Many people feel that with today’s hectic pace, it’s nearly impossible to eat healthy while working. Grabbing food on the go seems like the only option…or is it?
What if I told you that you could spend less time per week preparing healthy snacks and meals than you spend standing in lines, looking at menus, or sitting at drive-thru windows? It’s true. Whether you work in a brick-and-mortar office, a virtual office, or an office with wheels – there are ways to replace fast food with quick and healthy options. All it takes is a short shopping list and a quick store run once a week, and then 15 minutes a day of prep. You have 15 minutes, right? Here are 12 ideas to get you started on your new routine.
1. Keep a variety of nuts on hand. Make enough separate snack portions to last two weeks.
2. Hard-boiled eggs take 15 minutes. (When shopping, choose the cage-free variety). Boil enough eggs to last 3 days. (If you are vegan, see other options below).
3. Hummus takes less than 15 minutes to make, and you can use any kind of bean and seasoning. Hummus lasts 3-4 days once made. (For several hummus ideas, click here).
4. Walnut Spread is a delicious on-the-go vegan sandwich option. Use your food processor to add in your favorite veggies. You’ll have enough for 3 days.
5. There are many raw veggies that require no cutting. Take 15 minutes to make individual portions of these for the next 3 days. They can be eaten with hummus or your favorite salad dressing:
- Mini bell peppers
- Grape tomatoes
- Snow peas
- Pre-washed arugula or spinach
6. For nutrition variety, take 15 minutes to chop 3 days’ worth of raw veggies that require very little cutting, then store them in individual portions:
- Whole carrots and/or bell peppers (these have more nutrition than the pre-peeled variety)
- Bok Choy stems (You can save the leaves for a quick sautéed side-dish)
- Broccoli florets
7. Kale salad lasts longer than salads with lettuce. Spend 15 minutes preparing it, and you’ll have lunch for the next 3 days.
8. Spend 15 minutes separating different types of canned beans into individual portions and then freezing them. This creates variety as well as easy protein options for future lunch salads.
9. Invest in unsweetened chocolate or unsweetened vanilla almond milk to satisfy your sweet tooth mid-day. If you would like a little more sweetness, add stevia. Don’t worry – stevia has no calories, comes from a plant, and has a glycemic index of zero. If you want to get really creative with your mid-day milk, liquid stevia now comes in a variety of flavors. Just 15 seconds to pour and stir.
10. Spend 15 minutes making a batch of healthier mini-muffins. Keep them frozen in individual portions, then take out a portion the night before you will eat it. This keeps you from eating too many goodies at one sitting.
11. Nori chips take only 15 minutes to bake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a package of nori into strips and brush with sesame oil. Add onion powder, garlic powder, and/or and sesame seeds. These will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
12. Kale chips also take 15 minutes to bake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop kale leaves into bite-size pieces and brush with olive oil. Add onion powder, chili powder, sea salt and/or nutritional yeast (this creates a ‘cheesy’ flavor). These will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.