healthy food
Eating Smart at the Workplace

December 31, 2010, Judd

Just because you work in a corporate setting for 8-12 hours a day, doesn’t mean you have to lose the battle of the bulge.

Ideally, your schedule allows you to squeeze in at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise like fast walking. (It doesn’t have to be 30 consecutive minutes; it can be broken up.)

Even if your schedule doesn’t allow much time for exercise, it is in fact possible to lose weight without sweating. How? Nutrition is the key.

Drink Water Every Morning!

The first thing you should do every morning is to drink pure water, one or two cups. Try to make this a habit. What this does is givesyour body a chance to purify and rehydrate itself.

We wake up after sleeping for several hours so we are naturally dehydrated. If you drink a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, you are dehydrating yourself even more. By drinking water first thing in the morning, we are allowing our body to naturally cleanse itself.

If your hectic schedule doesn’t allow you to prepare breakfast, there are several quick fixes for breakfast.

Eat breakfast everyday; follow the 10 by 10 rule

Hopefully you understand the value of eating breakfast everyday. From a weight-loss perspective, it will help stroke your metabolism. If you skip breakfast, your metabolism will actually get slower. Not a good thing if you’re trying to keep off the pounds. I have a rule for breakfast: 10 by 10 … or 10 grams of high-quality protein by 10 a.m. Follow this rule and your metabolism will get off to a rocket-burning start. At my local health food store, they sell packaged soft-boiled eggs, perfect for on the go people like myself.

Eating two eggs (including the yolk, where the essential amino acids and other healthy nutrients are contained) satisfies my demand for protein and natural fat. Every meal should include the three macro-nutrients: protein, natural fats, and carbohydrates. So all I need now to complete my healthy, balanced breakfast is a carbohydrate. Eating half a green apple gives me all the carbohydrates I need to feel properly fueled for at least the next few hours.

Eat at least three balanced meals per day and natural snacks To get the most out of your workday, you’ll want to have rock-steady energy throughout the day. The best way to achieve that is to eat at least three balanced meals per day, all of which include the three macro-nutrients discussed above.

I keep my energy steady by sometimes eating a late-morning or mid-afternoon snack to keep my blood sugar levels balanced, which is key to sustaining good energy and mental clarity.

Food is supposed to make you neither hyper nor sleepy. If you are eating a balanced meal, you will feel energetically balanced.

So what types of snacks can you eat? In general, a good rule of thumb to follow, whether it’s a snack or a part of a meal is to ask yourself, “Was this food around 10,000 years ago?”

If the answer is “no” then it’s probably not a good snack. Don’t let advertising fool you. There is no such thing as a healthy potato chip, even baked ones, or crackers (with the exception of rice crackers in moderation). For snacks, you’ll want to follow the same rule as eating your major meals by combing all three macro-nutrients.

So, a perfect snack could be:

  • a handful of walnuts (which combines healthy natural fat and protein) with half a pear (carbs)
  • cottage cheese (protein and fat) with a handful of strawberries (carbs)
  • two slices of organic turkey (protein and fat) with a handful of blueberries (carbs)
  • celery sticks (carbs) with almond or organic peanut butter (fat and protein)
  • rice crackers (carbs) with sliced avocado (natural fat) and/or string cheese (protein and fat)

Eating carrots might seem like a healthy and smart snack, but carrots are relatively high on the glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar levels rise after you’ve eaten something.

So to prevent a potential blood sugar spike, instead of eating just carrots alone, combine the carrots (a carbohydrate) with some string cheese (fat and protein) or a high-protein dip like Tahini.


Another rule of thumb to follow: Don’t go more than five hours without eating! I personally try not to go more than four hours in between meals to keep my metabolism active.

Even if we are used to eating every day, more than once a day, if we wait several hours to eat, our bodies physiological instinct to slow our metabolism down to preserve fat will kick in.

Don’t wait until you feel hunger to eat! By then, your blood sugar levels are way down and even if you eat a properly balanced meal, there’s a good chance you might feel a crash after you eat.

Try to go food shopping every Sunday to make sure you have plenty of snacks for the work week.

Select all natural snacks that will keep you properly filled throughout the day. Minimize the amount of grains, wheat, and flour that you are currently eating. Even if something says “multi-grain” or 100% whole wheat, you will lose the battle of the bulge if you eat foods high in these types of carbohydrates, which are easily converted to simple sugars.

At health food stores, there are plenty of flour-free breads. Opt for sprouted breads, as these have living enzymes that aid in digestion.

If you follow these guidelines, you won’t need to drink as much coffee.

Aside from a good cup of coffee in the morning, try to drink only water throughout the day. I guarantee that if you implement these tips into your life on a daily basis, you will feel better energetically and mentally.

Judd Handler is a freelance writer and wellness/lifestyle coach in Encinitas, California. He surfs uncrowded, fun reef breaks; plays instrumental alternate-tuning guitar; goes hiking in the backcountry; and is amazed on a daily basis by just being alive.