When I was at my finance job, I had a lot of trouble avoiding some of the eating pitfalls that come with working in an office. The major challenge was not the meals I ate, which toward the end of my 5-year finance career were reasonably portioned and included mostly whole, natural foods. Instead, it was very poor snack selection.
I have below what could be one of the best healthy snacks for the office for you to try.
Shortly after lunch and a few hours later around 4pm, I would get hungry and drowsy. I bet you know the feeling when you start nodding off in your chair, struggling to keep your eyes open while staring at your computer screen. I didn’t know this at the time, but my strong hunger pains had less to do with hunger and more to do with low blood sugar levels, lack of sleep, and lack of hydration.
To satisfy my hunger and give me a jolt of energy, I would grab a Sunkist from my office fridge that had a large stash of soda. Then around 4pm, I would grab whatever else I could get my hands on that was in the pantry; anything from cookies, to Hershey Kisses, to sugary candy like starbursts. This would of course compound the already big problem of my unstable blood sugar levels throughout the day. On a good day if these foods weren’t around the office, I would feel like I was starving for several hours until I left the office around 7, or 8pm.
To sum it up, I completely messed up my eating habits because I didn’t plan in advance by bringing healthy snacks to the office, which forced me to snack on sugary garbage…to put it bluntly.
More recently, a close friend of mine, Dave, was making the same poor snack choices at his office, which slowly started to expand waistline (along with late night drinking and eating). As he was approaching 200lb (he was 175lb in college), he became increasingly concerned about his food choices. Fortunate for him his girlfriend Emily came to the rescue.
Emily who also has a demanding office job completed a fitness consultation with me early this year. While she was already in solid shape, I told her she could get to the “next level” by eating more whole foods and veggies to refine her diet. She took my advice and ran with it.
Emily came up with an ingenious solution that is simple, but goes a very, very long way…and even a dude can do it with a little effort.
Here’s what she does…
She goes to Whole Foods on Sunday and picks up the following items:
She then does the following:
Easy enough, right?
Dave is not quite as industrious and well organized when it comes to planning as Emily, so Emily prepares and packs the bags for him and puts them in his fridge. Instead of bringing all the veggie bags at once to the office like she does, Dave just puts one of the snacks in his coat pocket when leaving for work in the morning. He has already noticed a difference in how he looks and feels from such a simple change to his diet.
Now let’s take a closer look at why this is such a simple, healthy snack:
1) More Veggies In Your Diet – If you are like most people, you don’t get nearly enough veggies in your diet. These veggie bags are a simple, easy way to get more fresh veggies in your diet.
2) Start To Love Veggies – If you don’t like veggies and this healthy snack idea does not sound appetizing, I’ll make you a bet that eating fresh veggies every day will grow on you. The first few days it may taste like eating grass, but over time you will start craving veggies as nature intended. Give it a try and let me know what you think. It can be one of the smartest food choices you ever make.
3) Low Calorie – The veggie bag is around 50 calories. The dip is also only around 25-50 calories for a whopping 100 calorie snack. Compared to a cookie and a soda, you’re saving a good 400-500 calories easily.
4) VERY Nutritious – I see people carrying around protein shakes, and protein/energy bars, then I think how whole foods – especially veggies – are a 10x better food choice for overall health and longevity, not to mention getting a lean body. For example, a cup of bell peppers has 195% daily Vitamin C requirement, 57% Vitamin A along with several other essential vitamins and minerals including potassium, manganese, vitamins B1, 2, and 4, and magnesium.
5) Fills You Up – These veggies are high in fiber, crunchy, and have high water content, which helps fill you up. If you find this veggie snack does not quite fight off your hunger, consider adding a couple hard boiled eggs for some protein and healthy fat, which is only 150 calories.
Of course, you can choose to add, or subtract vegetables to this snack as you desire. If you have a snack that checks all these boxes, then you have a super snack that helps you get lean my friend!
Finally, I want to send a special thanks to Dave and Emily for sharing this story and taking the photos you see on this page.
If you have a healthy snack creation of your own that works well for the office, leave a comment and share your idea. You can leave a comment using your name, or just your initials, whatever works for you.