Working (and Eating) at Home

Working at home is great, and it has lots of perks. But some of those perks can easily become hazardous. Being able to eat lunch at home is a cost-saving perk. You don’t have to bring your lunch to work, and you don’t have to spend money on expensive lunches out. But being in close proximity to your kitchen pantry and the refrigerator can also present a real struggle for the work-at-homer, too.

The reality is that I don’t always have time to make a healthy lunch for myself. My week days are pretty darned routine. Once I have the kids safely off to school I return home to brew a fresh pot of coffee and, while it’s brewing, clean up the kitchen. Then, cup of coffee in hand, I’m ready to begin my work day. So what’s a girl to do when the kitchen is a constant presence? I’ve had my share of snack attacks and after years of working in such close proximity to my fridge and pantry, here are my 3 hard-and-fast rules about working where I eat and eating where I work:

  1. Keep quick, healthy snacks on hand.
    For me, quick is key. I don’t like cooking and I generally opt for whatever I can grab and eat. Things like pop-tarts and cookies in the morning and chips in the afternoon are what I’ll choose if I see them waiting for me in the pantry. So instead I try to keep granola bars, almonds, and baby carrots on hand since I’ll go for anything at all that requires 0-minutes prep time. Did I mention, I hate cooking?!
  2. Actually take time to eat.
    You’d think that would go without saying, but I have the very bad habit of skipping breakfast and then getting caught up in work until suddenly realizing it’s time to go get the kids from school. Then by the time we get home I’m starving and eat too much at one sitting. It’s much better to eat lots of little snacks and meals than over-eating in one big fat meal.
  3. Step away from the desk.
    Working at home means I miss out on some every day physical activity others take for granted – things like walking to and from the office from the parking lot. My office is upstairs, so I do get to stretch my legs on the way up, but once I get there I’m afraid I lead a fairly sedentary work-life. Sometimes it’s hard to step away from work when work is always present. Find physical activities that are easy to fit into the daily routine. Easier said then done sometimes! I shudder to think what my wii fit digital trainer will say the next time I sign on to my routine. It’s definitely challenging to keep moving. Invest in a treadmill (and try not to let it collect dust) or take the dog for a walk. Anything to get out and active.

If you’ve got some delicious and nutritious snack ideas that work for you, or a creative way to stay in shape when you’re working at home, please leave a comment.

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