Eating healthy everyday could be challenging, specially if you have a corporate job and want to take your lunch to the office. I know, I know: prepare the food, the containers, carry it with you all day… Not that convenient.
In Singapore there are plenty of food choices, but I do find that there is a big gap for healthy food. When I find something healthy it is usually expensive, which is okay for once or twice a week, but not the best choice if you are planning to eat out every single day.
Also, you never know exactly what they put in your food or what cooking oils they use…
To me the best and healthier option is to take my food from home to office. A home made meal is always going to be healthier and cheaper than eating outside. That’s a fact! So if you are trying to watch your diet a bit while saving some pennies, this post might be right up your street.
Let’s start admitting that I’m not perfect and that sometimes I am unable to stick to this system every single day. But I think that’s okay. I allow myself maximum 2 days of “outside” healthy meals, but preferably one one day. I always try to have a healthy and nourishing meal with me most days.
The hardest part for me is to decide what to eat and to plan for it. I love cooking, so that’s not a problem. Well, not always. Like many of you I work full time and sometimes when I get home I just want sofa and Netflix…
But the cooking fairy doesn’t stop by my place, so unless I jump off the sofa and start cooking, nobody is going to do it for me. Luckily, after all these years in the corporate world, I think I have perfected a system that makes all this process so much easier. And even fun!
Here is how I do it:
Over the past two years I’ve become an avid reader of healthy cookbooks in Kindle version. Thanks to some of them I have really changed the way I eat for the better.
There are different reasons why I prefer the electronic version when it comes to books. First to save some trees, second to avoid accumulation and carrying the weight and third the possibility of having them available on the go on either my phone or my tablet. Yes, the app syncs and you can read them on any device. It’s awesome!
Plus it is convenient if you have a cetain recipe on your mind and want to buy ingredients on the way home. You can check it on your phone and see everything you need. I do it all the time.
PLAN THE TIME TO PLAN
This sounds weird, but it is important to be self conscious that this is something you have to plan for. Otherwise you have no idea what to eat, your fridge is empty and you end up eating junk. Tried and tested. I usually reserve 2 hours on Sunday to go throug this process. This always ensures a successful healthy week ahead!
CHOOSE THE RECIPES
I grab my tablet and open the Kindle app where I organise all my ebooks by collections. I go to my cook books collection and choose one of my favorites, usually from JS Health or Deliciously Ella and swipe through the recipes to find something that matches my apetite and the ingredients I already have.
I make a plan from Monday to Friday only. This makes it easier. I leave weekends out because I either go out to eat or I’m at home and can easily put together a meal. Or both! For this I use my journal, but there are tons of nice planners out there if you want to keep it on your fridge.
In this planning I include what I’m going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and what the snacks are going to be. Planning healthy snacks is essential for me to avoid binging and snacking on junk. Some of my favorites are hummus with brow rice craker, a handful of raw nuts or one or two bliss balls. I keep them in a small jar in the fridge at the office, which is convenient. But if you don’t have a fridge in office you can take them with you together with your main meal.
Once I know what I’m going to be eating in the week ahead, I make a list on my phone (Google Notes app is fab), grab my grocery bag and go to the store and buy what I need.
Some products are hard to find in regular supermarkets, so maybe once every two or three weeks I make an order online to make sure I stock for those. The downside of this is that they pack everything in plastic bags and I really hate that cause it is not necessary! (RedMart, I’m looking at you).
Time is no excuse. If you plan for it, you have time to cook. Now the key here is to be smart and not cook just for one meal. Since you are at it, make a big batch. Do this everytime you cook. Make enough for at least two meals and you will be saving TONS of time.
Take a portion to office the next day and store the rest in the fridge for the next 3-4 days. If you are fuzzy like me and don’t like to reapeat meals so often, freeze the rest of the badge and take it out the following week or the week after that, depending on what you fancy eating. This will save you some cooking next time!
The key is to look forward to your yummy, healthy and nourishing meal. Put some love on it while you cook and when lunch time comes in office, your mouth will be watering thinking about the meal that is waiting for you.
MAKE IT A LUXE EXPERIENCE
Ditch the plastic and get a glass container. There is something so satisfying about eating from glass instead of plastic. It’s just a nicer experience and better for the environment. Glass containers will last you ages. Plastic ones, even BPA free ones, will get ugly soon and you won’t want to use them.
Also, take your food outside! Go sit in a park or anywhere you like. Get some fresh air and enjoy your delicious home made healthy food!
Do you take your own food to office? Any tips that work wonders for you? Please share them in the comments! 🙂