Two Strategies for Staying Healthy and Managing Food Intake While Working at Home

https://carolbrusegar.com/healthy-at-homeManaging food intake can be a challenge for everyone who works at home, whether as a virtual employee, an entrepreneur, stay-at-home parent, or retiree. Many more people have experienced this during the nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “pandemic 15” (or 20) became the descriptor of the pounds that crept onto many of our frames, tightening our waistbands and expanding our muffin tops.

There are countless resources for weight loss, healthy meals, and increasing our physical activity. Here I will focus on a couple of simple strategies – increasing water intake and managing food intake with easy, healthy snacks for between meals and in the evening.

Water Intake

Focusing on our water intake and minimizing the consumption of high-sugar beverages is a simple strategy that has multiple benefits. We need a minimum intake of 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Our bodies need water to function optimally. This includes our immune system and cognitive function. The water also fills us up and makes us less vulnerable to overeating.

Here are some ways to increase your water intake every day.

  • Drink Water Before Every Meal, Snack and Cup of Coffee or Other Beverage
  • Make Infused Water – It adds flavor and may make drinking more appealing. The simplest way is to add wedges of lemon or lime to your water after squeezing some of the juice into your glass. You can also experiment with fruits, vegetables and herbs to find flavors that you especially enjoy.  Read more about doing this here:  https://carolbrusegar.com/infused-water-for-health/
  • Choose a Cup or Bottle You Love to Use – It’s not just appearance, but functionality. You want it to be easy to hold onto while walking. When you drive, you want it to fit perfectly in your cup holder. Depending on your activities, you may want other features. For example, if you bike, you may want a tight lid, but one that is easy to pop off when drinking while riding. You also want the size that contains the amount of water that you need.
  • Limit Other Drinks You Consume – You can still consume juice or soda occasionally but get in the habit of going first for water when thirsty.
  • Dilute Juice When You Have It – If you add 4 ounces of water to 8 ounces of juice, you are adding to your day’s water intake as well as reducing your calories, carbs and sugar for that drink.
  • Enjoy Fruits and Veggies With High Water Content – More on this below.
  • Try Some Water Drinking Reminders Throughout Your Day – If you get into the habit of drinking a glass of water in connection with things you regularly do, you won’t forget to drink enough water. For example, drink a glass of water:
    • Before every meal, snack and other beverage as mentioned earlier
    • When you wake up
    • Before or after walking or workouts
    • After every trip to the bathroom
    • Every time you enter your office or home

Snacks Between Meals And In The Evening 

Working at home means there is food within a short walk from our workspace. Managing our food intake is more of a challenge since it’s so easy to access snacks. You can easily justify the snack as a break to clear your head, a palliative when you are stressed, or a simple craving that’s simple to satisfy by grabbing a favorite treat. We can meet those needs and avoid unhealthy options by planning ahead and choosing from options like these:

  1. Raw veggies – cucumbers, mini carrots, celery, radishes, broccoli, bell peppers (red ones have the highest nutritional value), cauliflower, grape or cherry tomatoes. Wash, cut and store ahead of time so they are as easy to grab as chips, crackers or cookies.
  2. Fresh fruit – apples, pears, bananas, berries, cherries, kiwi, melons. Again, have them ready to grab if possible.
  3. To add protein, consider cream cheese on cucumbers, celery or peppers or peanut butter on apples or celery.  Or dip veggies in guacamole or hummus. The taste boost these provide can make them a treat.
  4. Other protein snacks include cheese, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, healthy beef jerky or beef sticks which are satisfying and filling.
  5. Olives and sun-dried tomatoes are additional options, along with air-popped popcorn which offers fiber.

Together, high consumption of water and managing our food intake between meals and in the evening can help us be healthier and control our weight when working at home. Exploring new options and combinations can be an adventure and give us greater satisfaction than focusing on what we can’t or shouldn’t consume.

Get started on this path by adding the snacks you want now to your grocery list and exploring the Infused Water Pitcher options available. These pitchers allow you to experiment with various combinations of flavors of water. Find one that appeals to you here:    Infused Water Pitchers

 

I’m Carol Brusegar, author, photographer and curator of information. My focus is on gathering and writing on topics that enhance all our lives – regardless of our age. Topics include health and wellness, personal development, innovation and creativity, and a variety of helpful, practical tools and practices. I have a special interest in helping people over 50 years of age to create their 3rd Age – the next stage of their lives – to be the best it can be.

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Thanksgiving Ideas, Resources, and Gratitude (With a Free Gratitude Journal)

Planning for ThanksgivingThanksgiving 2021 is a shaping up as closer to what we used to have, since many of us are now vaccinated. Precautions are still very important and we can make modifications that will keep us safer and perhaps even discover things we enjoy that we’ve not done before as we gather.

Last Thanksgiving I shared a collection of online resources to engage and entertain children and the whole family for the day and the entire weekend. There are great things to download and print, games, learning opportunities, recipes, and more. Plan for enjoyment:   https://carolbrusegar.com/thanksgiving-free-online-resources-entertain-family/

Gratitude is Powerful

Through these past months of the pandemic, everyone has had their life disrupted in some ways. The severity of that impact has varied greatly. All of us feel loss of a variety of people and things. There’s a lot of pain and sadness, depression and anxiety. Many of us will find it more challenging to be thankful right now. Yet the very intention to identify, acknowledge and celebrate can be therapeutic in the midst of extraordinarily challenging times.

Gratitude is powerful. It can shift our thoughts and mindset and open us to more positives. It can inspire us to do things to enrich others’ lives. Expressing our gratitude to people who have enhanced our lives and supported us through difficult times helps both us and those to whom we communicate.

Adela Rubio describes 3 reasons that gratitude shifts our energy: It shifts your focus to the present moment, creates a new orientation, and establishes a indelible connection with Source. “Gratitude is a powerful transformation tool. It changes you and the world you live in!”  https://adelarubio.com/3-reasons-gratitude-shifts-energy/#

Perhaps there is no more important a time than this to structure a gratitude time into our lives. It can be as simple as having a small notebook or some paper clipped together where you write five things each day. As the days pass and you look back, you can see where you have been and what has touched you. Another approach, recommended by Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD and professor at the University of California Riverside, is a weekly gratitude exercise. Once a week, perhaps Sunday evening, reflect upon and write down five things for which you are grateful. For some, daily expression becomes boring and routine; weekly can be more meaningful.

Or you can take a more structured approach with prompts for you to write about each day (or less frequently but regularly). I offer you this free, directly downloadable 30-day Gratitude Journal to get started (or to resume a left-behind practice).  30 Day Gratitude Journal

Z. Colette Edwards, MD, MBA has written a post that includes multiple aspects of gratitude. It was written this year and reflects our current reality in the midst of the pandemic.  Dr. Edwards is a physician and life/executive/wellness coach who blends traditional medical and integrative perspectives in her work.

Dr. Edwards includes a list of 20 Ways to Celebrate Gratitude which focuses on things we can do to express our gratitude to others, which has benefits for both ourselves and the recipients. For example, “Email or text notes or drawings to healthcare workers” or “Verbally thank the grocery store clerk who is stocking shelves non-stop or checking one customer out after another, and thus putting themselves at risk.” Here is the full post: https://peopletweaker.com/hcr-blog/gratitude-during-difficult-times/

Yes, it is a Thanksgiving like no other. Cultivating gratitude in yourself and encouraging it in others can be a powerful positive force now and for the weeks and months ahead.

Here’s a book with 105 short essays on gratitude. Each is written by a different author with a unique perspective and story. It’s a great thing to pick up and read an essay or two when you need a boost.  A Gift of Gratitude

 

I’m Carol Brusegar, author, photographer and curator of information. My focus is on gathering and writing on topics that enhance all our lives – regardless of our age. Topics include health and wellness, personal development, innovation and creativity, and a variety of helpful, practical tools and practices. I have a special interest in helping people over 50 years of age to create their 3rd Age – the next stage of their lives – to be the best it can be.

        Follow me on Twitter!     Follow me on Instagram!   Follow me on Pinterest!    Follow me on Facebook!         Visit my Etsy Shop!