Anyone who works in an office environment will know that it doesn't exactly promote a healthy and balanced diet. There's a lot of working lunches, pastries and endless coffee runs which, over time, can really start to affect your overall health – take it from someone who works in an office and is now the not-so-proud owner of a brand new stomach ulcer! It didn't help that I repeatedly skipped breakfast, drank an excessive amount of coffee on an empty stomach and enjoyed one too many takeaways. But it's not all doom and gloom because it has really forced my hand to actively make an effort to eat in a somewhat healthier manner.
I'm more of an office grazer than a gorger when I'm consciously trying to eat healthily. The trick for me is to eat small and often, so nibbles on a constant basis are my saving grace. I think the real key to office munching is getting food that can be classified as being somewhat healthy so you don't get embarrassed by the enormous amount of food on your desk! Here are some of my go-tos:
Homemade granola is a really handy one because only you know exactly what your favourite nuts, seeds, and grains are – to add raisins or not to add raisins! It's also a great way to use up what's already cluttering up your presses. I tend to use a lot of flaked almonds (toasted ones are always nicer – you get a better flavour from them) linseed, pumpkin, pecans, and porridge oats (I generally chop mine up and try to keep everything roughly the same size). A lot of recipes call for using honey but I'm more of a maple syrup kinda gal. Again, you’ll be the one making it so use whichever you prefer.
If you make a big enough batch of granola, it'll keep for a long time once stored properly, so that's already getting breakfast out of the way for a while. I sometimes keep half the batch and make them into granola bars, perfect for when you're running for the bus with your coat half on and your hair not even brushed yet (bitta bus munchin').
Hummus is my godsend when it comes to the office munchies and it's cheap as chips to make! Prepare it the night before and enjoy with a few carrots, celery sticks or toasted pitta bread – whatever tickles your fancy. Hummus is one of those things that everyone seems to make differently so I've added a basic recipe here just to get you started.
Fruit is another obvious office munch. I generally tend to keep some form of berry (blueberries, raspberries, pretty much whichever was on a better offer that day) on my desk for optimal munching! Nuts are a great one too. They're full of fibre so they're going to help you out in the long run, but I am unfortunately referring to the unsalted, non-roasted kind (as much as I'd like to believe that salted cashew nuts are a step in the right direction, they're really not!).
I can't do salads. I realise that they are one of the healthiest lunches you can go for – low-fat, versatile and so forth but I just can't! Not for lack of trying, mind. The absolute pig in me tends to add a very uneven ratio of cheese and other toppings to actual salad leaves, which pretty much defeats the purpose. So leaves are out, but I have been playing around with a lot of grain salads lately. Quinoa is a really nice one to work with as it absorbs favours so well!
Here are some of my favourite lunch recipes for you to try at home: