Fueling Your Body For Work
Eating is important for staying healthy and making sure employees can be productive while at work but what you consume can also be detrimental. It’s important to keep a balanced diet to maximize the body’s strength and bring your A-game every day.
“It’s a lot about the choices we make,” Nicole O’Brien, CITY’s Human Resources Manager said. “Who wants to have a steaming bowl of mac and cheese after working in 80-degree humid temperatures?”
Among many of CITY’s production employees, eating healthy and bringing their lunch is important for their day and staying productive. Jayden Hartsock is on his feet most of his day inside CITY’s plant. He needs plenty of energy to be able to do his job on time and at the highest level. For him, it’s fruits all day with blue corn tortilla chips. He always brings his food including salads.
“I eat healthy 24/7, it’s a must,” Jayden said. “If I don’t eat enough, I’m usually sluggish or I just don’t have the energy. I stay away from the vending machine, just too much sodium.”
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nine out of 10 Americans eat more sodium (salt) than they need. Eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. While Jayden is keenly aware of what he eats and cuts fast food, healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring.
“In the summertime, I like my watermelon and I always have chocolate,” Production Employee Shelly Rummell said. “I always pre-plan it. Maybe a piece of cheese and crackers, it helps my body. It helps me stay focused and you make the decision what to eat so it doesn’t get boring.”
Norma Gonzalez also works with Shelly in production. She loves to cook and is excited to be able to take leftovers the next day or pre-plan for a healthy lunch. On her lunch break, you can find her eating her creation of rice, chicken, and salsa mixed. In the morning she has yogurt or a banana to stay light. She likes to eat a healthy fulfilling lunch so she can work effectively for the rest of the day.
“If you eat too much in the mornings, it just drops your day,” Norma said. “If you moderate yourself in the morning and know that there’s lunch coming and eat a healthy nice lunch, it keeps you going.”
HHS recommends trying to include mix vegetables into your go-to dishes.
- Try spinach with pasta or peppers in tacos.
- Use fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables.
They all offer the same great nutrients. Just be sure to watch the sodium on canned vegetables and look for fruits packed in water or 100% juice (not syrup). Production employee Carrie Hudley embraces the strategy of mixing it up and changing but also bringing some of her favorites to enjoy at lunch.
“I don’t want to work with a full stomach so it’s light, but delicious for me,” Carrie said. “I do like to bring a salad and mix the ingredients myself; it just keeps it interesting.”
Below are some meal ideas that you can prepare in advance adapted from the popular brand “Project Meal Plan by Danielle”:
- Buy fresh producethat does not require any cooking and cut up into bite-sized fruit salads.
- Try canned tuna or chicken to use in salads or lettuce wraps
- Watch for sales on pre-cooked rotisserie chickensfrom the store.
- Experiment with no-cook breakfast ideaslike yogurt and berries, yogurt and granola parfaits, or fruit smoothies
- When you plan to cook chicken outside using your grill, cook extraso that you have extra you can turn into chicken salad or chop up on top of greens.
- Prepare fresh veggies chopped up to use with hummus or ranch dip
- Make ham roll-upswith cream cheese and pickles
- Hard-boiled eggsare a healthy, easy prep ahead snack to bring to work
(No Bake) Double Chocolate Breakfast Cookies
Easy, no-bake, and healthy double-chocolate breakfast cookies
Servings15 breakfast cookies
Author Chelsea Lords (From ChelseasMessyApron.com)
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter (can use peanut butter)
- 1/3 cup agave nectar (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (uncooked)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup oat flour (regular oats that have been blended)
- 1/3 cup Rice Krispie cereal
- 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the almond butter, agave nectar, vanilla, and salt. Microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir until combined. Add in the cocoa powder, oats, coconut, and oat flour (to make oat flour, take regular oats and place them in a blender or food processor and pulse until they resemble flour). Mix to combine.
- Stir in rice Krispies and chocolate chips. Mix. (If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more oat flour and if it is too dry add a bit more almond butter or agave nectar — there is some variance based off of the brands you use)
- Place in the fridge, covered, for 20 minutes to firm up.
- Form balls with the mixture and then flatten the balls in your hand to create a cookie shape.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for 4-5 days (I keep mine in the fridge) or freeze for up to 3 months.