Lets face it: a lot of us have to work in an office for a living. Its kind of the default job people look for once they finish school. It provides stability in terms of a paycheck, medical benefits and the opportunity to climb the ladder and become more successful as a result.
Ive been in the corporate world for 20 years and I have seen my fair share of less than ideal self-care, and I was even victim to that for many, many years. Skipping breakfast, inhaling my food, grabbing crappy food from the food court or canteen, eating at my desk, coffee in the afternoon, and so on. All of these habits lead to a less than stellar workday and often lead to the inability to cope with stress, weight gain and little to no energy, not to mention sleep deprivation!
In order to avoid the modern-day pitfalls like stress, weight gain and low energy, I recommend the following three tips to change up your work routine and to start giving your body the love it deserves so that you can have the energy to make it through the day joyously!
1. Have a healthy breakfast.
Sounds so simple, yet for a lot of people its quite difficult. The advice is usually get up earlier, but if were in a habit of not sleeping (because of too much stress, coffee etc.) we often just skip this part, chug back a coffee and a piece of toast and go on our merry way. I suggest if you simply cannot find the time in the morning to cook, prepare your breakfast the night before and bring it into work or have breakfast items at work and prepare when you get there.
Healthy Breakfast Suggestions
Oatmeal (there are gluten free options): If a packet of oatmeal is all you can manage, buy the best quality, plain organic version and add a handful of nuts and seeds or nut butter, hemp and chia seeds. Otherwise make a pot of steel cut oats the night before and either reheat in the morning and add your goodies or portion out into glass containers and bring it into work.
Quinoa: If you make quinoa for dinner, or even brown rice, make an extra portion and have it for breakfast in the same manner you would oatmeal. Quinoa tastes very yummy sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and fruit. Add a touch of your milk of choice, raisins, walnuts and cinnamon to brown rice and voila healthy rice pudding.
Eggs: You can cook an egg in less than 3 minutes, or pre-boil eggs and take some with you.
Avocado on sprouted grain toast: This is a favourite of mine, and something you can do at the office. Bring a loaf (or some slices of sprouted bread), couple avocados, hemp seeds, lime and salt to have in the kitchen at work.
Avoid the fast food breakfast sandwiches: these will only serve to spike your blood sugar and cause you to crash an hour later. Not to mention the weight gain, preservatives and the fact that they simply dont taste very good.
2. Limit coffee to the morning.
Im not going to commit professional suicide by telling you to stop drinking coffee all together. There are numerous studies demonstrating both pros and cons of coffee. The issue with it comes when you need it to function, especially in the afternoon or evening. This may indicate a deeper issue with your liver or adrenals and should be addressed with a professional. A recommendation would be to set a limit of 2 coffees before 11am, and then switch to water or herbal teas for the rest of the day.
Consider why you like your afternoon coffee is it because your colleague is running to the coffee shop and grabbing mini donut holes and coffees, or is it because its getting darker earlier and its comforting having a foamy latte in the afternoon, or perhaps its that you feel you need to have one. Analyze why you need it and address that issue.
To ease the transition, matcha green tea is a nice alternative in the afternoon, and if you simply like the coffee taste check out the many herbal coffee substitutions out there if you add your cream and sugar you can barely tell the difference. Having coffee in the afternoon is simply setting yourself up for failure when the night rolls around. It sends your adrenals into overdrive, it causes your blood sugars to fluctuate and both these things lead to weight gain (especially in the belly) and sleeplessness.
3. Snack wisely.
Think about the snacks you may be having throughout the day, are they healthy and wholesome? Do they provide you with energy and vitality? Munching on the cookies left out by the nice lady in finance isnt going to get you through the day. Instead reach for fruit, trail mix, home-made healthy muffins or you can try the Energy Balls recipe below.
Its hard enough being stuck inside a concrete office all day. Dont not make it harder by fuelling your body with food that drains you vs. energizes you. Pick one of the above tips to try next week and see how you feel. Edit and adapt to your own unique workday and dietary habits. Just keep in mind what your end goal is: is it energy? Weight loss? Better sleep? Whatever your motivation, go back and take a look at what might be getting in your way.
I hope you have found these tips helpful, and that you try out the Raw Energy Balls recipe below!