We often overlook it, but office canteens are high-calorie, high-fat, unhealthy food zones that attack our healthy living resolutions one vadapav at a time. If it's not the cheese-filled toast, it's the fried medhuvada, and if it isn't the rice-heavy lunch, it's the greasy frankies. How can you stay away from these traps of fatty, salty food, you ask? Simple - by carrying your very own box full of healthy snacks for the office. Today we're telling you what to carry with you to beat those mid-noon snack cravings. Read on...
First, the easy stuff: Nuts, dry fruits, fruits and homemade juices. A small box of just these four essentials goes a long way in keeping you satiated well beyond the breakfast hour. Try 7 almonds, 2 whole walnuts, 6 raisins, 1 apple, 1 banana and 1 500ml bottle of homemade lemon juice for starters. Apart from being far more productive (you'll save all that extra pantry time!), you'll find that your hunger is easily solved by these healthy energy power-houses.
Next, preparation-based: 1 sandwich for that late evening attack. Late evenings are when our diets let loose and chaos breaks out. Carry an emergency cold sandwich for exactly such situations. A few hours after lunch, your body craves some carbs and fat to keep its energy levels up. So apart from keeping yourself well-hydrated, invest in a loaf of whole grain bread, a low-calorie and low-fat sandwich spread (you can even make your own fresh salad relish or chutney once a week) and some groceries like cucumbers and tomatoes.
A simple snack sandwich recipe: 2 brown bread slices, a layer of green chutney, 1 sliced cucumber, 1 sliced tomato, (optional) 1 slice of cold ham.
Energy snacks for late nights or work travel. A true workaholic understands the importance of quick energy snacks like energy bars. Make your own energy bars by dry pressing dry fruits and nuts with a mix of hot honey and brown sugar into the dry fruits layer.
Energy bar recipe: Take a 500gms mix of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, raisins and rice crispies (all chopped into uniform pieces). Next heat 1 cup honey with 1/2 cup brown sugar. When the honey-sugar mix is hot and liquified, pour it over the dry fruit mix in a pan with about 3-4 inches depth. Press down, till the honey-sugar mix binds the entire pan's contents. Leave it to set for a couple of hours. Then cut into squares and shrink wrap for storage. Pop one square every time you feel sluggish at work.
Other healthy snacks for the office: Roti wraps made from last night's leftover chicken or vegetables, quick fruit salads with a separate box of chaat masala as a topping, coconut water from the next-to-office vendor. You'll find that just between the fruits, nuts, energy bars and evening sandwiches, your entire day's requirement for healthy snacking will be complete.
Always remember that a healthy snack isn't just what you make at home. It can be something that you find in your office canteen, or next-door restaurant. As long as it isn't fried, salty, or high on fat, your healthy snack is good to go.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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