As you all know, I bring lunch with me to work every day. Not only is this cost effective, but it’s also exponentially healthier than eating any option available in a work or school setting. Today, as I was putting my lunch away in the break room fridge, I realized that I have inadvertently claimed a section of one of the fridges (what can I say, I’m a creature of habit). However, today I laughed to myself as I saw how this shelf might as well have a name tag with “home of Nika’s healthy shit”
Organic blueberries? Check.
Organic local blackberries? Check
Organic strawberries? Check
Organic apple? Check check (gotta have a backup!)
Local salsa? Check
Silk vegan soy yogurt? Check in vanilla and peach mango.
Annie’s Chile Lime Salad Dressing? Check.
Dream Almond Milk Caramel Latte? zzzzz, oh yeah, caffeine! Check!!
Organic baby carrots? Check.
Having the healthiest lunches at work? Priceless!
Tips for a Healthy Work Fridge
Keeping your work fridge stocked with some healthy options will encourage you to make healthy lunch decisions. Furthermore, keeping extra food at work will save you from unhealthy snacking, purchasing convenient/fast food, or buying lunches at work/on campus/out if you forget to pack your lunch or if you don’t pack enough food to satisfy you.
– Keep staples on hand: I always eat baby carrots at lunch- they’re super easy, healthy, and have a satisfying crunch. You can always find a bag of baby carrots on my shelf in the work fridge. A new lunch favorite of mine is a soy yogurt parfait with fresh berries and granola. Therefore, I’ll keep a couple servings of vegan yogurt in the fridge along with a stockpile of berries. Other good things to always have on hand in the fridge– hummus, fruit (i.e. apples, stuff that doesn’t perish quickly), raw veggies for snacks, etc. Some dry goods to keep on hand: cereal, granola, protein bars, GF crackers, etc.
– Keep condiments on hand: the same rule above applies to condiments and “accessory” foods as well. Things like salad dressing, healthy condiments, hummus, and almond butter come in handy at work because they can be combined with a variety of foods. Keeping them at work saves you the hassle of transporting them daily and prevents the dreaded “oh no! I left X, Y, or Z at home!” For example, I usually keep some hummus at work because I can eat it with baby carrots, gluten free crackers, or whatever else tickles my fancy that day.
– Buy and store in bulk: as you can see from my picture, I have a huge bag of baby carrots and entire cartons of berries. I get made fun of on the reg for my jumbo bag of carrots, but it’s the best way! And now I have some people following suit 😉 Keeping the entire bag of carrots saves you the time, energy, and money of prepping baggies of carrots everyyy day to tote with you to work. Berries are another thing I like to keep at work in “bulk” instead of packing every day. I’m so tired and groggy in the morning, I don’t want to have to think about portioning out all this food into plastic bags (that are unhealthy for you and the environment)… so instead I just have them waiting for me at work! Furthermore, if you eat breakfast at work, keeping a box of cereal, granola, or oatmeal and a carton of almond milk at work ensures that you will always have something healthy and filling to eat for breakfast!
– Always have backups: I have a few healthy frozen meals in the work freezer as well. These are my “backup” lunches in case something disastrous happens- something happens to my lunch, I forget to pack it, I’m still hungry, etc. I know that I always have something healthy to eat that adheres to my dietary requirements. I would keep at least one frozen meal tucked away, so you never have an excuse to buy something unhealthy at the cafeteria or out somewhere.
Following these tips for packing your own lunches for work or school will have dramatic effects on the health of your waistline and your wallet. Preparing your owns meals is probably one of the most significant changes you can make to your healthy lifestyle and diet. When you eliminate all the calories, fat, preservatives, dairy, and mystery ingredients of convenience food, fast food, and restaurant food, you will be amazed by how different you look and feel!