For raw foodists not fortunate enough to make their living working from home, it becomes necessary to find ways to maintain the diet and lifestyle in the work environment. This means sticking to their raw food intake percentage and doing it in a healthy and balanced way. There are a couple challenges when working in the office on the plant-based diet:
You may be tempted by refined sugar and refined carbohydrate “office-treats.”
You have to plan ahead (meaning you have to create more time) to think about and make food.
You have to have food and snacks in the office five days a week (i.e. you can’t run out of food and you can’t forget your food at home).
You have to deal with various social aspects.
There are many ways to successfully stay “raw” in the office. This is definitely a doable task. Tips and techniques will be given here, but the main idea is that in order to not go hungry in the office and succumb to random office treats, you will need to plan ahead. Planning is key when nutrition becomes such a high priority in your life. This isn’t a bad thing–it ultimately means you won’t be feeling bad about what you ate when you get home. You’ll have higher self-esteem and this will lead to more loving actions you will do for your being.
There are several different ways you can plan and prepare your at-work meals. The first, and most important, thing to do is to create a stash of dried foods and snacks in your desk, locker, car, or wherever you work. Some good ideas for this stash are goji berries or some other dried fruit, dried nuts and seeds, sea veggies, bee pollen, sea salt, and/or a jar of green powder (and a glass shaker jar). This food can be used as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, or for supplementing a plain salad that you didn’t have time to dress up. This stash will also come in handy on those days where you are hungrier than usual and have already eaten all the fresh food you brought for the day. Last, you will save valuable time spent planning and packing into baggies daily quantities of nuts, seeds , dried fruits , and/or sea veggies. Now you will have a 3-4 week supply of snacks there for you at work!
As long as you have some delicious raw options with you, you will be more immune to wanting to eat those office treats loaded with refined sugars and carbohydrates. Sure they smell great, but you know that what you have in your desk drawer, locker, or car will taste so much better! Even if it means having some raw chocolate or raw cookies nearby, it’s very important to have something with you that will satisfy you in the way cooked foods used to satisfy you when that craving hits.
Now, for the fresh food preparation. Although this can take some mental time, physical time, and muscle to carry to work, you CAN do it and it’s completely worth it. When you want to make the food will be up to you and your work/sleep schedule. Some raw foodists like to make the food in the morning because it will be at its freshest. Others may not have time in the morning and may prefer to make an extra large salad, or soup for dinner for the next day’s lunch. Here are some ideas of what you can make or bring for breakfast and lunch:
Fresh green juice
Green smoothie (60% fruit blended with 40% green leafy vegetables)
Superfood smoothie (with some fat and protein added to it like flax seed oil and hemp seed protein)
Fresh organic fruit
Big green veggie salad
Green soup with flax crackers
Raw entr?e (perhaps leftovers from last night’s dinner)
Now you can create your own combination depending on the below considerations:
1. Am I running on time this morning or running late?
2. What does my body feel like today? Examples would be: it feels like more liquids (smoothies and soups), it feels like more protein (hemp seeds, raw protein powder), or it feels like some extra superfoods.
3. What do I have to eat in my refrigerator?
All of this considered, if you are running late in the morning and didn’t have time to make anything the night before for lunch–no problem! Pack some clean fruit in a bag, grab a container of leftover salad or green soup from last night, and be out the door. If you have more time, you can still grab the fruit for breakfast and then make a superfood smoothie in the blender in 5-7 minutes throwing in fruit, greens, and a bunch of superfoods (some fat and protein of some kind should probably be in there as well to sustain you for the rest of the afternoon). If you are not running late and have some time to spare in the morning, you can make a green smoothie for breakfast and a superfood smoothie for lunch. You get the idea here. You can use clean, old glass jars full to carry your smoothies, soups, and juices around without fear of them leaking out.
More tips to save you time making your work meals are to: 1) Make everything in batches. It’s best to make more than enough food so you can eat the rest another day without having to go through all the prep and cleanup time again. This can apply to superfood smoothies, salads, green soups, and green juices (if you have a high-quality juicer that makes juice that lasts up to 48 hours). And 2) Bring a bag of organic fruit to the office on Monday’s and store it on your desk or in the office fridge (if there’s space). This way, if you’re running super late, or if you completely forget to bring your food with you, you’ll have some fruit to snack on when you get there.
Social aspects in the office don’t have to be a problem. Your boss and co-workers may tease you at first (or always) but be aware that they probably really respect and maybe even envy you on the inside. Working breakfast or lunch meetings can be a challenge-especially if you are drinking a jar-full of green smoothie in front of everyone. Or if you take 40 minutes to eat your salad while everyone else seems to be inhaling his or her sandwich and chips. Your options are to either eat before or after the meeting, or to just grin and bear it–the more sustainable raw foodist approach being the latter. You may as well enthusiastically tell everyone what exactly you are eating and drinking. They most likely have never heard of a raw-vegan diet. Who knows, maybe you’ll convert someone into raw foods, or at least green smoothies. You may even make yourself a new raw food office-friend!
Yes, it is a challenge to be raw when you’re away from your kitchen for 9-16 hours a day, but if you can master this, nothing will stand in the way of your health and nutrition goals. And if eating more raw foods means that you are more focused, energized, and creative at work, isn’t it completely worth it? Just remember that planning, making food in batches, and adjusting according to your schedule and body-intuition will be key in your raw success–at work and beyond.