Eating clean at work isn’t always easy. It takes planning and self-control… especially when your co-workers don’t all share your clean eating lifestyle!
So, in this article I’d like to share what’s become my secret weapon to eating clean at work… I call it the Intentional Salad!
Here’s my process. I head to the grocery (normally Sprouts for me but any will do) at the start of the week and buy enough “stuff” for a week’s worth of salad. In fact, here’s what I recently bought for the current week.
- (2) 5 oz. plastic containers of baby kale, chard, and spinach
- (1) Dry pint of grape tomatoes
- (2) Bell peppers (various colors based on what’s available… I also had some left from the previous week so I only bought two this week)
- (2) Cucumbers
- (3) Avocados
- (3) Green Apples
- (1) Bag of dried cranberries
- (1) Bag of Goji Berry Power Mix
- (1) Bottle of Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
- (2) Packages of nitrate free sliced chicken breast… around 1.25 pounds total
I spent around $37 for all of this and it will last me the week meaning my lunches essentially cost me $7.40 per day. I do buy some organic produce which does drive the cost up a bit more. But, I can tell you, for sure, I used to spend this much, many times much more, when I used to stuff myself with greasy, hyper-poisonous (yes, that’s a word), fast food!
Now, once I have all of the supplies I usually cut it all up on Monday and store what I don’t immediately eat in Tupperware bins.
I’m fortunate to have a fridge at my office, which definitely makes it convenient. If you don’t have this luxury you may not want to cut everything up right away allowing you to just store your veggies in your fridge at home.
You could then make your salad in the morning before you head to work and store it in a small portable cooler if needed. You can find a way… just be intentional!
How to Assemble
Once everything is cut up and ready… I grab an empty plastic container and start throwing stuff in it. I don’t measure. I just grab and throw!
Today my salad (see image) consisted of the baby kale mix, some bell peppers, some grape tomatoes, 1 avocado, some cucumber, some of the sliced up chicken breast, and some dried cranberries.
Finally, I poured a little (not a lot!) of the Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing over it all and, bam, I had an amazing, totally Intentional Salad!
What’s fun is finding ways to make the salad taste different each day so you don’t get sick of them.
Yesterday I featured some green apples and that Goji Berry candy, I mean POWER mix! Then, today I didn’t go for the apples and, instead, did an avocado and the dried cranberries. I also have a few different salad dressings to keep things varied.
Next week I may buy some different veggies and meat allowing me to make totally different salads.
One note worth mentioning… there is a fair amount of sugar in the cranberries and goji berry mix… so I don’t use those in every salad. And if I were still trying to lose weight (I’m not) I wouldn’t use these.
Lastly, there are times when I do eat out for lunch with co-workers. When I do I am just very intentional about what I eat. For example, if we go to a Mexican restaurant I get fajitas with extra guacamole and just don’t eat the tortillas!
I’m almost always able to find something relatively clean and I never go hungry. I just avoid grains and sugar to the very best of my ability.
You Can Do It
Obviously, everyone has a different situation at work and I know my exact process may not work for you… but I also think it’s very safe to say where there is a will there is a way.
So, find what works for you and have fun with it. Eating clean doesn’t have to be painful or a major drain on your time or finances. In fact, it may just save you time since you won’t have to waste all that time running to your favorite fast food joint!
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!