Sunday, April 29, 2012

Healthy Snacks for Work

I talked about 5 Ways to Eat Healthy at Work here.  I believe the key to eating healthy on a consistent basis is variety.  Not many people will eat the same thing every single day just because it's healthy.  You have to actually ENJOY what you're eating.  It also has to be EASY.  Preportioning and prepackaging are my best friends.  I hate to do anything in the mornings but put my lunch in my box and go.  As much as I can do
ahead of time the more likely I am to stick with it.  So, in order to help you enjoy your food more, here are some of my favorite variations to my every day work snacks.

As a side note, I put seeds and/or nuts in just about every snack I eat.  Not only do I love the taste and crunch, they're a healthy source of fat, protein, and nutrients.  Try to get the ones that are the least amount processed with no added salt.

Cottage Cheese - I may be the exception here, but I can eat it plain.  That, however, is not my favorite way to eat it.  Most people put some kind of fruit in it.  My favorites are mandarin oranges or peaches.  For a different twist, try adding one or more of the following: raisins,sunflower seeds, almonds, honey.
Yogurt - We try to make our own yogurt at home.  With our busy schedules, this happens about 50% of the time.  If I'm not eating homemade plain yogurt, I buy Greek yogurt (organic if I can find it).  I love the added protein in the Greek yogurt as it helps me stay satisfied longer.  Since the yogurt is plain and  unsweetened, you can add a wide variety of items to it.  Since I keep raisins, sunflower seeds, and almonds at my desk all the time, this is my go to addition.  If I want it a little sweeter, I add some honey.  I also love ripe bananas and seeds/nuts.  Fruit is always an option with yogurt, but you might have to add some honey as well, depending on the ripeness/sweetness of the fruit and how sweet you like your yogurt.  I wasn't at work today, but I had my yogurt with fresh pineapple and my favorite pumpkin flax organic granola.  YUM!  I've pretty much weaned myself off of any added sugar at this point and I still love it!
Raw Veggies - This is the one that gets old quick for me.  I've had to learn to like raw veggies, so that's probably why.  I try to eat them at least twice a week at work, that way I feel like I'm doing good, but I
don't get burned out on them either.  I also alternate them with salads.  I precut and preportion the veggies in a glass container with a lid for my lunchbox.  I also have a travel case that has a place for dip built right in to the middle for when I'm on the road.  It's not glass, but I'll sacrifice that for the convenience of this item.  Since I've had to learn to like raw veggies, I have to have something to dip them in.  Some kind of dressing is an obvious choice, and you can vary the type of dressing you use, but I also enjoy them with pesto, hummus, salsa, and guacamole.  Hummus and guacamole can both be made in advance and frozen in snack size portions.  I suppose you could freeze the salsa the same way, I just haven't tried it.  Good ole' Ants on a Log is great too (celery with peanut butter and raisins), or homemade pimento cheese (cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise, salt, pepper) and celery.
Fruit - Personally, fruit does nothing to satisfy my hunger.  If I eat an apple I'm hungry 20 minutes later.  I do, however, tend to get a sweets craving a few hours after lunch.  So, I've started using the fruit to conquer my sweets craving and just add some protein to keep me satisfied.  Apple/peanut butter, banana/peanut butter, cottage cheese/oranges, cottage cheese/peaches, apple/cheese, etc. 
Salads - When I bring a salad, I usually eat it around 2:30 as it holds me over wonderfully until dinner.  I put all kinds of things on my salads.  Veggies, cheese, nuts, fruit, what ever I have in the fridge that needs to be used.  I also love to mix dressings with balsamic vinegar.  My current favorite is Vidalia Onion dressing or French.  I love the mix of sweet from the dressing and sour from the vinegar.  It also helps cut calories because you're not using as much dressing.  Sometimes I will use this as my meal by adding some chicken salad, tuna salad, or nitrite/nitrate free lunch meat.
Cheese - I buy a 2lb block of cheese and will cube it about 1/3 a block at a time.  It lasts a while that way.  I can have the cheese with my salads, fruit, eggs, on crackers, or just by itself.
Boiled Eggs - These are something that we tend to keep around at all times.  I keep one in my lunch box and replace it when it gets eaten.  I eat them in my salads, with cheese, or by themselves with a topping.  I'll dip them just like the veggies in salad dressing or our homemade flavored mayonnaise (yum!).

I hope I've inspired you to try some new healthy snacks for work.  Creating the habit is the hard part.  Once you do that, you can move on to your next goal!  I love sharing tips and ideas.  How do you eat healthy at work?

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