In my first job out of college, I worked at an advertising agency in the media department. Now, media is one of those businesses where you’re constantly being wined and dined, schmoozed, and generally solicited; after all, you are buying expensive ad space from commission-hungry sales representatives. As such, there were constantly (and I do mean constantly) goodies being sent our way in order to curry favor. I’m talking about designer cupcakes, fresh cookies, obscure bacon-flavored everything, and plenty of seasonal popcorn. As you can imagine, our department snacked a lot. Me included!
That novelty eventually wore off when I realized that my daily afternoon cookie-cupcake combo didn’t just leave me bloated, it left me feeling depleted of energy and, puzzlingly, hungry. Even if you don’t work in a business where goodies galore are always available, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about: That afternoon witching hour comes, you “treat yourself” to a donut / sugary latte / Pop-Tarts from the vending machine (after all, you’ve worked so hard today) and you feel awful thirty minutes later. An hour later, you’re starving and exhausted. WHY!?
That, my friends, is not because you’re snacking – it’s because you’re noshing on the wrong things. Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause your blood sugar to spike rapidly, resulting in a “crash” afterward. Hence: You’re hungry, irritable, tired, and craving more sugar… again.
Fear not, brave office snackers. Ahead, we’re sharing some of our favorite office-friendly snack – read on!
LEMON & WATER
I’m sure you’re all like, is this for real? WATER!? It is, people. Because the first thing many of us don’t realize when we go a-snackin’ is that we’re not hungry, we’re just thirsty. So now our go-to snacking technique is to down a glass of lemon-infused H20. Lemon is detoxifying, plus gives the drink a little pizazz which makes it feel more like a treat and less like… water. Drink an 8 ounce glass, wait 10-15 minutes, and if you’re still feeling hungry, it’s snack time.
A FOURTH OF AN AVOCADO & SEA SALT
Rich in healthy omega-3 fats, avocados are a great work-friendly snack for several reasons. For one, they leave you feeling fuller and more satiated for longer, which is great news if you’re a serial snacker. In fact, one study showed that eating them could even help curb hunger. They’re also a bonafide brain-friendly food, loaded in Vitamins K, B, and C, as well as folate – which can help improve cognitive function and concentration. Furthermore, healthy fats like avocado have even been found to help boost mood. For anyone who has suffered through the 4pm doldrums, this is great news. We like to sprinkle ours with a nice salt, such as Pink Himalayan or Maldon because we’re fancy (AF: Can we remove this. We are casual but this is a smudge too basic for us.)
A CUP OF BLUEBERRIES
Blubs are infinitely snack-able fruit with a low glycemic index, meaning they won’t trigger the dreaded sugar spike-and-crash. Add in the fact that they’re full of protective antioxidants and soluble fiber, and you’ve got yourself the perfect satisfying office bite. If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, trying pairing your blueberries with roughly 1 teaspoon of almond butter on top (eat with a spoon) or a scoop of full-fat and/or coconut plain yogurt.
This one goes out to all of you crunchy-savory cravers who love a good-old fashioned bag of vending machine pretzels. Chickpeas are an awesome alternative, thanks to the fact that they’re fiber rich and filled with protein. But because there is nothing more depressing than eating one of these guys straight from the can, we recommend roasting them with your favorite spices; we love rosemary and lemon or chili, cumin, and turmeric to provide some antioxidant activity. They’ll come out nice and crispy and zesty…and will totally make you forget your old friends Rold Gold and Synder’s…
Our ongoing obsession is with homemade protein balls, aka little bites of goodness that keep you full and are fun to eat, too. These Cashew-Coconut-Vanilla Balls are a great choice; they’re loaded in good fats, high in protein (duh), and have just enough sweetness to satiate your inner cupcake fiend. Because after all, you deserve a little treat.