As a teacher, one of the tough parts of improving your fitness is eating the right things at work. Unlike many other jobs, teaching causes you to be stuck in one spot for the majority of your day. Your schedule is not your own, and you are constrained to the bell schedule. This can make it difficult to eat right. And, since we know that what you eat is at least 80% of your body composition, this poses a big problem. Most of the time, what I, and my teaching friends, have done is stock our desks with convenient snacks that are already pre-packaged and easy. We make a Costco run and pick up some crackers, trail mix, etc. The problem with these snacks is they are loaded with empty calories, and because they are usually high in processed carbs, they will make us hungrier in a few hours. However, the fix is not that difficult. Here are three ways you can easily make your snacks more healthy.
1. Be organized. Again, a common theme in my writing. But, because teachers are stuck to their classrooms, it is critical that you plan ahead and have healthy snacks ready when hunger strikes. Fruit and veggies are always a great idea and you can prepackage them out on Sunday when you cook for the whole week. Simplify the process as much as you can. I would prepackage my snacks while my Sunday meal was cooking. This way, everything is done for the entire week when I’m done eating Sunday night. For more information on how to organize your food click here.
2. Fill Your Desk With Primal Snacks. Like I said before, most teachers’ desks are loaded with unhealthy snacks. And, we all have that co-worker, usually one of the counselors, that has a fully stocked candy jar on their desk. So, one of the few times you can leave your classroom, you are bombarded by temptation. That is why I love Trader Joe’s. They are the supplier of all my primal snacks. I stock up on their jerky (it seems to be less processed and have less chemicals than other more popular brands like Jack Links and Oberto’s). And, I have almonds or macademia nuts. Also, I have a container of dark chocolate covered almonds for when I really get tempted to break my Primal eating habits. The ones with sea salt are incredible!
3. Don’t Get Hungry. We have all been there, you are in the middle of teaching a lesson and your stomach starts to growl. You make bad eating decisions when you’re hungry. Snack throughout the day. I know everyone has heard different things on when and how much to eat. My basic rule is, if I’m hungry I need to eat. I try not to get too hungry, as soon as I start to feel hunger, I grab a hand full of macademia nuts and/or some beef jerky and eat it. I try to pick snacks that are higher in fat so that less of it will help me feel fuller. I need to add more fruits and veggies to my snacks, but I’m working on that.