Getting the right balance of nutrients during a day in the office is so important for keeping you at your healthiest and most alert. If you eat right, you should avoid that mid-afternoon concentration slump and be powering through until home time!
Here’s a quick look at the type of food Nutracheck nutritionist Emma Brown general munches on during a day at the office – and the reason for her choices.
Vegetable crudités & mixed nuts
(200 kcals & 9g fat)
‘I always try to have at least one portion of my 5-a-day with each meal and snack to make sure I reach my quota each day. So mid-morning is usually vegetable crudités which provides at least 2 servings. These are great as they’re so low calorie, so I can munch on a big plateful at my desk and it lasts me ages. Carrots, celery and peppers are a good source of fibre, water, vitamin A and C – so an excellent snack choice. As well as this I’ll have a handful of mixed nuts to provide some protein and good fats. These really help to fill me up and keep me going until lunchtime.
Other mid-morning snack choices would be a piece of fruit and a nutty cereal bar – but I sometimes find these don’t keep my energy levels as stable, as many cereal bars can be quite high in sugar. But variety is a key part of a healthy and happy diet, so I like to mix it up!’
Wholegrain rice & roasted vegetable salad, an apple
(330 kcals & 7g fat)
‘I always prepare my lunch at home and will usually cook a few days worth on a Sunday evening. I choose wholemeal carbohydrates with plenty of vegetables to give me a good dose of fibre and another portion of my 5-a-day. High fibre and protein based is important for me as it keeps me feeling full and satisfied for a while. This particular lunchtime was a wholegrain rice and roasted vegetable salad, with low fat feta – for added protein! I cooked the rice in a little vegetable stock for added flavour and seasoned it all with black pepper and coriander – yum! This high fibre lunch really fills me up and keeps me going well into late afternoon. I’ll have a piece of fruit straight after my lunch for another 5-a-day portion, but also because I always crave something sweet to signal the end of my meal!’
Rice cakes with low fat cream cheese & cucumber, a low cal hot chocolate
(190 kcals & 4.5g fat)
I like to have some slow energy releasing carbohydrates mid-afternoon to give me a boost, but without the energy dip later – so wholegrain rice cakes are a great choice. I top these with low fat cream cheese – calcium source – and some cucumber slices to squeeze in another portion of my 5-a-day. I’ll often have a low cal hot chocolate late afternoon too for a sweet treat to keep me going – at just 40 calories, it’s a great little chocolate fix!
Another mid-afternoon snack choice for me would be chopped fresh fruit with low fat natural yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon – a good source of calcium and vitamins, plus another 5-a-day serving.
But I’m not opposed to the odd slice of cake or chocolate biscuit. I recently had a mid afternoon coffee shop trip with my mum where I indulged in a slice of dark and white chocolate cheesecake at 420 calories – worth every one! At times like these I compromise by having a fruit tea instead of a milky coffee – it’s all about balance!’
On top of this I’ll have approximately 3 cups of tea and two pints of water throughout the day to keep me well hydrated.