Smart snacks to eat at your desk
For the last 5 years, now going on 6, I have been working in tech companies. Who says tech says free food and endless snacking opportunities. I remember stupidly my first months as a fresh 22 years old, opening 5 cans of diet coke a day, never finishing any, snacking on half a banana and chucking the rest out, trying freebies from next door companies, sipping on endless soy-lattes at the 11am break, at the post lunch break and one last obnoxious one for the road around 3pm. This year again, there were days where I couldn't resist the endless cookies, crisps and sweets on display and found myself guilty and disgusted by the whole thing. Where we don’t all face these very first-world issues, being hungry between meals does happen at work. (Though you could try one of these kick-ass breakfasts to stay satisfied until lunch). So what to eat and what to avoid?
Basically avoid anything sugary. Sugar might feel like your friend, like the nice energy boost you may need to finally tackle that Project you have been postponing for days. But trust me, sugar will in fact raise your blood sugar levels, encouraging your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. If you keep eating sugar, your liver and muscle cells eventually stop responding to the insulin that is transporting the spill-over glucose to them so your body (to protect itself) will keep sending out more glucose to try to fuel the cells. And from then on that glucose will just continue to be stored as fat. So yes sugar is actually a lot of fat. On top of calories and fat storage, once the insulin level goes up and down like a yoyo, that is when you hit the ‘wall’ leaving you feeling worse than before. You know that nausea feeling? Insulin. Choose instead healthy fats that will provide that same level of satisfaction without the fat storage effect or lean proteins to keep you going. Everything is good in moderation, so keep it small. Drink drink drink. You should have about a litre or two of clean liquid a day – meaning clear water or tea or infusion, and even more if you are exercising or are on your period. Drinking water is good for your energy levels, for hydrating your body and for maintening healthy skin but is also key as a weight controller. Drinking plenty of water everyday enables your kidneys to do their job of detoxification to remove toxins naturally, so your liver is in optimal shape to do its job: burning fat for energy. Dehydration causes the reverse effect: additional fat storage to protect critical organs. Now that we are all caught up with our fat sciences, here are some healthy, easy to carry options if you find yourself in a need of a snack. Make it pretty, snap a story and be happy!
#1 Avocado and
or GF bread
A little avocado piece, a little salt and pepper, two rice crackers or a small piece of gluten free bread. Boom.
#2 Beef jerky
2 pieces should do but make sure to choose a product without sugar or nasty added sirup.
#3 Almonds or
Love this one, keep it down to 5 almonds and maybe 2 large Brazillians.
#4 A small fruit
(no banana) and nuts
Always pair a fruit (prefer apricots, kiwis, berries, clementines) with healty fats to avoid the insulin effect.
#5 A soy or
coconut milk yogurt
Keep it natural, no sugar added. If you feel fancy, add some coconut roasted flakes and sprinkle chia seeds. Why not.
#6 Coconut flakes
I love this product. You can either find it fresh in your supermarket deli section or roasted and dry in the nuts section. These babies should give you the fat energy you need with the added bonus of a 'crack'.
#7 Boiled egg
In Switzerland we're lucky to be able to buy them already boiled, but it takes literally no time to do it yourself. I eat mine with a little salt and pepper, deli-ciiiious.
#8 Bouillon cup
Now this might be a little more hardcore and arguably not super clean. But if you buy an organic veggie option, this will do. Half a cube in a mug, hot water. Voila, confort food made easy. This will warm you up and fill you with little nutrients indeed but also very limited calories.
and infused water
Green tea is the star, if you dont like the taste, try a jasmine flavoured option or opt for a simple hot water concoction with fresh mint tea. When it comes to water, you can make this a little more fun by adding mint leaves or melon bits or lemon slices into your bottle, or even funkier try some fresh berries and cucumbers.
So what will you try this week? Keen to hear some more clever snacking ideas, so please share!