While our unstoppable drive for making the very best content might seem inhuman, we aren’t machines – at least for now – and as such need a constant source of energy to spark our inspiration and keep us delivering the quality material we’re known for. That’s why we’re pretty big snackers, but we’re not the sort to chomp through a bag of chips that actually does more harm than good; sugary treats might be good for a short-term boost of energy, but eating sensibly and healthily while working is much smarter since it maintains steady focus, concentration, and energy levels.
Of course everyone has their own preferences when it comes to snacking, but it’s not hard to find nibbles that are just as nutritious as they are tasty. With that in mind we’ve put together our collective team’s favorite work snacks. Who knows, maybe you’ll be compelled to prepare some of these for your own work day…
Raw Nuts and Seeds
Although munching on a packet of salted peanuts is irresistible, switching it out in favor of a bag of unsalted nuts and seeds is a much better and healthier choice. There’s a stigma against nuts and seeds, but the truth is that – so long as you really do opt for the salt-free variety – you’ll get protein, unsaturated fats, and plenty of antioxidants. Best of all, their slow-burn energy will keep you satiated for longer and able to focus on work without flagging.
A bowl of fruit is a staple in practically every office for a reason. These ready-to-eat bites provide a sweet treat to tide employees over through to lunch, and let’s face it the health benefits of fresh fruit have been well-documented for years. There’s plenty of variety, too, which stops the snack from becoming boring or repetitive, while it also has the ability to satiate – with apples, oranges, and bananas being the best in this regard.
Don’t get us wrong, fruit is always a good choice as a work snack, but sadly they don’t keep for too long, even if they are stored in the fridge. Dried fruits, on the other hand, not only last longer and have the same sweetness but they are also pretty chewy, making them an ideal – and healthier – replacement for chewing gum.
Contrary to popular belief, red meat is a healthy protein bomb. Admittedly bringing a medium-rare steak to your workplace would be weird, but having a smaller packet of beef jerky could do the trick. You’ll have to try harder to find jerky made with premium meat and without preservatives or flavoring, but if you do it’ll be a good treat to work with since the constant masticating will distract the brain just enough to facilitate greater focus on the task at hand.
The crunch of granola makes it a truly satisfying snack, so it’s important to remain vigilant and not go for that second bowl. Sadly, finding a healthy sugar-free option in stores is practically impossible, so some of us have taken to making it from scratch. It’s simple, too, just bake a mixture of whole oat flakes with coconut oil and honey for a few minutes, let it cool then serve with milk or yogurt.
This one is specific to our colleagues in Hungary since the chocolate-coated cottage cheese has been enjoyed in the country for decades. Admittedly it perhaps doesn’t sound very appealing at first and in truth there is a good amount of sugar in them, but they’re small enough for a quick burst of energy yet not so big to feel guilty about it. There’s plenty variety in the flavored versions, too, though the ‘healthy’ yogurt-coated alternative doesn’t typically appeal to purist túró rudi fans.
There is no better way of putting it: yogurt is the ultimate snack where nutrition and healthiness are concerned. Thanks to the probiotics found in yogurt – especially Greek yogurt – it’s the foundation with which all healthy eating can be based on. Definitely avoid those sugar-sweetened flavored versions though, instead mix in healthy options we’ve already discussed like fruits, nuts, seeds, or granola for a really delicious and filling midday snack.
Pastel de Nata
Another devilishly naughty treat, the famous Lisboan pastry is one of the popular elevenses bites for our Portuguese contingent of writers and editors. We won’t even begin to pretend that this one is even remotely healthy, but we all know that some days it can be hard to wake up in the morning, what better way to kickstart the working day than with this heavy yet sugar-filled guilty pleasure?
Chocolate gets a bad rap, but in all honesty it’s all the additives that cause the problem. Cocoa by itself actually has countless health benefits, but add in the sugar and large amounts of fatty cream or milk and it suddenly loses any value it might’ve had. Favoring dark chocolate is a nice way of balancing a sweet treat and the energy boost that comes with it without punishing the body too much; if you don’t mind the cost, the bitterness of 100% chocolate might be an acquired taste but still provides the same satisfied feeling.
One for the winter months, this. A bowl of warmed oatmeal not only provides the slow-burn energy to last the whole morning until lunch but it is incredibly healthy, too, full of fiber to help lower cholesterol. Those prepacked microwaveable sorts are great for a quick and easy treat, but they’re often sugar-enhanced with unnatural flavorings. It’s just as easy to buy fine oat flakes, heat it together with some milk and add honey, fresh fruits or even Dutch cocoa powder to enhance the taste.