How to be Healthy in the Workplace (Wherever that is!)

We’ve all been there, it doesn’t matter if you work at home (yes, I’m talking to you stay-at-moms and home office folks) or in a giant corporate building.  Someone inevitably brings in a birthday cake or a dozen donuts.  And even though your office is miles away from that break room the email goes out that treats await your perusal.  That email is enough for those donuts to call your name….”Christina…..come…..get…..meeeeee…..”  Agh!  I’ve been there!  And sometimes those donuts are in my cupboard.  And now that it’s holiday season?!!  Oh my goodness, cookies everywhere!!! How is anyone supposed to create a sense of balance between Halloween and New Years?  What do we do?  Here are a few tips that have worked for me and others I’ve worked with. Hope it helps.

BE PREPARED – Nothing destroys that donut voice like healthy snacks already prepared.  And not just healthy snacks, but healthy snacks you can look forward to!  I don’t prep every week.  In fact, I recently took months off from a usual weekly prep day.  What I learned from this was that I was over complicating the whole darn thing.  Whether it’s the donuts in the break room (or your cupboard) prep yourself some healthy treats.  Yes, I said treats.  I’ve got some great muffin recipes, they are the perfect size and made with real ingredients and low on the sugar, if any at all!  Don’t want to bake?  No problem!  Pick up some healthy stuff at the market.  Keep some bananas in your office, or my fave on the go, Larabar!    If it’s a processed snack, shoot for less than 5 ingredients and real sugar, if necessary  (none of those fake ingredients) 😉 .  It really doesn’t matter what it is.  If you have something else to reach for…. You benefit.

GIVE YOURSELF A WEEKLY/MONTHLY PASS – No one can hold out forever.  Quite frankly, no one should have to.  So, give yourself a weekly or monthly pass.  And stick to it.  Like, say to yourself, “On Fridays I can enjoy 1 donut from the break room” Knowing that Fridays are there will help you stay the course the rest of the week.  That being said, if you’re the person that once they have one, wants them all, maybe it’s better to just avoid all together, but you know yourself best. 

KNOW YOUR SCHEDULE – I use to have the job that required me to eat lunches out, get drinks, and be at lots of networking events.  Reviewing my schedule at the beginning of the week made it easy to prepare.  I scheduled my workouts around my work schedule, prepped lunch for the days I’d be in the office and looked at restaurant menus ahead of time to know what I would order.  Restaurants you usually give you a double portion, so eat half the plate and drink water until the meeting is over.  I got really smart, and saved the boss a lot of money, when I started scheduling coffee appointments instead of lunches.  I could bring my prepped lunch, but still got those meetings in!

Also, if I knew it was going to be an event day, I scheduled my sweat session for first thing in the morning….because it’s the only time I have!  But I always look at my schedule so know how to plan the rest of my day!

OFFER TO BRING IN SOMETHING HEALTHY – Is everyone bringing in things to eat?  Maybe you can offer your yummy healthy and nutritious dish.  Not only will you have something to dive into, but your showing others healthy can taste good too.

STAND UP AND DRINK WATER – Don’t sit at that desk all day.  And don’t email your neighbor.  Stand up and walk to the office next to you and have a conversation.  Making calls all day? Stand up and do it.  You’ll have better cognitive function while your standing anyway.  You’d be surprised what it does for your energy levels.  Take a walk around the building during that lunch break before you eat.  Drink water ALL DAY.  Keep a refillable water bottle on hand and make good use of it.  O

EAT MINDFULLY – Do you eat at your desk?  This does NOTHING for your digestive system and nutrient absorption.  Turn of the computer and sit somewhere else while you eat your food.  The break room might have donuts, but it also has people.  Or join a co-worker outside for lunch on a nice day. Eat and talk.  Your brain will be better off for the break and your gut will thank you with weight loss and more energy 😉 . Plus, you might make some friends!

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS – Sometimes the best plans fail!  Know your options.  Know what healthy food options are around you, in case you need to grab a quick to go bite.  Know when you need to refill that healthy snack drawer in your desk.  Know that you aren’t alone.  There are plenty of people in your office who are feeling just like you!

DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP - Nothing destroys your health like worry and stress. It wreaks havoc on your whole system, your digestion, and your guy! So try not to think about it too much. If you are doing your best to stick to the plan 80% of the time then you are successful! That other 20% of the time is no big deal. Whatever your best is at that time is what you should focus on. Every moment, day, and time, is different.