Eating 9 to 5: Eating well at work

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Many of us spend a significant amount of time at work. Whether you work weekdays from 9 to 5, or shift work, it can be a challenge to make healthy food choices. Read on for some tasty tips that will help make planning workday meals a breeze!


Brown Bagging It

Save money and time by bringing lunch from home.

·         Add healthy lunch items on your grocery list so you have them on hand.

·         Pack your lunch the night before when you are less rushed.

·         Pack a variety of healthy foods so you don’t get bored. Include fruit and vegetables, protein and whole grains.


Build a Better Sandwich

·        Use different whole grains for your sandwich (breads, bagels, tortillas, pitas or rolls).

·        Jazz up sandwiches with honey mustard or salsa.

·        Have some protein to keep you full. Choose nuts, seeds, nut butters, hummus, canned fish, meat, eggs or cheese.


Vibrant Veggies

Add flavour with vegetables or fruit. Put them in containers and add to your sandwich just before eating, or have them on the side. Try purchasing pre-cut vegetables and fruit to save time in the morning.

·        Cucumber, celery, peppers, tomatoes or grated carrot

·        Lettuce, salads or coleslaw

·        Cut-up apples or grapes


Lively Leftovers

Get out of the sandwich rut by packing leftovers for lunch. Try chili, vegetable soup, spaghetti, baked beans, pizza, casseroles or stir fries.


Variety is the Spice of Life

Make lunch interesting by combining small items. Here are some ideas:

·         Pancakes, fruit and yogurt

·         Melba toast, cheese and grape tomatoes

·         Pasta salad, canned fish, milk and fruit

·         Hard cooked egg, whole wheat crackers and yogurt

·         Pita, hummus and veggies

·         Pop crisps from Sobeys bakery, nut butter and banana


Save Room for Snacks

Small snacks give you energy for a busy day.

·        Have a snack if meals are spaced more than 3-5 hours apart.

·        Put snacks on your grocery list so you have healthy items on hand.

·        Beware of empty calorie snacks like baked goods, chips or chocolate.

Eating a variety of healthy foods will give you the energy you need to get through a busy work day. All it takes is a little planning!

Hungry for more? Like @SobeysDietitian on Facebook and Twitter for more tasty tips & recipes or receive our schedule of events and Healthy Bits & Bites Newsletter directly to your inbox! Register at

Contact Teresa at 902-755-3645 or to receive more information on nutrition classes, workplace wellness sessions and nutrition consultations.


Try this recipe for Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps:

Serves 6
⅓ cup 75 ml Almonds, sliced
1 tbsp 15 ml Peanut oil
1 lb 454 g Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cubed
¾ cup 175 ml Mushrooms, fresh, chopped
227 g Water chestnuts, canned, drained and diced
1½ tsp 7 ml Gingerroot, minced
2 tbsp 30 ml Rice vinegar
2 tbsp 30 ml Soy sauce, sodium reduced
2 tsp 10 ml Corn starch
1 tbsp 15 ml Brown sugar
2 cloves Garlic, minced
¼ tsp 1 ml Crushed red pepper flakes
1½ tsp 7 ml Peanut oil
1 cup 250 ml Carrots, matchstick
½ cup 125 ml Green onions, chopped
12 leaves Boston lettuce

1. Toast almonds in a dry pan on medium high heat until fragrant. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp peanut oil in a large frying pan. Add cubed chicken breast and cook until browned slightly, about 3 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms, water chestnuts and ginger. Cook for another 4-6 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Set aside.
4. Whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch, brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes and remaining oil in a small bowl. Stir in the carrots and onions and pour over chicken mixture.
5. Spoon 2 tbsp mixture into each lettuce leaf and top with toasted almonds.

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories 189
Fat 7 grams
Carbohydrate 11 grams
Fibre 2 grams
Protein 20 grams
Sodium 263 milligrams
Tip: Add in some yellow and red peppers for a pop of color.
Source: Sobeys Dietitians