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Intern Diaries: Healthy Food for Work

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July. I know I did, because I stuffed my face and had complete disregard for any sort of organized meal time. Lunchtime lasted anywhere from noon to 5 p.m. And don’t even get me started on dinner.

Now, why am I bringing up food when this is supposed to be about my internship? As some of you may have picked up on in my previous blog entries, food is a very important thing to me. I fall in the “live to eat” camp and not the “eat to live” camp. With that being said, I can be known to… shall we say… over do it sometimes.

Which brings me to the dilemma that IS having a 9 to 5 office job. It can be so hard trying to resist ALL the junk food. McDonald’s and Taco Bell are both less than a mile away, and we have a pretty impressive selection in the downstairs snack machine. As part of an on-going effort to try to eat healthier (and because it was hard for me to ignore the love handles when I was chillin’ in my bikini down at the beach), I have begun to really think consciously about my nomming decisions when I’m at my desk. So, without further ado, I give you: How to make work healthy. The Laura edition. Let’s get down to business to defeat…. THE HUNGER!

It sounded cooler in my head.

Snacks

I love snacks. Don’t you love snacks? Snacks are wonderful because you can demolish them and have absolutely no idea that you’re demolishing them. Of course, that also makes them terrible once your hand reaches the bottom of your bag and your brain registers that you just ate an entire bag of chips. By yourself. So, if you’re like me and can plow through a bag of salt and vinegar chips while you’re catching up on the latest episode of your favorite T.V. show, you must remember that sometimes, work is no different. How often have you sat on your computer trying to finish a project, all the while nomming on some crackery goodness you got from the office vending machine? It’s too easy to do. Here are some of my favorite snacks that are more on the healthy side that don’t sacrifice the yum factor.

Apples and peanut butter- the protein in the pb is what makes this little treat filling
Air-popped popcorn- Add a few M&Ms or chocolate chips. It’s like movie theater trail mix, but not bogged down by mega-tons of butter.
Kashi Country Cheddar Crackers- These are pretty much healthy Cheez-Its. Heck, they may even taste better than Cheez-Its.
Hummus and Carrots- Hummus is amazing. Put a portion in a plastic container and tote along a bag of your favorite veggies for this healthier spin on the classic chip-and-dip
An Assortment of Colorful Fruits- Because eating food that’s rainbow flavored makes life more exciting.
These chips- Finding out I was gluten intolerant introduced me to this amazing snack sent straight from Heaven itself.
Yogurt- You’ve heard Greek is the best kind, but any of your favorite is good, so long as you only have one serving size of it.

Bonus: Laura’s Shameless Smartphone Plug of the Day

The Snack App is an amazing application that I highly recommend you get if you have a smartphone. You can get ideas for snacks based on what kind of mood you’re in. They have many different categories to browse, including sweet, salty and creamy. The app allows you to choose 50 calorie (yeah right), 100 calorie or 200 calorie options. Hooray for more snack inspiration!

Lunch

Lunch is tricky, because sometimes one of your co-workers or fellow interns can spring an invitation to go out for the day.  I hardly ever turn down a trip to Casa Grande, but I strive to bring my own lunch to work as often as you can.  What to include in your lunch bag is not a one size fit all, but for me, it follows at such:

I aim to have four to five items in my lunch:

1. The main course- think a sandwich, filling soup, wraps or pita pockets.
2. Some type of fruit
3. Some crunchy goodness- think pretzels or whole wheat chips
4. Yogurt or cottage cheese
5. Sweet Treat- a cookie, some Hershey kisses or a lemon square

Some of the side items can be played with and mixed around.  If you're too full to finish, save some of the non-perishable items for a mid-afternoon snack.  

And some more...

My take on fast food: We all have those days where the Whopper is calling out your name. Spare your wallet and waste line by only going through the drive thru once a week if you absolutely can’t avoid the temptation. I must say- I feel like crap for the rest of the day when I stop through Mickey D’s. Sausage biscuits, y u no healthy?!

My take on exercising: No one expects you to be doing lunges through the office hallways, but there are ways to get a little physical activity in during your work hours. The little things will add up throughout the day. It sounds silly, but I will park my car as far away from the building as I can. Whenever I need to go upstairs, I skip the elevator and take the stairway.


My take on water:
Bring a water bottle and refill that sucker throughout the day. On average, I will go through five or six bottles any given work day. It’s the best option because it’s free and unlimited. The only downside is you’ll probably have to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes. Hey-think of it as a moment to take a break and boost your creativity!

If you're like me and love to eat, start paying attention to what you eat during the day.  You'll feel a whole lot better when you start making healthy choices!

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Laura Baugh

Virginia Tech

Laura Baugh is a senior at Virginia Tech where she is double majoring in Communications and Film. When not busy with school, Laura enjoys editing film and video, being the general manager at VTTV, spending time with her amazing sisters in Gamma Phi Beta, playing her guitar, and reading Her Campus! She is also obsessed with her school's athletics. Go Hokies!
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