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5 Ways To Eat Healthy When You’re Building a Company
New year, new healthy eating goals!
Whether you’re a CEO or early employee in the trenches, startups are hectic with unpredictable schedules.
How can you eat healthy (for mood, energy, happiness, brain power) in the midst of chaos?!?
Never fear, O’Daily friends.
As any co-worker can tell you, I am the queen of healthy snacks and wholesome lunches. (Sorry for all the crunching in meetings!)
I don’t spend all weekend cooking. I don’t have a personal chef (…yet. Cookonnect is VERY tempting.)
very lazy efficient so I’ve spent 15 years making it simple and fast to eat healthy no matter how busy it gets.
Before we get to the 5 strategies…
How Do You Define “Healthy”?
Everyone has different goals, eating preferences, and frameworks.
Here’s what “healthy” means to me:
Lots of vegetables
Lots of fiber (correlated to longevity!)— veggies, fruit, whole grains
Minimizing processed foods
5 Way To Eat Healthy When You’re Building a Company
1. Add Veggies
Add as many vegetables as possible to everything!!
Get lettuce on your nachos
Add kale to your beans and rice
Order a side salad (to go with your fries and burger)
Put tomatoes, salsa, lettuce, avocado, spinach, peppers, onions on your Chipotle
Bring baby carrots with your pita and hummus
Vegetables have tons of vitamins and minerals, lots of fiber and water, and are low in calories.
If you do one thing, add more vegetables.
Prepackaged, frozen, canned, fresh — use whatever is manageable. Prewashed lettuce, kale and baby spinach, and frozen stir fry mixes are staples at our house.
2. Prep Your Staples
We call it the “Sunday Chop.” We prepare a few key items that make meals 10x easier during the week.
Foods To Prep
1 grain (brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat pasta)
1 protein (baked chicken breasts, sautéed ground turkey, beans, marinated tofu)
2-3 veggies (cut up broccoli, diced onions, carrot & celery sticks, cored & halved peppers)
A soup or main dish if highly motivated!
Pasta with veggies + protein
Asian grain bowl
Wrap (add grain, protein, veggies, sauce to a tortilla)
I steam everything in the microwave! Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, zucchini, carrots, cabbage. EVERYTHING. Microwave safe bowl + plate as a lid. 3-5 minutes.
3. Invest In Snacks
A strong snack game means you fend off your late afternoon Dorito craving and front-load healthy food before an evening event.
Fast & Healthy Snacks
Nuts, especially raw ones
Hummus + veggies
Cucumbers, green beans, radishes, carrots, red/green peppers can be whole or prepped fast
Bring a whole carrot or cucumber if you don’t have time to chop it. It’s only weird the first few times.
Bananas (use this carrying case)
Oranges or Clementines
Hard boiled eggs
Berries (fresh or frozen)
Homemade trail mix (pre-packaged has extra salt, oil, and sugary things)
Edamame (frozen or roasted)
4. Pack Your Lunch or Eat a Salad
Since you now have quick-prep tips…I’m going to say the annoying, cliche thing:
Packing your lunch is a great way to eat healthier and save money.
Not possible? Load your restaurant plate up with veggies — a salad, side dishes, or both.
Working from home? Run Tips #1-3 on repeat.
Whether brown-bagging or going out, keep a stash of healthy snacks in your bag, desk, or car.
5. Ask For Healthy Food At Work
Everywhere I’ve worked, folks have been really supportive and helpful about providing healthy options when possible.
(Especially once they know it’s my jam.)
If you’re the boss, it’s fairly easy to set the tone and make requests.
If you’re not the boss, it’s a fine line between Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Get and Total-Pain-In-The-Ass. Be discerning.
Ways To Ask For Healthy Food:
Find out how snacks are selected and stocked and make specific suggestions within that framework (from the vendor used, within the price range, etc).
Develop a list of nearby lunch places with healthy meals to suggest when taking clients or going out as a team.
Share what you’re looking for with the person who makes food/lunch selections. Provide examples. Be low-key and kind.
Go with the flow occasionally so people don’t hate you. 😂
Taking care of yourself is key to bringing your startup “A” game.
Eating healthy is great way to fuel your brain and feel strong mentally and physically no matter what business surprises lie ahead!
Want more details or specific meal ideas??
**COMING SOON** The healthy, fast recipes I use every week
What are your best tips for healthy eating during startup chaos?? For those working on healthy eating, what’s the biggest challenge for you?