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Eating Right When Working From Home

Updated on April 1, 2014
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Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

Be Deliberate

If you really want to eat right when you are working from home, you have to be very deliberate in what you buy for your cupboards and what you grab to eat. That means planning your shopping list before you go to the store.

Do you like to eat breakfast while you start work or before? You might not think that question is important, but it is. I like to eat as I work if the family is already gone from the house. That means I need something that does not involve two hands to eat such as sunny-side up eggs and toast. I can’t work easily when I’m eating that, so I need to make sure I have plenty of yogurt, oatmeal and anything that can easily be eaten with one hand so I can scroll or type with the other.

How about lunch? The same situation applies. Also, how much time can you spend in preparation? If you want to grab something quick to eat, you cannot have foods that take a lot of time to prepare. Plan you meals around your work habits.

It can be hard to eat right at the office and on the road for your job. Your focus is on getting your work done, and many times there are severe time constraints. That means you grab whatever you can that is fast and edible not carrying about how healthy it is. Believe it or not it can even be harder to eat right when you are working from home when you are in control of your environment. Temptation is big and easily in reach, more so than when you are at the office. So, how do you eat right when you work from home?


Planning is Important

You have to plan your meals before you start your day. I don’t mean you have to plan them to every detail, but you have to have a plan on what is available. If you like to have celery for a snack, cut it up ahead of time so you can access it quicker. If you want chicken on your salad, do you want to cook it right before lunch? That takes time away from productive work. You want to be able to see that it is lunchtime and grab something quick and easy. You do that when you work out of a traditional office. You’ll find yourself wanting to do this at home as well.

Still want that chicken on your salad? Prepare it ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it when it is time for lunch. You could have chicken the night before and use the leftovers for your salad. Speaking of dinner….

When you work from home, you usually are the one to make dinner and have it ready for the family. When that is the case, it doesn’t have to be what interrupts you from your work. You can incorporate it into your day easily with some planning. Use a crock pot or a slow cooker.

In the planning process, make sure it is easy.

Favorite Healthy Snack

What is your favorite healthy snack you could have all the time if possible?

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Make It Easy

There are so many tools for you to use in the kitchen to make your meal planning and preparation easy. The slow cooker is a great. Put all the ingredients in early in the day and let it cook while you work. Then you might have to put some sides together right before dinner. That is easy as the biggest part of the meal is already done.

For lunches, use leftovers from the night before or prepare your food ahead of time. I know I hate to chop and stuff my lunch right before I’m going to eat it. I want it where I only have to put it on the bread or something that easy. I usually take time after dinner the night before to prep for lunch the next day because it makes it easy for me then.

Quick Healthy Snack Ideas
Healthy Snacks to Plan
Premade Snack Ideas
Fresh veggies
Veggie chips
Fresh fruit
Trail Mix
Cheese and crackers

Make It Healthy

Easy and good planning can be one thing. Eating healthy is a whole different story. Donuts are easy, but they really shouldn’t be part of eating right when you are working from home. That fine balance has to be followed at home as well as at the office, but remember that you have more control when you are at home. Tom is not bringing in donuts and Susie is not bringing in cookies she made. You are the one in control of what is found in your kitchen.

Think of what is healthy for you and fill your kitchen with it. Fruits and vegetables are standard healthy products you can have on hand. Get some bananas and tangerines to quickly snack on. Like to feel ‘bad’? Then put a bowl of nuts next to your computer and snack on them. Small bowl, mind you! Popcorn is always good. Check your labels to make sure you are getting the healthier packages.

Remember that healthy doesn’t mean nasty tasting. I love yogurt. Now for me as a diabetic, many yogurts aren’t that good for me, but I’ve found a way around it. I get plain yogurt and mix in dry, flavored coffee creamers. They taste so delicious and add nothing to my carb count with the yogurt. I love it. Makes me feel like I’m cheating.

Have salads made up ahead of time. If you do get prepared foods, make them light and easy. I love the spring rolls from my local supermarket. I get a small package of them and have them for lunch. Healthy and easy.

Here are some quick ideas to think about for healthy foods at home while you work. Many you already know but sometimes we forget about them.

- Fruits

- Prepared vegetables

- Beef jerky

- Vegetables chips (like potato chips but made from veggies)

- Nuts

- Popcorn

- Sunflower seeds

- Salads

- Spring rolls

- Rotisserie chicken

- Wraps

- Protein shakes and bars

- Yogurt

- Ice cream

Did I say ice cream? You bet. Some of the decadent desserts are not as bad for you as might think especially if you have just a little every day while you work. Make it your reward for reaching a milestone or finishing a project. I have found some fruit bars that are extremely healthy for me being low carb and taste amazing. Check labels and see which ones are better for you. If you don’t have any overall health concerns, get a big tub of ice cream and divide it into smaller portioned containers. Then pull one container out each time you want ice cream and enjoy. No temptation then to add one more scoop.

Controlling Quantity

Even when you eat healthy, you could over do it and actually be hurting yourself. Healthy foods has carbs and calories. While they are better choices than donuts, they might still contribute to unhealthy results. You need to make sure you still watch how much you eat.

Should you really eat the whole bag of popcorn or the whole container of cheese slices? Healthy yet too much is bad for you. Measure out smaller portions. Store them that way so you are not seeing what you aren't going to have. Remember that most of it is mind control. If you think you are deprived, you'll crave more. If you only see what you can have, you'll enjoy it more and not crave more than what you need.

Also, limit when you are actually eating. It is easy to eat all the time when you work from home. You are sitting back and relaxing while getting the job done. It's easier to eat all the time at home than when you were in the office. Start off my having set break times when you can eat a snack. Regulate your work schedule at home so your body can get used to it and soon you'll be doing it all second nature.

You Can Do It!

  • Get your kitchen ready
  • Plan ahead
  • Get flavorful foods
  • Get variety
  • Set a schedule

Be Successful

You want your work from home experience to be a complete success. That means having the right work setup as well as eating right so you stay healthy. Balancing work and life can be stressful enough. Do it from home and there are many more considerations to pay attention. You can be very successful working from home and eating healthy. There are also tons of tips out on the internet. Ask others in forums and groups what they do. Learn from those who have gone before you.

Be successful!


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    • allpurposeguru profile image

      David Guion 3 years ago from North Carolina

      I work at home, live alone, and take anti-depressant medication. You are quite right that eating well is both difficult and easy, depending on how you look at it.

      I cook a whole bag of chicken breasts at once and then cut them up and freeze them. That's much cheaper than buying packaged chicken chunks in the store. I also make a couple of pounds of quarter pound hamburger patties and freeze them. A hamburger or cheeseburger is a microwave minute away

      I make casseroles and soups enough for six or more servings -- provided it's something that freezes well. If I think ahead far enough, I can take a serving out of the freezer let it thaw until I eat it the next day.

      Sometimes I don't feel like even doing that much. A sandwich can seem like too much trouble. A good, whole grain cereal works for any meal of the day, not just breakfast. Toss in some dried fruit and nuts.

      It helps not to keep junk food around. But what's the fun of that? So I just try not to gorge on it.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I enjoy snacking on nuts and make sure I always have for my snack time your suggestions are very helpful.