It is said that we are a product of our environment. As levels of obesity rise in this country many fingers are pointed at our Built Environment. We are surrounded by unhealthy food options everywhere. Combine those options with our busy American work or study lifestyles and it is no wonder that despite being unhealthy these convenient and affordable options are frequently chosen. We need a plan. Here are the 3 steps to turn your poor eating environment into a healthy one.
1. Cook multiple meals per week at once. Buy in bulk, make in bulk, lose the bulk. Meals that can be made healthy and go a long way include preparing large pans of stir fry (less than 30 mins), making a tray of meatloaf (less than 1 hour), buying whole roasted chicken at the grocery store (doesn’t get any easier). Other options; Crock Pot meals and chili.
Between those large meals portioned out and stored in glassware for consumption at a later time you have knocked out the majority of your work week meals. Each meal can also be made with different ingredients or sides to keep your taste buds interested from week to week. Bringing a meal to work will keep you from making poor decisions else where and could even make your work day more efficient.
2. Everyone has their go-to places to eat around their work place. Thankfully it’s pretty easy to research the nutritional value of almost anything we’d order.
Pick out the top 3 places you trek to for lunch. Now research the top 3 nutritional friendly meals you can still enjoy their. This will round out your week of work place meals in addition to Step #1. You can enjoy eating out a couple times and the rest of the meals are those you prepared for yourself.
Example Week of Step #1 & #2
Monday- Turkey Meatloaf, steamed bag of broccoli
Tuesday- 8oz cut from whole roasted chicken, microwaved sweet potato
Wednesday- Healthy choice from i.e. Panera*
Thursday- Beef Stir Fry
Friday- Turkey Meat loaf, steamed green beans
Saturday- Whole Roasted chicken, corn
Sunday- Beers and bar food to watch sports (don’t go overboard but clean-up 80% of the meals first)
3. Build your Snack Survival Kit. This survival kit is a life saver (and diet saver). These healthy pre-stored snacks are going to keep you satisfied when your appetite and that little devil on your shoulder team up in glutenous rage when you are left to fight your hunger. Don’t turn in to a Hunger Zombie. Bad day? Worked through lunch? Stuck in traffic? Patriots lost? The Snack Survival Kit will keep you out of the “stupid zone” when it comes to make nutritional decisions.
Snack Survival Kit Recommendations:
Nut Butters (organic)- peanut, almond, cashew (try Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and thank me later).
Raw Nuts- Trader Joe’s makes some great nut mixtures like habanero almond.
Pears and Apples
Cans of Tuna
Keep one survival kit at work and one survival kit at home. Forget about 100 calorie packs, they are not satisfying and are nearly void of any nutritional value.
With a well designed plan we are not left to continuously test our willpower. Most of our nutritional decision making has been made ahead of time.