How is it January already? Gosh. Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday you were suddenly thrown into a work-from-home situation and frantically trying to adjust? It’s been almost a year now… unreal, right?!
How is it going? Have you figured out how to actually WORK when you’re home?
#WFH Isn't always Easy
Working from home certainly has a long list of benefits, but it doesn’t come without challenges. One commonly shared by remote workers is how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It should be a piece of cake, right? (Not literally, of course). I mean, you’re right there—you can just whip up some fresh eggs and fruit for breakfast, throw together a nice big salad on your lunch break, have some nuts for an afternoon snack, maybe make a nutritious smoothie.
All true. That is technically is possible....but if it's not already the norm for you, you’re not likely to have adopted a perfectly clean diet just because you’re conveniently working from your kitchen table now.
Let’s not forget, many of you didn’t make a nice gradual change into a remote position. Rather, it was an overnight, unexpected change that came with a ton of stress!
Efforts to eat well probably fell to the bottom of your list when you moved your office 4 feet away from your pantry. You found yourself sitting at a table accompanied by your spouse and children—everyone trying desperately to adjust to the new ALWAYS HOME setup. (I don’t know about you, but I learned really quickly that I really really appreciate the work teachers do, that is not the job for me!)
As hard as it was last spring, we were extremely lucky in my household. I have worked from home for nearly 15 years, so I didn’t have that adjustment to make. We had healthy dietary habits well-established, another adjustment we didn’t have to worry about.... yet it was still an extremely hard extended "spring break/summer" for us.
Now here we are. 2021. You’re probably still working from home and it just might be a permanent thing. Maybe it’s time to adopt some new habits and fully ENJOY working from home, without the pantry calling whispering sweet nothings to you all day.
Pictured above: A few snapshots of typical meals & snacks. I try to sprinkle some greens in/on every plate or bowl. Sometimes I don't. It's all about striking the right balance between satisfying my tastebuds AND my nutritional needs!
By no means am I the perfect picture of health, but there are a few things, that together, keep my health in check and keep me eating well without it feeling like a chore.
1. WATER. The rule of thumb I use is ½ your body weight in ounces, every day. If you exercise, are sick, drink coffee or alcohol, eat high carbs or sugar… kick it up a notch. Are you not too fond of water? Try adding a slice of citrus fruit, try ice or no ice -- experiment until you find a way to drink it that works for you!
2. PLAN. Meal planning is a pain. People rave about it for a reason, though. I tell ya, when I can make myself do it, we save so much money, time, and brain power in the day-to-day hustle.
If you can plan out healthy meals and prep a bit for each week, you set yourself up for success. If you have a large family, check out Mealime. It is my saving grace when I’m trying to feed 6 mouths, 3 meals a day!
For singles and couples, TimeChop is amazing. You don’t just pick meals, you pick entire weeks. I’m hoping one day they’ll expand their options for bigger families so the app can take a bit more off my plate (no pun intended!).
3. LISTEN. The 10 years ago "me" would have rolled my eyes at this… but the present day me is much smarter and wiser.
Listen to your body. It knows what it needs!
This one is the most powerful tool you have, you just have to learn how to use it.
4. EXERCISE. Regular exercise has so many benefits, including lowering your blood sugar for up to 24 hours! After exercise, you’re also more likely to crave something lighter and healthier. It seems counterintuitive, but even some light activity can curb cravings! So next time work stresses you out and you get up and walk toward the pantry, keep on walkin’ right outside. Get some fresh air and movement, and by the time you come back in, you’ll probably forget the pantry was calling.
5. SLEEP. Getting poor sleep can cause you to eat a substantial amount of extra calories the following day (around 400!).
No big deal, you say?
Let’s do the math on that. Remember that 3500 calories = 1 pound. Every 8-9 days you’re tipping the scale another notch. Sleep is important for blood sugar regulation, hormone balance, mood, mental focus, and so much more. Learn more about sleep and calorie consumption here.
Is there an area you feel strongly about already? Great! Celebrate your strengths and think about how they might help you as you focus on improving other areas.
Drinking water is probably my top strength. It’s so simple, yet so powerful. Try it out, keep your water flowing on a stressful or boring work day and see if your eating habits are any different!
Is there an area listed that you think there’s NO WAY you can improve on your own? You’re just feeling hopeless there? Reach out to one of our coaches!
Everyone on our directory is board-certified and has a bag of tricks perfectly suited to any health behavior change. Connect with one and be on your way to a healthier work-from-home experience.
Connect or learn more about Bree here.