integral to sustaining you through the rest of your day and preventing afternoon slumps. It also leads to healthy snacking throughout the afternoon.
Pack as much nutrition into your lunch as you can, including healthy fats, protein, fiber and as many fruits and veggies as you can. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to bring your lunch from home.
Also, don’t just use your lunch break for eating. Stretch for 5 minutes, take a walking lap around the block, 20-minute power nap, or read a non-work related book for 10 minutes. Focusing your energy on something other than work helps to break up the day, reset your mood, and give you a rush of endorphins that will help you not feel so sluggish throughout the afternoon, which often leads to un-healthy snacking.
Simple + Healthy Snacks for Work
Resist the temptation to hit up the vending machine, office candy bowl, or donuts in the break room by bringing your own snacks. Look, snacking can be important to keep you from getting extra hungry between meals and gives you another opportunity to load up on some nutrients.
Fill a drawer at your desk (or a shelf in the office fridge) with: dried fruit and nuts (or make your own trail mix), vegan protein bars, fresh fruit and veggies, vegan yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, pumpkin chia pudding, or anything that’s unprocessed. Channel your inner kid with some delicious homemade fruit leather that’s incredibly simple to make + provides some good immune support. (Smoothies are great for this, too!)
Be sure to include protein as well as healthy fats that will help keep you full.
To battle candy cravings, keep a bar of dark chocolate hidden away and enjoy a piece when you need it.
Oh, and about those work parties and potlucks? You can be the one known for bringing in the stuff that’s healthy, yet also super tasty. Not just a bag of salad from the grocery store, but something that actually tastes really good. (Simple Green Meals is loaded with recipes perfect for a potluck!) It’s really easy for people to bring in prepared desserts or treats from the grocery store, but you can take charge and put together a healthy snack for work that people will love.
Go-to Healthy Snacks for Work
I love to snack. I also know that I need easy access to good snack options throughout the week to keep me full + productive. Here’s my go-to snack list for a busy work week:
I hope this list inspires you to prep a few snacks ahead of your work week, whether that work includes a desk and computer, a kid with endless energy, a classroom of eager minds, a sketch pad, or slew of customers. What are some of your go-to work week snacks? Leave a comment and let me know! I’m always up for a great new healthy snack for work idea.
I’ve gotten so much better at drinking water because of you Jen! And I feel so much better. Thanks for the great tips and keeping us on our wellness game.
Accountability rawks! So glad we can inspire you to stay hydrated, Amanda!
These recipes and tips are so great – not just for work, but some of it works for traveling too. Thanks!
These are great options! I do so much better at work when I’m armed with healthy food vs when I just wing it.
Thank you for so many snack options. Great variety that won’t make me bored. 😉
Eating healthy is so tough – thanks for sharing these plant-powered options!
There are such great tips and tricks in here! Thanks for helping us figure out how to be healthier, even at work. 🙂
I’m good at meal prepping on weekends and eat healthy during work week. Need healthy snack ideas because I get bored easily. The past few weeks I have been doing salad in a jar. I struggle on vacations. Thank you for all the great ideas.
Glad these ideas are helpful to you! Hope your work week is much easier now for you 🙂
Thanks so much, the hummus and carrots are a great go to for me. I’m a nurse so I’m always on the go, it’s hard to get in my water intake at work since we can’t drink at our workstation. I’m going to try the idea of setting an alarm to remind me.
I love that idea! I hope it helps you increase your water intake.
Let us know how it goes for you! 🙂
I spend far too much time sitting at my desk at work. These were some great tips. Thanks.
Glad you enjoyed our tips!
I’m usually good at precooking meals but not snacks… great suggestions!!
I am usually the opposite. I am a big snacker so I always make sure to have pre-made snacks on hand. I need this for my meals though 🙂
Helpful advice. I work at home but it’s still a good idea for me.
We love how these tips can be helpful to everyone no matter what their day entails.
Love the idea of taking in a recipe from Simple Green Meals for the next potluck (which we seem to have once a month!) Definitely doing that for my next one!
Yum!!! I wish I could attend your potluck =P
Great ideas and tips! I agree that being prepared has helped me a lot. Thanks Jen!
You are welcome, Rebekah!
Glad this was helpful to you 🙂
These are really good suggestions. I try to plan my breakfasts, lunches and snacks every day since those are usually eaten at work. I have several SGS cleanse recipes (like Meg’s Skillet Chili, Comfort Soup and Vegan Hash Cakes to name a few) that I continue to make and keep in single-serving sized bowls in my freezer for quick, healthy lunches. (I haven’t tried doing salad-in-a-jar yet, but it’s on my list!) And I still make Warrior Bars, which make a great breakfast. My dinner plans are sometimes up in the air, but I feel pretty good having made better choices throughout the work day.
Thank you for sharing that with us. Your plan sounds like a winner!! Glad you have a great system that works for you 🙂
Very good suggestions, I will definitely try them thanks so much!
Glad this was helpful to you, Jamela!