If I had to pick one segment of my life where I’ve changed my eating habits the most, it would be at the office. Food is everywhere, whether quick snacks, catered lunches or dinners as teams push toward a deadline. Right or wrong, it’s en vogue for software companies to provide all sorts of amenities to employees, including stocked kitchens.
Coincidental to my changing my own eating habits, my employer has started a shift toward healthier snack options. The prior options available included Rice Krispies Treats, powdered sugar donuts, Pop Tarts, potato chips and butter croissants. Those options have either been discontinued or replaced with vegetables, fruits or nuts.
In general, of the items available in our kitchen, I restrict myself to either a handful of mixed nuts or the fresh options available in the refrigerator. However, most of my workday food routine happens outside the kitchen. I have a mini-fridge in my office where I store yogurt, salad mix and rotisserie chickens.
On a typical day at the office, I’ll start with a french press of coffee. This gets me two cups, and I will use a tablespoon of real cream divided across the two cups. This gets me spun up for my daily huddles with my teams.
After the daily huddles, around 10am, I’ll have a Quest Bar.
At lunch, my most common meal choices:
- rotisserie chicken – between 150-200 grams (weighed)
- grape tomatoes
- sardines in olive oil
Regardless of what I choose, I try to manage the quantities to get me in the 300-400 calorie range. This is particularly tough if I ever go out to eat for lunch, which is fairly rare these days. Even so, I can usually get a reasonable salad for under 500 calories.
I’m not immune to the 3:00 snack attack. This is where the yogurt comes in. I will usually have a Chobani in the afternoons to tide me over to dinner. These clock in at around 150 calories, and are a decent source of protein.
On occasion, I’ll space out (up to three in 1 day) Werther’s Originals. They have this magical ability to satisfy any salty/buttery/sweet cravings that pop up during the workday, with about 20 calories in a single drop. Yes, those get logged as well.
By the time I finish the workday, I’ll usually have consumed 60-70% of my daily calorie allowance, leaving 400-500 calories for dinner.
Splitting up my calorie budget into 5 parts, roughly on a 25%/15%/25%/10%/25% basis keeps my energy level consistent and staves off hunger.