“Failure to plan is planning to fail” – Winston Churchill
These words are so often spoken in an office environment. We have office calendars, personal calendars, task organizing software, strategy meetings, and above all, deadlines. But how often do you sit down and make a game plan for what you eat?
Winston Churchill’s wisdom is too often ignored when it comes to taking care of ourselves — planning ahead so we’re not making split-second food choices or running down to the vending machine at 4pm, because we ate all the food we brought for lunch.
Dr. Mark Hyman, functional medicine doctor and best-selling author, recommends having an “Emergency Life Pack” with you at all times to avoid having to stop at a convenience store or a drive-through while on the run. I love this idea, and have taken this approach for stocking my office cubby hole. Here are some of the things Dr. Hyman recommends:
- Good quality protein (wild canned salmon, jerky, sardines, hard boiled eggs)
- Bars (only whole ingredients)
- Dark Chocolate (70% or more cocoa)
- Fresh Fruit (apple, pear)
- Jar of veggies (artichoke)
- Can of beans
- Hummus and crackers
His pack includes perishable foods like hard boiled eggs and hummus, so if you want to make a pack to leave in your car, either get a few freezer packs to include in your insulated lunch bag, or skip the stuff that needs to be refrigerated.
Sharing an office space can mean different things for how much room you have for food. Some people have a desk drawer where they keep a spare candy bar, while others have an entire shelf to work with. Either way, there’s room to be prepared. And if there’s room in the refrigerator, even better. Here’s what my cubby hole looks like:
I have a bunch of things that Dr. Hyman mentioned — canned fish, beans, sardines, crackers, tea (with and without caffeine), nuts, and bars. Because I like to cook my lunch at work if I can, I also have some Real salt, which is in the container stacked on top of the jar of ghee. Ghee’s a great addition to the office cubby, because it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. I also have hot sauce (because why not?), along with raw honey and coconut butter for a sweet treat if I feel the need. Stevia and 100% pure coconut milk are also in there for the days when I want a cup of coffee (real maple syrup is in the fridge for the same reason if I’m not in the mood for stevia).
In my drawer at my desk is a lovely 70% dark chocolate bar, a bag of turkey jerky, and more almonds. My spot in the refrigerator is usually filled with leafy greens from my garden, a container of hummus, either carrots or bell pepper for dipping, almond butter, kombucha, leftovers for lunch, and maybe a piece of fruit. In my car I have a stash of both Lara bars and Rise protein bars. (one of each type is in the picture above)
Personal taste is always part of this equation, so if kombucha and stevia are weird to you, leave them out of of your personal cubby or emergency pack. The point though, is to be prepared.
Having these things on hand doesn’t take any extra time out of life. It just adds conveniences in.
Having a bar waiting for me in the car right after a tough workout is a life saver — I’m not ravaging everything I see the second I get home, because I’ve taken care of it. Having a mid-morning snack ready to go in the form of hummus and crackers saves me from having to walk down to the cafeteria for a vending machine fix that will undoubtedly be full of sugar. Having simple ingredients to cook with like ghee and salt allows me to produce a Microwave Gourmet lunch without having to do a bunch of prep the night before.
Could your cubby hole use a facelift? What about the center console of your car? Make a plan this weekend to stock up. Don’t leave your diet and your health to chance.
**Special note — I’ll be on vacation starting today and will resume blogging the week of October 7th. In the meantime, get some of these items and start stocking your cubby!