Is the office your second home, it seems? Whether you work from home and feel like you live at your computer, live at your office, or commute a good bit and feel just at home at the airport as you do your own home, you may feel like your meals are more of a survival method rather than a health goal. When you work for most of the waking hours, food can become secondary. Sometimes, you just eat to keep going and tend not to worry so much about the nutritional stuff. Sure, you might aim for some fruits and veggies throughout the day, and perhaps even keep some healthy snacks at your desk. But maybe everything else just falls to the wind and you do your best just to power through.
Hey, we’ve all been there and for those going meatless or even wanting to, the idea of preparing plant-based meals can seem more than a little intimidating. The great thing about a meatless diet, however is that it could improve your energy throughout the day, not to mention lower your risk of disease. Plants are easier for the body to break down, while animal foods may be more difficult. Meats also take a good bit of preparation just to make them safe to eat, so when you think about it, plant-based eating is really less time-consuming in the long run when eaten in a whole food approach.
If you’ve ever been inspired to go meatless, take the plunge and just do it! Don’t let your job be an excuse to why you can’t. Going meatless is possible, even when you’re clocked in more than you’re clocked out.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Give Your Breakfast a Portable Makeover
First and foremost, don’t set yourself up for a late start each day. Empower your diet with a plant-based, easy meal on the go that’s rich in energizing properties to fuel your body. No need to set aside time to sit down and eat at your kitchen table. Try Overnight Oatmeal in Mason Jars, whole grain cereal topped over some vegan yogurt with fresh fruit, Energy Boosting Vegan Superfood Smoothie, a Protein-Packed Breakfast Quinoa Bowl made in a Mason jar, a green smoothie that’s filled with fiber and plant-based protein, a sprouted grain sandwich with some raw nut butter and sliced berries, or even a cup of soy, coconut, or almond yogurt with an apple and some almonds.
All of these options will give your body a plant-based, meatless start and help you focus throughout the morning. Of course you can keep your coffee too, we wouldn’t forget! Check out these tips to keep your coffee dairy-free, healthy and delicious!
2. Keep Lunch Simple, Yet Versatile
Deli turkey, ham, and chicken and tuna salad or sandwiches are common lunch go-to’s for people on the run. But there are so many other (much healthier) versatile lunch options available that require absolutely no animal products whatsoever. Obviously, the best choice is to bring a quick, meatless lunch of your own, however, if your work doesn’t have a fridge to store it in, visit local eateries that offer plant-based meals.
Most all restaurants these days have a plant-based option and if you don’t see one right away, just ask if they can make you one. Easy ideas are salads or soups with beans (ask for no cheese or meat), veggies, quinoa, rice or oats, hummus, tomato, and avocado sandwiches. Many restaurants these days offer plenty of vegan fare. Even if you’re at a steakhouse with co-workers for lunch, you can still forgo the meat and find some plant-based options.
If packing your own lunch, keep things simple and easy to make ahead. Good ideas include a batch of quinoa or wild rice to pair with some pan-roasted veggies, a piece of fruit on the side, and if you’re extra hungry, some raw almonds or cashews with a piece of fruit. Even vegan pizza is easy to make ahead, or make a batch of soup to keep on hand through the week to pair with some toast, fruit, raw veggies, or whole grain crackers.
3. Ditto for Dinner
Keep dinner as simple as your two earlier meals. Don’t feel like you need to prepare something elaborate. As long as it keeps you full, is healthy and nutrient dense, and tastes good, you’re good to go! Sometimes it helps to rotate the same three or four meals through the week (or even just two or three) and change up the spices to make them a bit different.
You can also grab dinner out if you’re still at the office in the evening, just keep things simple like you did at lunch. If you work from home and would like to prepare a healthy meal, then by all means, definitely do so!
Here are some great, simple healthy meal options that can be whipped up quickly:
- 15 Veggie Burger Recipes (These are great to keep made on hand for easy assembly meals and much better than store brands.)
- Roasted Root Veggies (Go a step further, make these ahead and you’re set for the week!)
- Easy Spinach and Pepper Quiche (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- Baked Vegan Pakoras
- Soba Noodle and Vegetable Soul Bowl
- A Vegan “Egg” Salad Sandwich
- The Cracked Sandwich
- How to Make a Real Food Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less
- Meatless Monday Meal Ideas for a Quick Lunch Every day of the Week
- Meatless Monday Meal Ideas for the Beginner Cook
- Meatless Meals for the Busy Bunch
- 10 Healthy Vegan Snacks to Keep at Your Desk at Work
If you’re a meatless meal lovin’ work-a-holic and have some whole foods, plant-based tips up your sleeve, let’s hear them in the comments below!
Lead Image Source: Gerard Fritz/Flickr