Getting the right balance of nutrients during a day in the office is so important for keeping you at your healthiest and most alert. If you eat right, you should avoid that mid-afternoon concentration slump and be powering through until home time!
Here's a quick look at the type of food Nutracheck nutritionist Emma Brown general munches on during a day at the office - and the reason for her choices.
Vegetable crudités & mixed nuts
(200 kcals & 9g fat)
I always try to have at least one portion of my 5-a-day with each meal and snack to make sure I reach my quota each day. So mid-morning is usually vegetable crudités which provides at least 2 servings. These are great as they're so low calorie, so I can munch on a big plateful at my desk and it lasts me ages. Carrots, celery and peppers are a good source of fibre, water, vitamin A and C - so an excellent snack choice. As well as this I'll have a handful of mixed nuts to provide some protein and good fats. These really help to fill me up and keep me going until lunchtime.
Other mid-morning snack choices would be a piece of fruit and a nutty cereal bar - but I sometimes find these don't keep my energy levels as stable, as many cereal bars can be quite high in sugar. But variety is a key part of a healthy and happy diet, so I like to mix it up!
Wholegrain rice & roasted vegetable salad, an apple
(330 kcals & 7g fat)
I always prepare my lunch at home and will usually cook a few days worth on a Sunday evening. I choose wholemeal carbohydrates with plenty of vegetables to give me a good dose of fibre and another portion of my 5-a-day. High fibre and protein based is important for me as it keeps me feeling full and satisfied for a while. This particular lunchtime was a wholegrain rice and roasted vegetable salad, with low fat feta - for added protein! I cooked the rice in a little vegetable stock for added flavour and seasoned it all with black pepper and coriander - yum! This high fibre lunch really fills me up and keeps me going well into late afternoon. I'll have a piece of fruit straight after my lunch for another 5-a-day portion, but also because I always crave something sweet to signal the end of my meal!
Rice cakes with low fat cream cheese & cucumber, a low cal hot chocolate
strong>(190 kcals & 4.5g fat)
I like to have some slow energy releasing carbohydrates mid-afternoon to give me a boost, but without the energy dip later - so wholegrain rice cakes are a great choice. I top these with low fat cream cheese - calcium source - and some cucumber slices to squeeze in another portion of my 5-a-day. I'll often have a low cal hot chocolate late afternoon too for a sweet treat to keep me going - at just 40 calories, it's a great little chocolate fix!
Another mid-afternoon snack choice for me would be chopped fresh fruit with low fat natural yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon - a good source of calcium and vitamins, plus another 5-a-day serving.
But I'm not opposed to the odd slice of cake or chocolate biscuit. I recently had a mid afternoon coffee shop trip with my mum where I indulged in a slice of dark and white chocolate cheesecake at 420 calories - worth every one! At times like these I compromise by having a fruit tea instead of a milky coffee - it's all about balance!
On top of this I'll have approximately 3 cups of tea and two pints of water throughout the day to keep me well hydrated.
Nutritionist Emma Brown, MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.