Healthy eating at work can prevent nutritionally related chronic diseases. These include (but are not limited to): cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. In 2012 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 50% of Americans have at least 1 chronic disease.
Last week, I wrote about how the foods we eat can have a tremendous impact on our level of energy, vitality and overall health. For some, eating nutritionally dense, whole foods has become a way of life. Healthy eating at work may not be a challenge for them. Awesome! But for most American’s this continues to be a challenge. Below are just a few suggestions to help you on your quest for improved health, wellness and vitality!
Healthy Eating at Work: Start Your Day off Right!
- Start the Day with a Nutritious Breakfast: Possible choices include:
- Oatmeal with fruit, nuts, chia seeds and/or a little milk. This can be made at night before and served cold, in a crock pot, on the stove, or instant oatmeal.
- Bowl of cereal (ideally whole grains and organic/non-GMO) and fruit. Sprinkle a little flax seeds and or chia seeds to add additional Omega 3 and fiber.
- Whole grain toast with nut butter and banana. There are so many options for bread, with some of the healthiest breads found in the frozen food section of the grocery store.
- Fruit and vegetable smoothie. Use frozen fruits to make it really smooth and cold. Add some spinach or kale to really supercharge the smoothie. There are also many healthy protein powers you can add to your smoothie.
- Quinoa bowl with fruit and nuts. I love quinoa and find it versatile so I prepare it ahead of time and generally heat it up with a little nut milk and add my fixings. As a guilty pleasure I love adding bananas and dark chocolate chips.
- Oatmeal and Quinoa bowl. After you prepare your oatmeal mix with the quinoa to add extra protein. And of course add fresh fruit and nuts, or any other toppings you enjoy. I also love to sprinkle a little cinnamon.
- Eggs scrambled with vegetables, hold the cheese and whole grain bread
- Yogurt with fresh fruit, with oatmeal and nuts
- Avocado Toast – whole grain toast and spread mashed avocado with spices on top. Can also add an egg for protein.
- Make slow, simple changes. Too often we tend to try to make radical changes and fail. It is just too much, too soon. Start with eating an extra serving of vegetables or fruit. Pack a healthy lunch instead of purchasing “fast food”. Small steps towards daily changes can lead to Major Results.
- Before you eat something think “Does this taste good but makes me feel bad later” or “Does this food make me feel good?” All too often we can feel the effect of eating the “wrong food” after we have stopped eating. So before this happens, when in doubt ask yourself, “Does this food make me feel good…meaning alert, energized and focused.
- Can you afford NOT TO eat nutritious foods? A huge excuse for eating heavily processed, sugary foods is “I can’t afford nutritious foods”. The American Health Association estimates that lost productivity due to heart disease will rise from $172 billion in 2010 to $276 billion in 2030. This is just one statistic. The numbers are staggering.
- Make healthy eating a priority within the home. While the workplace is a great place to focus on improving wellness through nutrition, if you are not able to continue in your home environment, it will be more challenging. Our food feeds our brain and fuels our body. How do you treat your body?
Whether you are a CEO or an employee just know, while a donut may be affordable in immediate cash it may be negatively impacting the bottom line of both the company and in the long run your pocket book. There is no getting around the fact that poor nutrition and health is EXPENSIVE and you will be paying for it in the future.
At Fitness At Work, LLC we assess a companies needs and together develop an effective and engaging wellness program specific for your employees. If you are not in the Baltimore or Washington D.C please feel free to contact me and I will get you in contact with a Corporate Fitness Specialist in your area.