Office Efforts: Avoiding the Candy Bowl

I work in a pretty cool office part of the week. I am part of a welcoming creative team who support each other, and I get to write puns all day long. Also, the best compliment anyone can give me for my work is “that’s so cute!” It’s a lot better than making widgets.

On the other hand, it’s really not a healthy environment. Never mind the sitting, the canned air and fluorescent lights, my fellow ‘creatives’ are just not on the healthy living path. And, seriously guys, if you’re reading this, I love you! But you do weave a wicked web with all those candies and chips and fries and such. There are bowls and bags and boxes of candy, ‘chocolate’ (mostly wax and fillers), cookies, donuts, fries and the like, sitting almost next to my desk, all day long. In fact, the rest of the office visits our area just to get their “fix’.

So if I were really a perfectionist, an all or nothing kind of eater, this would be no problem. I’d take a snooty moral stance and that would be that. But I feel tempted, just like anyone, because, hey, I’m human. Sometimes those fries smell good! And no, on a normal day I wouldn’t even think about a “treat” filled with corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, waxes and chemicals and gums. But just add a dollop of stress, and there’s the possibility I could cave. Not often, not happily, but once in a while.

What do I do? Well, sometimes I bake healthier treats to share, and try to convert my coworkers to the ‘green side’. This works pretty well, but I don’t always want to be eating even “healthy” treats. Plus, I can’t bake every single night!

Like the Boy Scouts, I say “be prepared”. Here’s what I keep around:

  • Cucumbers, Carrots and Bell Peppers. These hang out in the fridge all week for the munchy moments when I’m not really hungry but need a fix. They fill me up with fiber and water and infuse my system with micronutrients. And they take a long time to chew, keeping me busy for a while. If you’re not just munchy but actually more hungry, add hummus or guacamole or sunflower pate for a denser snack.
  • Seaweed Snacks. Ever seen them on the shelf? They come in nifty flavors like sesame and sea salt. And no, they’re not perfect. If you made them yourself you could use healthier oil. But in a pinch I think they’re ok. Plus, for people working long days, I can’t imagine them getting up early to brush nori with oil and bake it, cool it and chop it into squares. Sometimes cheating is necessary.
  • Kale Chips. Yep, the raw kale chips are expensive. I admit it. But again, how many of you own a dehydrator and are taking the time to make kale chips? The ingredients themselves are expensive enough to make the cost difference very slight. Buy a box and crunch your greens baby!
  • 85% Dark Chocolate. Very little sugar. Organic. A hit of antioxidants. Deeply satisfying. No, I don’t want to eat it all day long, but then, I don’t need to. This stuff is so dark with so little sugar, it won’t send you into a frenzy. You’ll be able to stop with a few squares. And hey, in those previously mentioned moments of high stress, you don’t want to reach for ‘chocolate’ covered peanuts. This is better. Not even much of a splurge.
  • Teechino. It’s barley/chicory drink that tastes a little bit like a flavored coffee or mocha. And, it’s now available in tea bags so you can stash a few in your desk. These are so much better than the non-organic, chemical-laced coffee options at the office. Even the decaf isn’t good for you there, especially if you’re using one of those nifty new devices that shoots hot water through a plastic pod. Replace coffee and decaf with teechino. You can add a tiny bit of hot water to steep, then fill with cold water and ice for a more refreshing option. Keep some almond milk around to make it super satisfying.
  • Green juice. Low sugar juice made with mostly greens can be a much better pick-me-up than coffee or sugar in the late afternoon. I admit I struggle with this, since it’s so expensive to buy ‘out’. But I think the health trade off is pretty great. And since I like to drink at least one green juice a day, I’ll often make my own breakfast smoothie but buy a few cold pressed juices (the kind that last a few days) and keep them in the fridge to infuse my afternoons with nutrients. If you’re not near a juice bar that sells the Norwalk pressed juices, you could order a pack of greens from an online cleanse company (rather than getting a packaged cleanse) and have them delivered to fuel you through the week. A post about some of these companies to follow!

And that’s that, so far. But perhaps I’ll come up with more over time. What are your favorite healthy snacks to keep on hand? Let me know in the comments.