Healthy Living in the North

Healthy eating in the workplace

Variety at lunch

Take some time to plan out healthy lunches so you’re eating well throughout the day.

Years ago, lunch at work was whatever I could get my hands on! It may have been fast food, no food or just a coffee. I thought I was doing my body good, but now that I have become knowledgeable in healthy living, things are different. I have come to realize that, if I do not fuel my body, it does not fuel me.

This is important because I know that I cannot expect my body to wake up, be productive and alert, and maintain energy all day, without doing my part. I definitely notice a difference in my work day if I take care of my eating habits throughout that day.

Yes, it’s sometimes easier and tempting to grab whatever is quick and accessible through vending machines or convenience stores, and admittedly, there are days where I don’t prepare a lunch and snacks. On these days, I notice a lack in my energy level and blood sugar maintenance.

The best program I have found is the one in which I prepare my ‘bucket of food’ the evening before. Our bodies respond better when we spread this ‘bucket’ out over the course of our waking hours, rather than once we wind down at the end of the day. This becomes the case when we don’t eat properly throughout the day.

An example of a good day for me would be one in which we start the day with a well-balanced breakfast. This is important to “break the fast”, and kick start the metabolism for the day. From this point, it becomes important to continue to eat small, balanced meals, spaced out throughout the day. If there is too much time between meals, you may be causing your blood sugar to spike and crash. What does this mean on a work day? Well you may feel more fatigue, less energy and an effect on your moods as well. All of this in turn makes it harder to be focused and productive in your work environment.

So do yourself a favour and take a few minutes in the evening and think about the next day.  Ensure that your meals have at least three of the four food groups and snacks have at least two of the four food groups. Don’t forget a good supply of water and enough to satisfy your work day. When in doubt, follow Canada’s Food Guide. This will ensure that you have a good balance of all nutrition your body needs.

Most importantly, have a great day!

Jodi Johnson

About Jodi Johnson

Jodi is a Self-Management Coach in the Living Well Program at the Kitimat Hospital and Health Centre. She is very passionate about helping others understand what self-care is all about, and she believes strongly in the importance of living well to feel well. She has lived in Kitimat most of her life, and with her husband and two daughters, enjoys making the most of the beautiful surroundings in Northern BC. (Jodi no longer works with Northern Health, we wish her all the best.)