For many of us, this lockdown period is a new experience. Home office work might be new to many of us, but it’ll most likely become more common in the future. 

Check our blog: Healthy Habits working from home if you need more inspiration on how to make the most of it.

Whilst you can’t go out to your usual cafe or take away store, it is your opportunity to nurture yourself with proper healthy food. Let’s have a look at what easy prep healthy snacks for the work desk you have. 

Nuts as your go-to snack

Snack nuts at your desk instead of sweets

As they don’t require cold refrigeration, nuts are a great healthy snack to keep at your desk. 

There are many options to choose from: almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc. They all come with slightly different properties, but all have multiple health benefits. 

Be aware, we’re easy to manipulate. A lot of ready available nuts in the supermarket are crunchy and salty (like many highly processed snacks). Due to the added ingredients, you don’t want to stop eating them!

TIP: The key with nuts is to get raw and unsalted whenever possible. Why? Because those have less palatability, which means that they don’t overstimulate your rewarding receptors in your brain and you won’t eat too many of them. Which makes it healthier overall. 

 

Fruits

Most nutritionists would agree that fruits are recommendable for pretty much everyone. The best options are whole, fresh seasonal fruit.

Have a look here for seasonal fruits. If your budget allows you, try organic and from local farmers who are usually better priced than supermarket fruits. 

You can try any fruit, however, there are some key aspects to consider: 

  • If your main goal is to lose weight, prioritise those with a low glycemic index: mandarines, avocado, apple, grapefruit and all the berries (blue, black, strawberries and raspberries)
  • If you want to gain muscle mass and you are an active person with good insulin sensitivity you can opt for higher fructose (fruit sugar) options: melon, bananas, pineapple, grapes. 

Which fruits to avoid?

Not necessarily eliminate, but keep an eye on the amount you eat of dried fruit. As well as jams or juice as they all have the nutritious satiating fibre removed and you might get an unnecessarily high dose of fructose. 

Additionally, in New Zealand, we have a small range of juices that do not contain preservatives and/or added sugars. Check the label before you buy. 

 

All-time favourite: Greek Yogurt

How about combining the nuts and fruits with some greek yogurt and a bit of honey for your morning snack. 


The yogurt contributes with probiotics (good bacteria) for the proper function of your gut, whereas the honey provides a nice amount of amino acids, minerals, vitamins and polyphenols (antioxidants).

If you are lactose intolerant you can try coconut yoghurt instead. 

The presentation can make all the difference

If you have time (and yes, with this lockdown you might well have) you can prepare your snacks to satisfy your eyes as well. 

What about:

  1. Carrot sticks dipped in Guacamole.
  2. Skewers of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
  3. Apple slices topped with unsalted peanut butter.

All of those options are good for you. Just test and try what you like to combine.

 

Chocolate (dark)

Yes, you are in for a treat and it’s not a joke. You know it, right?!

Dark Chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate

Dark chocolate could be a healthy option to snack. It comes with quite some positive attributes

  • provides antioxidants, 
  • reduces insulin sensitivity, 
  • improves lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides levels)
  • improves cognitive capacity.  

The key consideration, it’s the dark chocolate that has at least 85% cocoa and above that comes with all the benefits.

Remember what we talked about palatability before? It’s the same, minimum amounts of sugar, and usually, no flavours mean that you usually won’t eat unnecessary high amounts. 20 gr a day is fine, which is around 2 pieces – just don’t eat the whole block! 

 

And what about drinks? 

Water should be what you drink the most on a daily basis as it is what we have been drinking for millions of years. Coconut water is another healthy option providing good amounts of electrolytes and vitamins. 

Two to three litres per day should be your minimum fluid intake. Don’t worry too much about quantities, if you are thirsty, just keep drinking water, keep it simple! 

Yes, you can have your coffee and tea, but be aware that too much caffeine is not good for your body. Sugarless tea is a better alternative for your caffeine intake.

(Note: You can drink too much, more than 5-6 litres daily can have adverse effects.)

 

Use this time at home to create great habits

Now that you are spending more time at home, there are no temptations, no vending machines, no take away places, nothing. It’s just you going to the supermarket to get your healthy foods (and probably toilet paper ;)). 

Tip: Keep the snacks in your kitchen, not at your desk. Otherwise, you would probably eat more than you really need. Just head to the kitchen, prepare a little plate or bowl with your healthy snack and get back to your office desk

 

Use this time wisely to make the right choices and break away from old habits! You can do it!