It can be very hard to eat healthily whilst at work. Sometimes you may be invited out to eat lunch with colleagues and it would be rude not to join. There are other times when you have to pick up lunch from the supermarket and more often than not the selection only includes sandwiches, crisps and an assortment of fizzy drinks. Lunch is one thing, finding time to eat breakfast in the morning is challenging and finding the motivation to cook dinner when you return home is usually a bitter contest. Whilst I still struggle to maintain a healthy diet, I have a few thoughts and ideas that may help you.
The key to breakfast (and all other meals) is preparation. I’ve noticed some people bringing cereal into work with them and eating at the desk as they check their emails. This is one way to do things, especially if it is a healthy cereal, but I have heard you should not eat at your desk. I prefer a high protein start to my dad and cook eggs the evening before. I eat them in between doing my morning rituals before I leave. Recently, my recipes have included egg muffins with an assortment of vegetables within the mixture and devilled eggs. You can make pre-made breakfasts in one large batch on a Sunday night, or just one breakfast at a time whilst you prepare your lunch for the next day. Whilst it can be a chore to think about breakfast, it is important to remember that many claim it to be the most important meal of the day. Give it five minutes thought to avoid eating something unhealthy or missing it.
Lunch also requires a certain amount of foresight. I try to have a salad every day for lunch. I prepare this straight after dinner alongside my breakfast. All my salads include cucumber, tomatoes (not sliced), salad leaves, olives, radishes, pepper and grated mature cheddar. This is usually mixed with chicken or tuna mayo. I’ve found it better to add tuna mayo in the morning so the wetness of the mixture doesn’t have too much time to wilt the leaves. I’ve also taken to putting salad dressing (usually olive oil, white wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper) into a double shot glass that is wrapped twice in cling film. This prevents it from leaking and wilting the leaves and allows you to really liven up a salad. If you don’t have the time to prepare your lunch, you could always search a supermarket and produce a make-shift healthy meal – don’t feel you have to go for a meal deal straight away.
If you are lucky enough, you may come home to dinner waiting for you. If you don’t have this luxury, then spend some time doing research on what meals you are going to eat for the week and buy the ingredients in advance. Spending the money on your meals commits you to it and keeps you from going for an easy option. However, this doesn’t mean you should aim to cook a meal that will take hours to prepare. Find quick, tasty recipes that take thirty minutes or less. Should you not wish to prepare meals for the entire week, you could either buy loads of healthy ingredients in advance or spend a portion of your lunch break buying food for a meal that evening. Examples of my evening meals include stir fried vegetables with chilli chicken, cod with broccoli, carrots and peas and spiralized courgette with diced vegetables and red pesto.
Despite these tactics, I still struggle to maintain a healthy diet for the entirety of the working week. Sometimes I want to treat myself on a Friday afternoon. Other times I am left with a decision between a chocolate croissant and bacon bap! Whilst there are times when you can do little else but eat badly, don’t use it as an excuse to continue to eat badly for the rest of the day. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks.