Grinnin’ Through the Grind: Keep it Healthy

Last week I shared my life update – a major switch from starving artist gal to steady paycheck gal. (In case you missed Goodbye, jammies…hello, grind.)

Reinstating this hectic schedule has been a challenging transition, and it got me thinking about the healthiest approach, the surefire way to hold onto a grain of peace amidst the sea of chaos.

Hence, this little three part series…Grinnin’ Through the Grind.

cat and brown bag
Hazel the cat loves real food!

Our daily food habits can make or break us – simple as that.

Being strapped for time sends us into the arms of fast food, frozen meals, and vending machines. Eww, eww, and eww.

I’m going to tell you my biggest secret for staying healthy. I make food a priority.

Here are some sustenance musts that not only get me through the day, but keep me fulfilled without filling out my waistline…

  1. Eat a big ass breakfast  If you start off your day right, you will not go wrong. It always shocks me how many people skip breakfast. An hour into work they’re weak, grumpy, and heading for something conveniently yucky just to hold over until lunch. I love fresh oatmeal with cinnamon and fruit or raisins (please ditch the packet oatmeal…it’s so not the same!) or veggie scrambles.
  2. Snacks aren’t just for kids  Those long periods in between “meal times” should not exist. Lightly fuel your body every few hours. Nuts or nut butter and fruit, Greek yogurt with honey or cinnamon, hummus and veggie of choice, or straight up baby carrots. Not a day goes by when I’m not chomping on carrots at my computer.
  3. Brown bag it  The eating out thing every day? Costly for your wallet and your girlish figure. Grab a chunk of organic turkey from a deli, add some fresh tomato, and a little bit of cheese or avocado. Also, use those Sundays to make a ginormous batch of goodness. My hubby and I trade off between homemade soup, pasta salad, or my new fave…zesty quinoa salad (I add extra veggies and decrease the cumin). The best way to keep the leftovers interesting: add fresh spinach, tomatoes, or a little cheese – something different each day – and depending on the dish, alternate between serving hot and cold.
  4. Healthy choice my foot!   Food in a box is not really food. It may seem like the better choice, and compared to fast food, I suppose it’s marginally better. But, long winded chemicals in the ingredients is the red flag, people. And, I’ve gotta ask you…does it even taste like food? Didn’t think so.
  5. Caffeine is not your friend  You feel like ass, your energy levels skyrocket then dive bomb, and let’s be honest…your breath is funky. Let me introduce you to two friends who will always make you feel like a million bucks…water and tea. No matter what, water should be your constant companion. Tea is a great way to change up the water routine and add some herby extras. A phenomenal alternative for you coffee drinkers out there is black chai tea. Black tea, the most robust member of the tea family, has way less caffeine then coffee, so it gives you a friendly kick in the butt instead of a punch in the groin.

But, what about the vending machine in the break room, Britt?

My dear friend, if you have to ask you need to reevaluate the numbered offerings in that crusty machine. Go ahead and look at every single piece of packaged crap in there. Row after row of obscenely processed calories which are probably well past their expiration – it’s quite the party.

And, there you have it…eww.

Your eating habits dictate your life. And, when you’re working long days, you need clean energy to get the job done. If you feed your body with kindness, you may even find yourself grinnin’ through the grind.

How do YOU keep it healthy on the job?

*Coming next week…Grinnin’ Through the Grind: Keep it Classy

41 thoughts on “Grinnin’ Through the Grind: Keep it Healthy

  1. Great post! I’ve actually found that for me, taking a long-walk early in the morning instead of eating a big-assed breakfast goes a long way on sustaining my morning energy levels.

  2. I know you prefer your breakfast, but I got to agree with Bald and Angry. Especially with people trying to lose weight. Intermittent Fasting is your BFF! Now a big ass breakfast midmorning and skipping lunch would be great!

    1. LOL! Hey, we all have our eating habits. My weaknesses fall into the sweets, wine and beer categories. I eat extremely healthy and exercise just so I can divulge from time to time.

  3. YES. We nixed all packaged food in our house (slipped over New Year’s with frozen pizza for the kids). My rule is if it has ingredients that are not food, I won’t buy it. I rarely even get packaged tortillas anymore, and I make my own bread. Butter, not margarine. Canned and frozen veggies are ok in a jam, but I try to avoid them. We literally DETOXED off all the garbage for nearly a month. ICK ICK ICK. I do, however, still have a coffee addiction.

  4. I attribute the health of myself and my siblings mainly to the fact that we were fed REAL FOOD growing up…big family, ate like farmers. I remember thinking how I wanted all the Pringles, Doritos, microwave popcorn, frozen tv dinners, pudding pops, hamburger helper (what is THAT?) and the crap my friends all had at their houses. We didn’t have that junk. Meat, potatoes, eggs, milk, juice, homemade bread, fresh or frozen veggies, corn flakes, oatmeal, cheese…the worst thing we had was Kool-Aid—cheap solution for big family’s juice demands. NEVER soda. If you wanted sweets, you baked some cookies.

    1. I agree that it makes a huge difference. I had a slightly different upbringing with occasional home cooked food, but a lot of frozen dinners. Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes…ick!

      So, as an adult I’ve really learned to appreciate good food, and I’m totally addicted to the goodness.

  5. You’re right, you’re right but the unhealthy option is so often the most convenient. We are intrinsically lazy and we’d sooner scoop up packets of processed stuff rather than search out the fresh oatmeal or cook the fresh veg 🙂 Looking forward to #2.

    1. Oh, I totally agree that convenience trumps the healthier options in most of our lives. My hubby and I have to work hard to cook and prepare, but it is definitely worth it. We eat out occasionally – maybe once a week.

      Bottom line, we feel like a million bucks when we keep it healthy.

  6. Thanks for the great quinoa salad recipe; looks delicious. I find that after a long day of work, I’m sometimes too tired to make a good dinner so we try to make healthy dinners over the weekend which we freeze if we’re too lazy to cook. That way we know we’re eating something healthy and delicious: bean soups are great for this and then we can make a quick salad or something.

    Hope the adjustment to 9-5 is going ok 🙂 Sounds like you have the right attitude!

    1. Making dinners and freezing is such a neat trick! We do that occasionally as well. My hubby cooks, and I clean. It’s an awesome team!

      But, when one of those exhausted evenings comes along when neither of us wants to fulfill our domestic duty…hello, pizza delivery!

      The 9-5 is going well. I’m getting into a groove. I figure it may be a while until the next book is ready for action, but I’m gonna keep on scribbling! : )

    1. Thanks, Dianne! I’ve worked on my eating habits a lot over the past few years…A LOT! It’s fun to share some things I’ve learned along the way.

      Oh, I drink my happy little cup of coffee every morning. It’s pure bliss.

  7. Awesome post, Britt. I struggle with food choices because I have to feed two finicky children and a finicky husband. I do not have time to make 4 separate meals 3 times a day, so we end up getting into lots of ‘food fights’ 😉

    I refuse to eat fast food or frozen entrees. Gross. I do well with whole grains and oatmeal (love!!) But I’m very bad at getting in my fresh vegetables because they make me really bloated (sorry, too much info???) Aside from that, my other bad habit is coffee every morning and a beer almost every evening. I don’t know if I can cut those out anytime soon… 🙂

    1. That would be hard. I always hear that from other parents, that everyone wants different things…constantly!

      LOL on the veggies (*whispers: I used to be in the same boat.) I’m not a professional by any means, but I believe the more you eat them, the less that happens. I think your body just needs to get used to them.

      I’m with you on the morning coffee and almost daily beer thing actually. It’s good to have those treats. Moderation is always a winner!

  8. I pack my lunch. Not just because it’s cheaper and healthier, but because my husband and I are good cooks and make better food than what I usually find at restaurants. Oops, was I bragging? 😉

    1. Ha! Not bragging at all.

      My hubby is an amazing chef and I can make a few things here and there. So, we come across that as well. Thank goodness for the local food loot in Wisconsin which encourages a few special restaurants with yummy eats in Milwaukee for us to enjoy.

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