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Working Class Diner

Date: 10-11-2011

Dining in the workplace is often reduced to a quick inhalation of a soggy sandwich at the desk. Hunched over, many conclude lunch hour within minutes. Some meals are shortened, while others are eliminated altogether.

“When you eat less often, it does not mean you are eating healthier,” says Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian. “Check the nutrition information and pay attention to serving sizes to help you make healthy choices.”

The fast paced office environment oftentimes places food in the sidebar of the day, more as an afterthought than the main act. One-quarter of Canadians report visiting a fast food restaurant on a daily basis to save precious minutes of their days.
As Carol explains, Canada’s Food Guide is a great tool for following a healthy diet—at home or at work.
 
To keep up with an active and healthy lifestyle at work, Carol suggests following these tips:

• Have breakfast. Coffee alone does not constitute breakfast. Remember that it is the most important meal of the day. People who eat breakfast are more likely to meet their daily nutrient needs and maintain a healthy body weight. Aim to include three food groups, e.g., whole grain cereal, milk and orange wedges or a poached egg on whole grain toast and sliced tomatoes.
• Have healthy snacks on hand for your morning or afternoon breaks.
• Change your midday coffee break to a juice or fresh fruit break. If you choose juice, make it 100% fruit juice.
• Prepare healthy lunches at home so you are not faced with an empty lunch bag, an empty stomach and the temptation to pop out for a convenient burger and fries as a quick fix lunch.
• Bring a bag of baby spinach leaves, peppers, carrots and other veggies and leave them in the fridge at work, so you can prepare fresh salads at lunch.
• Bring fruits and veggies to work to snack on during the day.
• Make your lunch hour a sit down occasion and enjoy every bite.
 
More tips and ideas on planning healthy snacks while on the run are available online at healthcheck.org or you can download the Health Check Recipe Helper app. The free app—available in English or French—can be downloaded at the Apple, Android, and BlackBerry app stores or at www.heartandstroke.ca/mobileapps.
 
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