Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

Lunch for work

Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas to Take to Work

Lunchtime can be a real challenge when you want to keep your food choices healthy. There are tantalizing treats scattered throughout your office break room and your desk is in close proximity to the vending machines that can easily tempt you.

Temptation surrounds you and can veer you off of your path quickly, leaving you feeling disappointed and defeated. To avoid these negative feelings, it’s crucial to be proactive about your meals for the work week. The best thing to do in this situation is to prepare your lunches, but you might have no idea what to make or feel that’s too time consuming. After all, do you really need one more thing to add to your to-do list? I hear you loud and clear. I’m going to share with you some of my best and easiest lunches you can whip up in mere minutes so you can enjoy healthy lunches all week long.

A Quinoa Bowl. Quinoa is a food that is easy to prepare, very nutritious and that is incredibly easy to take to work with you. Of course, you want a little more in your bowl than just quinoa, but you can add anything you want to make your bowl delicious and filling. Vegetables that you enjoy — possibly broccoli, zucchini, onion and a sauce of your choice.

Mason Jar Salads. These are so simple, delicious and you can prepare them for the whole week in one sitting. Use mason jar’s to hold your salad ingredients so when you empty your jar into a bowl, it creates the perfect lunch salad for you. Start by putting dressing in first, then your toppings & veggies, and finish off your jar by adding your greens last. This will keep your dressing away from your greens, so they won’t get soggy. You can store these in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Lettuce Wraps. Simple enough, toss your favorite chopped veggies and any fitting leftover ingredients from your fridge in a lettuce leaf. Drizzle with a complimenting sauce, wrap it up and call it a day. These pair well with soup, so keep that in mind as you’re meal prepping for the week.

These are just a few examples of all the delicious meals you can quickly prepare at home and take to work without too much hassle. Some take a little more time than others, but you can always use the Sunday to meal prep your meals for the entire week, so you don’t have to wake up extra early on your work days. If possible, you could even leave all the meals you created at work so you can grab it during lunchtime, and you don’t have to take anything to work all week.

Do you need help tweaking your diet or figuring out how to get more energy and feel comfortable in your skin? Set up a free 20-minute Health Coaching call with me and let’s explore the possibilities. Check out my schedule here.

 

Journal for the Health of It

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Journaling isn’t just for teens anymore. Science has shown that keeping a daily log of your day has a lot more benefits to it than merely creating a place to dump your deepest thoughts in private.

You don’t need to be a writer or even want to become one to start journaling, but you might just want to run out and buy a cute notebook after you read these benefits journaling can have for you.

Beneficial reasons to start journaling, if you aren’t already...

Boosts creativity

It’s one of the more obvious benefits, but you’ll find that you become more creative when you just let it flow in your journal. It’s a stream of consciousness process that allows you to go where your mind takes you, and much like dreams, that’s pretty exciting.

Restores mindfulness

Happiness is directly linked to mindfulness. When you’re writing in your journal, your frustrations and anxieties ebb away, and you’re left to unite with your thoughts completely. Sometimes simply having a place to dump all of your feelings, disappointments and thoughts also gives you a way to let them out and walk away from them. This release helps you to feel your feelings, sort through them via pen and paper, and move along in a healthy manner. It’s quite powerful.

Brings you closer to achieving goals

When we journal, we often write about the things we wish we could accomplish. That café we dream of opening or that amazing vacation we’ve had on our mind for years. No matter what it is, writing it down helps your brain focus on those goals and find ways to bring it to fruition. Essentially, it means you’re more likely to achieve those goals if you simply write about them first.

Improved memory

Writing things down not only serves to prevent you from forgetting them but using a pen and paper forces your brain to engage with it cognitively. That means even when you’re not writing something down in the moment, like say at a social event when a new contact tells you their name, you won’t space out and forget it if you journal.

Better communication skills

Keeping a journal is a way to help vocalize your thoughts. Interestingly though, it also benefits the way you speak, since it naturally forces you to build your vocabulary and put your thoughts in order. You’ll find that when you’re out in the world engaging with others, your journaling will have served you well for this purpose.

Do you keep a journal? Journaling has been a ritual for me on and off over the years. I love looking back on old journals to remind me of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.   A Gratitude Journal is a great way to wind down the evening by jotting down everything you are grateful for that day. Give it a try!

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Are You Feeling Stuck?

HeaderDoing These Things Can Sabotage Your Health Goals

You’ve ditched the processed junk foods and started bringing healthy lunches to work. These are powerful first steps that sound simple but make a profound impact. You even saw some significant improvements in the beginning, but you’ve seemed to hit a plateau. So, what’s going on?

While eating clean is of utmost importance when paving a healthier path, there could be some non-food related reasons why you’re not seeing or feeling any improvements lately.

Here are a few non-food related reasons you may be feeling stuck…

Being too focused on the scale

When you feel like you’re doing all the right things, it can be frustrating not to see or feel any improvements — try not to get discouraged, though. We tend to measure our success by the number staring back at us on our scale, which isn’t an effective way to gauge our progress. With things like fluid fluctuations and building muscle, the scale can be deceptive. It is most practical and accurate to assess our growth by how we feel and how our clothes are fitting. Don’t let the scale tell you how you’re feeling; you are far more than that number.

Not exercising

If you’re eating healthy and not prioritizing exercise of some sort, you will likely hit that plateau. While eating clean is a crucial piece of staying healthy, exercise is the other puzzle piece necessary to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. You don’t need to workout in the gym for an hour every day if you don’t want to but at the very least, walk briskly for 20 to 30 minutes each day. Find the exercise that fits into your schedule and that you enjoy the most.

Exercising too much

And yes, there’s a fine line to walk with exercise. If you don’t exercise enough, it’s not ideal — but if you exercise too much it causes stress and impairs your adrenal hormone production. So if you’re working out too much in hopes to reach your goals faster, take a couple of days off and reevaluate your workout strategy for better results, like with yoga and weights instead. Contrary to what you might think, weights are an important part of an exercise that will help you build a stronger body, even when your body is at rest.

You’re still drinking sugar

Sure, you eat salads and healthy meals all day long but your morning coffee is filled with cream and sugar, or you’re drinking fruit juices or diet soda. If this is a struggle, make it a goal this week to begin making some changes in this area. If your drink of choice is something other than water, begin trading water in for your beverage of choice until you crave water more than that sugary drink. It will happen, I assure you! Try flavored sparkling water like LaCroix to satisfy the bubbly craving, and infuse your water with fruit to add some flavor.

Not getting enough sleep

One thing I’ve been working on this year is getting enough sleep. Researchers found that when dieters cut back on their sleep over a 14-day period, fat loss dropped by 55% even though calories stayed the same – coming to the conclusion that too little sleep hampers metabolism and contributes to weight gain. Try getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Get to bed early and shut down all electronics 30 minutes before bed and wind down with a book or meditation.

So when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, reevaluate the non-food related daily habits that may be hindering your progress.  Schedule a free 20 minute consultation with me to focus in on how you can reach your health and wellness goals.

 

6 Ways to Make Your Workday a Little Healthier

Daily workouts can be quite difficult to fit into the busy schedule, and often, this causes us to throw our hands up and give up altogether.  We can frequently have an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to exercise, but this way of thinking is harming our health — so, let’s put it to rest today, and let’s talk about how we can do that. 

A workout doesn’t have to mean an hour and a half of sweating at the gym.  We can find ways to sprinkle wellness into our everyday lives, and we can even fit wellness into our workday.   

Here are a few ways to focus on wellness during your workday…   

1.Think about your transport methods 

Your workday essentially begins as soon as you leave your home in the mornings.  If at all possible, you could walk or cycle to work instead of using public transportation or your car.  Not only is this great exercise, but it’ll also allow you to start your day off in a much calmer way, rather than stuck in traffic.  If your workplace is too far to choose this plan, decide to park as far away from the building as possible.  Doing so will create the opportunity to walk a bit further, getting some extra steps in.  Also, ditch the elevator and take the stairs.  You’ll be amazed at the difference it’ll make over time! 

2. Make your office space greener 

An excellent way to lighten your mood at work is to make your workspace comfortable and inviting.  Find some plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight and add as many as you’d like to your office area.  Live plants will also assist in cleansing the air in your office, which is an added benefit to the beautiful scenery.  Aside from the greenery, keeping your office space clutter-free will help you feel more productive and less stressed.  So, creating an organization routine you can maintain will help keep your office space running smoothly.  Don’t forget the photos of the folks you love to lift your spirits, along with positive affirmations to visit daily! 

3.Work on your posture  

Good posture is a conscious effort we must make, especially when we slouch in office chairs for most of the day.  I know, I know — it’s more comfortable usually — but the long-term effects are not.  If you need a better chair, it is well worth the investment.  Look up ergonomic chairs and visit your local office supply store to try some out in person.  Good posture will assist you in concentrating better, and lessen those back aches you take home with you daily.   

4.Make use of your lunch break  

It’s time to stop working through your lunch break while you munch on a snack from the vending machine.  One of the best ways to add wellness into your workday is to bring a healthy lunch.  It doesn’t take much effort to make meals for the week on a Sunday afternoon — so head on over to Pinterest and look up some new, delicious looking healthy lunches you can start taking with you.  If there’s time, squeeze in a 10-minute walk after you eat for better digestion and a clearer mind.   

 

 5.Always have healthy snacks nearby  

I get it — sometimes when you’re racing against the clock to meet a deadline, you crave a sugar boost to keep you going.  Keeping healthy snacks in your office will help curb your snack cravings while not having to resort to the vending machine.  Dried fruit, nuts, dark chocolate or healthy granola bars are great options that will keep in your desk without going bad. 

6.Don’t forget to drink your water 

Ah, water.  It’s often so undervalued, but it is truly essential.  Staying hydrated will help your focus and give you natural energy.  Dehydration is one of the leading causes of tiredness, headaches, and cravings.  So, be sure to keep the water flowing throughout the day.  You won’t regret it.   

These are simple ways to begin implementing wellness into your workday every day.  You’ll find that the positive changes will reveal themselves quickly, and you’ll crave the good feelings, wanting more.  It’s not about perfection — true wellness is about finding ways to fit it into your schedule, and about making the best choice available with what you’re given.   

What are a few ways you plan to add some wellness into your workday?  Hit reply and let me know what’s on your mind.   

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Dark Chocolate Hearts

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Easy, peasy way to get your chocolate fix.  Combine the following ingredients for a decadent vegan treat.  Bet you can’t eat just one!    Thanks to Erin Yatsui for sharing!

Ingredients:

½ cup melted Coconut Oil

¼ cup organic 100% maple syrup

½ cup Cacao Powder (unsweetened)

¼ teaspoon real vanilla extract

Pinch of Salt

In a small bowl or 4 cup glass measuring cup (easier to pour!) whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. VERY smooth!

Pour chocolate into silicone candy mold of your choice. I chose a food grade silicone tray I found on Amazon.com.   Before you pour the chocolate into the trays, put the tray onto a cookie sheet. It’s a bit awkward to pick up the tray when it’s full of melted chocolate.   Then put the cookie sheet into the fridge. It should take about an hour for the chocolate to set.

Pop them out of the tray and enjoy!

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Autumn Foods That Ground You

Autumn has arrived, and the busy back-to-school season that’s quickly met with the hustle and bustle of the holidays is among us. If you’re anything like me, this last part of the year flies by in a wink. Because of this, it can feel like a time where your out of control schedule is controlling you. You’re pulled in many different directions, and you just want to sit down for a second to catch a break.

One of the beautiful things about nature is that it knows. It knows how insane this time of year gets and exactly what we need to find our way back to what we need from nature. So many grounding foods become available this season, and it’s of our highest benefit to take advantage of them. These foods can ground us and help us to re-balance when we are feeling out of control.

Here are a few of my favorites…

Pumpkin and squash

These are two traditional autumn foods, but they’re also exactly what we should be eating to ground ourselves. When you want some sweetness in your meal, these are the ideal way to achieve that and a much better alternative to chemical-laden artificially sweetened items. So, use that pumpkin you carved out for Halloween to create a healthy meal with the next day, you will feel oh so healthy and grounded while enjoying a delicious pumpkin dish.

Root vegetables

Vegetables that fall into this category are sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, garlic, and ginger. They add some great flavor to your meal and will make you feel rooted and grounded. Interesting how that works, right? Foods that grow as roots in the ground are naturally rooting and grounding to us. Nature is amazing.

Naturally Fermented Foods

Raw sauerkraut is perfect to add some sourness to your autumn meals, while also strengthening your gut health. Fermented foods don’t only make your meals taste great and assist with grounding you, but they also act as prebiotics and feed all the good bacteria in your gut. Some other naturally fermented food items include kimchi, kefir, kombucha, and pickles, to name a few.

Add on the proteins

Finding healthy, high-quality protein sources will be of benefit to you this time of year. Proteins that come from high-quality foods give you the nutrients you need to build strong muscle while also feeling more grounded. We tend to crave more substantial meals this time of year due to their grounding effect. Hearty stews and soups are among the most popular food items this season, and that’s exactly why. Are there any plant-based proteins you have meant to experiment with in the kitchen? Now is a perfect time to be adventurous and try something new.

Don’t pass up these delicious autumn foods that are not only enjoyable but beneficial to us in many ways. Aside from eating foods that naturally ground you, there are other ways you can enjoy feeling grounded. Being in nature has a natural grounding effect — so take a walk outside as often as possible to breathe in the crisp air and enjoy the colorful scenery. Breathing exercises help with feeling more grounded, so focus on your breathing throughout the day and take note on if you’re breathing freely or holding your breath often. When you notice you’re holding your breath, take a moment to practice a short breathing exercise.

Do you struggle with feeling grounded on most days? For me, meditation certainly keeps me connected. If you don’t have a meditation practice yet – today might be a good time to start. Take 5 minutes to sit quietly. Set a timer. Get comfortable. Bring your attention to your breath. See how that feels. Notice what comes up for you.   There. You did it. You meditated for 5 minutes. Yay!

Learn more about living a happy, healthy life.   Check out my Facebook page WholisticJourney. Go even deeper.  Let’s get on a call together…it’s free…just takes time.  Contact me here.

How to Keep a Slip-up from Derailing Your Health Goals

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Giving Yourself a Break is Healthy & Necessary

It happens to us all — you’ve been crushing your health goals, and things are going great. Until vacation rolls around, and the endless buffet on your cruise ship derails you…or so you think. We often feel shame afterward, and it’s common to let these “slip-ups” demotivate us. The important piece of this puzzle is learning how not to let such a thing hinder you and how to find your motivation to jump back on track.

Here are a few of my favorite slip-up hacks…

Don’t use a slip-up as an excuse.  When you have a cupcake that you have deemed forbidden to eat, an easy trap to fall into is turn it into a downward spiral. You feel as if you’ve already “messed up,” so what’s another cupcake, or three? This mindset often continues with the rest of your day — you’ll just turn it into a cheat day, you say. When you reason with yourself in this way, you can easily let one treat turn into an entire day or weekend of less than healthy eating choices.  Don’t let one treat spoil your plans; bounce right back and choose to balance your decision with a very healthy lunch or an extra side of greens at dinner.  Enjoy the cupcake, and move right along.

Observe and learn from your habits.  Instead of seeing your slip-up as a failure, find the lesson in it. Often people tend to identify with the mistakes or successes they experience. I invite you to look at the slip-up and search for the reasons behind it. Dig deep to find what triggered you to make the choices you did, which can also lead to finding a way to prevent it from becoming a habit in the future. Sometimes a fresh gelato on vacation is just a necessity!  But when habits creep in that derail your health plans on a regular basis, they are worth observing and learning from.

Seek out support from others. Feeling supported and being motivated by others is a great way to breeze past your slip-ups and get back in the health game. That’s exactly what I do as a Health Coach, and I’d love to chat with you about how I can help you reach your health goals and not get derailed.

When you’ve used these tips, and given yourself the pep-talk that you need, then you’re ready to move on from the slip-up and continue on your health journey. Small slips will no longer sabotage your motivation. Having the wisdom to see it for what it is, not let it keep you from pursuing your goals, is the fuel that will keep you on track for many years to come.