Whether you’re new to working from home or it’s been your longtime gig, you’ll like this post. Well, if you are a snacker like me – you’ll like this post! As someone who has managed business from home for 6 years now, I’m well aware of the tendency to wander over to the fridge and pantry and mindlessly make snacking decisions. I wanna start off by saying that snacking isn’t automatically bad, and you should feed your body when you’re hungry! It’s more about what foods you choose and how to tell when your body actually needs them.
Plan in advance
When you get the urge to run to the fridge for a snack, the last thing you’re likely to grab are the fruits & vegetables that you still have to wash and cut up. Taking the time to prepare and portion that glowing produce in advance can make the healthier option an easier choice to make. When planning I like to write everything out, as a way to stay organized but also to hold myself accountable. And just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you have to cancel out your entire routine! You can continue to “pack” your meals ahead of time and take a lunch break at a time similar to your typical schedule. That way it takes a lot of the spontaneity out of eating, and therefore snacking, since you know when you’re going to eat next and have what you’re eating ready to go!
When I say “write it down” – I literally will write myself a post-it note with the snacks I have ready to munch on (ie carrots and hummus, strawberries, dark chocolate with almonds – as an example) and keep it on my desk or fridge door.
Choose snacks wisely
If you follow me on Instagram (@jessbaumgardner), you’ll know I’m always sharing better-for-you twists on my favorite not-so-great for you snacks! For example, if you’re like me and constantly crave sour gummies, like constantly. I don’t know why I keep them in plain view. Anyway – I’ve found that rubbing lemon on strawberry slices can be the perfect amount of tart and sweet! Another way to accomplish this flavor combo is with lemon juice squeezed onto unsweetened cranberries!
That being said, if the fruits and veggies have your stomach rumbling 10 minutes after you’ve had your snack, it might be a sign to pick something that is more filling, going forward. An example of how I would do this is to mix a produce snack, like the strawberries, with something that has some protein and/or fat – like almonds. Trail mix is a killer way to accomplish flavor and nutrient categories – my favorite mix is cashew, almond, pretzel, dark chocolate cihp, and unsweetened cranberries!
Your goal when snacking is to give your body something nourishing. If you snack on something totally empty – like chips or candy – likely you are going to continue the snacking until your next meal because you are not feeling satisfied. If you want chips – that’s totally great – just add something to cement that feeling of satiety, like guacamole or salsa with some hemp seeds added in.
Take a break
At work you take social breaks, talk to coworkers, have the opportunity to walk around, etc. You can do the same at home by scheduling yourself breaks to go on a walk, call a friend, run an errand, or just mentally check out. A lot of the time when we feel like we’re hungry, we’re actually just bored (or thirsty – but see below for that one).
To make sure I’m only eating when I’m hungry, I’ll take a few minutes away from that thought to work on something or drink some water, and come back with my attention refocused and see if that helps! I always ask myself what I ask the kids “Does an apple sound good?” HA! That’s how I know if I am actually hungry and not just looking for a break from what I am doing.
When it is time for a snack, I also recommend picking a spot away from your workspace to eat. It’s amazing the difference it makes when you plate the food and sit down to eat it free of distractions. It completely eliminates the mindless munching and allows you to be more mindful while thoroughly enjoying your food. Obviously this is not always possible, and I totally get that too!
Drinking water and lots of it is super helpful when it comes to feeling full and curbing cravings! If you’re struggling with getting enough fluids in, I’d recommend getting a cute (subjective, lol) water bottle you love and keeping it next to your workspace. I say “cute” because I want you to love it and look at it and think about drinking water. Also,make sure it is easy to drink out of, and easy to clean. If either of these are barriers to your water drinking – you just won’t do it! If you can fit a couple of glasses of water in one container – that’s preferred so you don’t have to worry about filling it up multiple times a day, which is another roadblock. The bottle that I have now has a screw on chug cap, so it’s easy to drink out of, easy to clean, and stores 4+ glasses of water per fill.
So keep it visible wherever you are and every time you catch a glance of it – take 10 sips. If water is not super sexy to you – add a lot of lemon juice, or a no-chemical-no-sugar kind of flavor packet. Drinking teas and sparkling water are also ways that you can add some variety and still get in some hydration.
Here are some of my favorite snacks, currently:
Homemade trail mix (cashew, almond, dark chocolate, unsweetened cranberries, pretzels)
Cucumbers and carrots with hummus or dairy-free cream cheese
Chips and guacamole
Hard boiled eggs with your favorite spices on top
Roasted chickpeas made in advance with your favorite spices
Fruit and nuts and dark chocolate
Apples with peanut butter
Granola with dairy-free milk
Homemade, made in advance muffins or sweet bread
Toast with guacamole and nutritional yeast (makes it a little cheesy and adds protein)
Dates filled with nut butter and coconut
When in an SOS – one of the kid’s cheese sticks with some pretzels will do!
Do you have any go-to snacks we need to know about? Tell us all below!