March is Nutrition Month!
I love this month. For one, March 18th is officially Dietitian’s Day — send some love to your favourite RD that day! Dietitians of Canada also coordinates some great Nutrition Month activities and produces some amazing resources each year.
This year, the theme is “Eating 9 to 5,” we want to make sure YOU are eating well at work.
Packing a lunch just plain sucks. I used to get stuck in a lunch rut, bringing the same thing everyday — for days on end. How boring!
So, here are some of the things I now do to make sure I am eating well at work (or school).
Eating well at work:
Start with weekend prep: cook whole grains, hard boil eggs or make a simple frittata, wash and chop vegetables and fruit, make your favourite sandwich filling, or a large batch of hearty soup or stew, boil a big batch of beans, throw together a simple grain & legume salad.
Make weekday breakfasts easy: skip the sugar-laden cold cereal and prepare a large batch of banana coconut oatmeal to eat throughout the week. This is easy to pack if you eat breakfast at work. Overnight oatmeal is great as well. Breakfast cookies or pre-made pancakes/waffles with some nut butter are also quick grab and go options. If all else fails, grab a piece of fruit and a latte (decaf if you don’t do well with caffeine like me).
Keep easy lunch protein options on hand: canned fish, smoked oysters or salmon, cheese, hummus or other bean dip, cooked, chopped chicken, smoked tofu (great in salads!), beans, cottage cheese (mix with dry curd to reduce sodium), greek yogurt, nuts/seeds, hard boiled eggs, nut butters, lentil crepes (they make great protein packed wraps).
Snack smart: do not keep snack foods in plain sight. Snacking is important IF you find yourself getting hungry between meals. Having a small snack can prevent you from going into the next meal starving, which leads to over eating. Pistachios (in-shell) are a great snack option as they take longer to eat. Pre-portion nut servings (1/4 cup) and keep the shells around as “evidence” while you are snacking. Other snack ideas: air-popped popcorn, apple or banana with 1-2 tbsp nut butter or cashew sweet potato butter, sliced pear with aged white cheddar, roasted chickpeas, chia pudding (easy to make!), coconut lentil fudge, beet bean dip with vegetable sticks, sprouted grain bread with a medium boiled egg, peanut butter cookie dough bites.
Stay hydrated without the sugar: make flavoured water by soaking a pitcher of water in sliced cucumber and strawberries or pineapple, brew and chill herbal tea (goji pop from Davids Tea is delicious!), try kombucha to up your probiotic intake.
Promoting health at work:
Suggest a walking meeting: you have likely heard this advice before, yet it is not happening! Someone is waiting for YOU to suggest it — do it!
Leave your desk at lunch! If you do not eat at lunch time, get out for a walk or run some errands. If you live in frigid Toronto, mall walk. ;)
Champion healthy work meetings/conferences: full-day work meetings usually mean hours on end of sitting and less than healthy food options. Change that! Here is an awesome resource to pass on to your employer: Eat Smart Meet Smart.
For more recipe suggestions to keep you eating well at work download Dietitians of Canada’s Cookspiration app!
This post was inspired by the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2015.ca.