Snacks are a part of life. They keep things interesting and keep your stomach quiet between meals. When you’re working, a snack can be an exciting part of the day, but it shouldn’t be something you regret either. Here are some tips for smart snacking at work:
• Take a Serving With You
Don’t sit at your desk with the entire box of your snack. Instead, take a serving of it with you (whether your office is down the hall or down the street) because it’s easy to eat half the box while you’re distracted reading emails.
• No Fridge? No Problem!
Things like nuts, bananas, and oranges don’t require a fridge and you can easily keep them at your desk with no hassle.
If you eat fruits like apples and peaches with the skin on, you’ll get more fiber from them which will help your digestion but also leave you feeling full longer.
• Drink Your Snack
Consider going for drinks like tea or maybe a bottle of kombucha instead of eating a snack. You’ll get some hydration and it’ll bring more variety to your afternoons.
• Stick To A Schedule
You have to block out times for meetings, but you should also block out time for your lunch. If you delay your meal for too long or skip it altogether, you may make some not-so-great decisions at the vending machine later on. Try and stay within an hour of your normal meal break to keep your body happy and stay productive.
• Stay Hydrated
The brain’s signal for thirst can sometimes come across as hunger. Before you go for a snack, ask yourself if you’ve drank enough water today and make sure to take care of that first. Sometimes that’s all you need.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. Here are some ideas that only require a few ingredients but make for a delicious breakfast that’ll help fuel your day:
• Greek Yogurt Parfait
Start with Greek yogurt, add in fruit (blueberries, raspberries, banana), drizzle with some honey, and add a crunch with your favorite whole grain cereal or chia seeds. Lots of possibilities for mix-ins with this!
There are so many things you can do with eggs, but you can’t go wrong with a couple scrambled or fried eggs placed on a piece of whole-grain toast (try pumpernickel sometime). Consider adding slices of avocado or cheese.
• Banana, PB, Honey, and Chia
Cut up a banana into round pieces and lay them flat, add peanut butter to each slice, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle chia seeds over it all for a delicious and filling start to your day.
• Almonds and Dried Fruit
Combine dry roasted almonds and dried fruit like cranberries in a small bowl or ziploc bag and you’re good to go!
• Protein Platter
Slice up some hard boiled eggs, cheese, and an apple or two for a nice mix of protein, calcium, and fiber that the whole family can enjoy.
Pork tenderloin is a tender cut of meat that’s low in calories, high in protein, and was featured on our menu this week. It also offers a good amount of a wide variety of vitamins.
Let’s take a look at the many things a 3oz serving of pork tenderloin can provide:
• Calories: 122
• Carbs: 0g
• Fat: 3g
• Protein: 22g
• Thiamin: 54% DV (daily value)
• Selenium: 46%
• Niacin: 32%
• Vitamin B6: 31%
• Riboflavin: 19%
• Zinc: 14%
• Potassium: 10%
Oatmeal is a great way to start the day and it’s even better when it’s loaded with protein. Here are five ideas for giving your standard oatmeal a protein boost:
1. Use Milk
Instead of using water to cook your oatmeal, consider using milk instead.
2. Greek Yogurt
Once the oatmeal is cooked, fold in Greek yogurt to add some creaminess and also protein.
3. Nut Butters
Stir in the nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew) of your choice to not only add protein but switch up the texture and flavor of your oatmeal.
4. Top With Nuts or Seeds
Simply add almonds, walnuts, hemp hearts, flax, or chia seeds on top of cooked oatmeal.
5. Go Savory
It may sound a little strange, but if you go savory instead of sweet with oatmeal there are lots of possibilities for protein. Think eggs, cheese, bacon, or sausage.
Our Fall menu wouldn’t be complete without butternut squash. This orange Fall favorite is as nutritious as it is delicious. It’s low in calories, and high in fiber.
Here’s what else one cup of butternut squash can provide:
• Vitamin A
Just one cup will get 457% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A.
• Vitamin C
The same one cup brings 50% of your daily value of vitamin C.
• A Variety of Minerals
Magnesium, potassium, and even calcium can be found in butternut squash. These are all great for keeping your bones healthy.
Squash is made of about 85% water, so it can help keep you hydrated.
Squash is full of beta- and alpha-carotene that are converted to vitamin A and used by your body to support your immune system, among other things.
• Eye Health
There are compounds called lutein and zeaxanthin in butternut squash that help protect your eyes from damage caused by ultraviolet rays. The vitamins A and C we mentioned earlier help too.
You don’t have to reach for a glass of dairy milk to get your daily calcium and, in fact, recent studies have shown your body can actually process and retain calcium better from plant sources than animal sources like dairy.
Here are 5 plant-based foods and how much calcium (daily value) they contain in a one cup serving:
• Almonds - 37% DV
• Collard Greens, Cooked - 27% DV
• Edamame - 26% DV
• Spinach, Cooked - 24% DV
• Great Northern White Beans - 15% DV
Health Benefits of Grits
Grits are a staple of southern cooking and they’ve recently made their way onto our menu. This ground golden corn seems simple enough, but it actually provides some interesting nutritional benefits. Let’s see what a 1 cup serving can provide:
Get 8% of your daily recommended intake (DV) of iron from corn grits and boost your red blood cell production.
• B Vitamins
You’ll get 3% of your daily Vitamin B6, 13% of B1 (aka thiamin), and 20% of B9 (aka folate) that can help convert food into usable energy in your body.
There are 5 different types of antioxidants found in grits that can help prevent heart disease, protect against certain cancers, and protect your skin from sun damage.
• Eye Health
There are a couple of antioxidant compounds, lutein and zeaxanthin, found in grits that can help lower your risk of generative eye disorders like cataracts and macular-degeneration.
• Fight Anemia
The combo of iron and B9 (folate) help to fight against different types of anemia that can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, and pale skin.
All foods you eat can give you energy, but some are better than others are making you feel it. Through a mix of protein, carbs, fats, or vitamins like B6 and B12 (among others) the following foods can help give you a boost of energy and focus:
2. Sweet Potatoes
3. Fatty Fish-salmon, tuna
8. Nuts-almonds, walnuts, cashews
Breakfast Ideas with Eggs
Eggs are awesome for their nutrition but also for all the many ways you can prepare them and combine them with other things. If you need some inspiration for switching up your morning egg game, we’ve got you covered:
• Fried egg on toasted whole grain bread with grass-fed butter.
• Scrambled egg on an English muffin with a slice of cheese and maybe some spinach on top. These can be made ahead and heated up in the morning.
• Make an omelet and fill it with veggies. Spinach and mushrooms are easy and delicious to add.
• Scrambled eggs topped with salsa.
• Avocado toast topped with a poached egg.
• Buttered whole grain toast, slice of tomato with salt and pepper, topped with a fried egg.
• Mini egg muffins can be made in a mini muffin tin by filling each spot with your mix-in of choice (things like spinach, mushrooms, feta, bacon, onion) then covering with beaten eggs and baking for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.
• Breakfast burritos packed with whatever veggies you have on hand, eggs, and cheese.