7 Ways To Be Healthier At The Office

By Erin Schumacher

I’m quite fortunate in that I work from home. That gives me 100% control over what I eat. But for the millions that work in an office and are bombarded with the temptations of quick and easy microwave meals, fast food, and vending machines, I’m here to show you that it’s easy to be healthy while in the office or when you’re on the go!

Keep on reading…. because I’m going to give you 7 simple tips for being healthier in an office environment.

1. Keep a Bowl of Fruit at Your Desk

Often times we can get tied up at our desks answering the phone or sending emails, forgetting to eat. Or even worse – we snack on junky foods because they come easily packaged in a plastic bag. Instead, set up a large bowl on your desk, and fill it with fresh fruit at the beginning of each week. Get as creative as you like! Bananas, oranges, avocados, or peaches do not require refrigeration, and will last through the work week. Fruit actually is nature’s FAST FOOD. It comes easily wrapped in an individual package. Instead of heading for the vending machines – plan ahead, and reach for a healthy snack that will energize you through the work day with good quality calories.

2. Snack on Raw Nuts and Seeds

When your blood sugar crashes, it leads to lethargy and cravings – usually leading to the sugar-laden snacks of the vending machine. Raw nuts and seeds are a great snack because they provide protein, fat, fiber, and magnesium – this helps to stabilize the blood sugar and keep you sustained until your next meal. Magnesium serves an important role in metabolism and proper functioning of nerves and muscles. When levels of magnesium drop, you may become fatigued, irritable, and more prone to headaches. It’s worth keeping several different bag of nuts and seeds in your desk drawer. They make a true power snack! Get creative – make your own personal trail mix. At the beginning of the week, fill a bag with a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and even cacao nibs to snack on when you’re starting to nod off.

3. Get a Personal Blender

If you’re guilty of rushing out the door and skipping a proper breakfast, you can still start the day off right by making a quick smoothie right at your desk! Most of the mini blenders double as portable drinking containers. This makes it ideal for serving quick, on the go breakfast. Toss in a banana, an orange, chia seeds, and even some nuts for a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Smoothies will keep you hydrated throughout the day, as even slightest dehydration can cause your energy levels to decrease. Trust me, I have plenty of clients that do this and it started a smoothie craze at work. Your co-workers will ask what you’re doing, you’ll allow them to sample your delicious and filling beverage and then pretty soon they’ll be doing it, too. Start a health revolution!

4. Stack the Office Fridge on Mondays

Keep a large bag of fresh spinach (or micro greens) in the fridge, along with a couple of avocados and some sprouts. These items can be quickly tossed together, for a balanced, nutritious salad that’s full of essential vitamins and minerals. Top with some of your favorite nuts, seeds or dried fruit. The healthy fat from avocados will provide a more stable source of energy throughout the day. Make an easy salad dressing with olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and lemon juice to keep in the fridge as well.

5. Eat Lunch Away from Your Desk

Try stepping away from your computer whenever possible. Sitting at your desk can encourage mindless eating, as well as overeating. You are less likely to pay attention to the amount of food you’re consuming when multitasking. Instead, pack a healthy lunch at home, and head outside to soak up the sun for a few minutes, allowing your body to synthesize more Vitamin D, which can boost your immune system and help fight depression.

6. Stay Properly Hydrated

Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Water will flush out toxins from your body and prevent constipation. Keep a large water container at your desk so you won’t have to refill it as often. Add some sliced fruits, essential oils or fresh herbs for a more refreshing taste. Avoid stimulants such as energy drinks, coffee and sodas. These will only lead to a sugar crash and dehydration which translate to becoming more lethargic, and less productive at work. If you don’t already have a good source of filtered water at work, consider asking your employer to provide an office water dispenser for the break area.

7. Exercise

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a couple blocks away from work and walk an extra 5 minutes. For the short amount of time that I actually worked in an office once, I would take a walk for my lunch break. This helped to boost the metabolism and also to get a change of scenery. I went back to work after my lunch break feeling refreshed. Also – what about all those colleagues you see stepping out once an hour for their smoke break? Why don’t you take a page out of their book but instead of stepping out for five minutes to smoke, why not step outside for 5 minutes to take a short walk, do some jumping jacks, or a short meditation? Five minutes an hour for your 7 or 8 hour work day really starts to add up!

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