How To Stay Healthy At Work
Most people go to an office to work and although it might seem like it would be neat to work at home—and for many reasons it is (working in bed, etc.)—it’s still fun to get dressed and go out of the house and be around people. Work outside the home is very social.
One of the upsides of not having to go to an office is that I can control my environment and make it optimally healthy. When you’re at work outside your home you really have to take on the hunter-gatherer persona. You have to plan a lot better, be on guard, and on the lookout. The idea of trying to do that can be deflating or draining. But if you decide to go for optimal health and you want to create an optimally healthy workplace, you’ll have a lot more quality of life and you’ll ultimately be happier. Here are some basics.
Avoid Sleep Deprivation
You can’t allow yourself to be sleep deprived and think that you’ll make it up on the weekend. You won’t, and you can’t. Avoiding sleep deprivation is at the top of the list because it’s such a common habit. You need to sleep to set the foundation of your day. If you have to be at work at 7 a.m. you have to go to bed by 9 p.m. That gives you two hours before you have to be at work to meditate, work out, eat breakfast, and get to work provided it’s relatively close by.
Getting enough sleep every night will support your health, allow you to be productive and give you a competitive edge. You'll also feel better and have more fun when you get off of work.
Eat a Substantial Breakfast
You need a balanced and rather large breakfast every day of real, living food. Including protein such as eggs. There are all kinds of options for quick breakfasts. Here are four breakfast ideas.
Breakfast Burrito: Scramble eggs. Toast a whole-wheat tortilla over an open flame or set on the electric burner. Put eggs in tortilla and grate in some really incredible cheese not American junk. Add salsa. You can also heat up black beans and leftover steak. Green juice 🙂
Grilled Cheese Sandwich: For those of you who didn’t live in a college dorm or hippie commune: Heat up a cast iron skillet. Generously butter two slices of whole grain bread. Put one on the hot skillet and mound some kind of really yummy cheese not American junk, on it. Top with the other slice and brown on both sides until the cheese is melted. Green juice 🙂
Eggs over easy with nitrate free bacon. Who can’t make this? Have some cornbread for a change for an infusion of magnesium—very good for your brain. Have some berries too. Green juice 🙂
European breakfast: Soft boiled eggs, Whole milk yogurt with homemade granola. Green juice 🙂
This is my own recipe for granola.
Hippie Girl Granola
You should adjust measurements to taste as this is one recipe that lends itself well to a little of this and a little of that. Multiply the recipe to fit your needs—granola freezes well.
1/4 cup each raw, organic pecans, walnuts, almond, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, or nuts and seeds of your choice
1 cup organic rolled oats
1 tablespoon cinnamon, or to your taste
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 cup organic currants
(or any dried fruit—figs, raisins, pineapple, apples, bananas)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/8 cup unrefined, organic honey
Pre-heat oven to 350°. In a medium-sized bowl, combine nuts, seeds, oats, cinnamon and allspice.
Mix honey into coconut oil until melted and then pour over and stir well.
Spread over a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Stir and bake another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in currants or other dried fruit. Cool. Keep in airtight container.
Bring Your Own Food
It’s okay to eat some of your meals in restaurants if you know how to choose. But it’s really hard to eat optimally if you eat out all the time. So try to take your own real food lunch and real snacks so you don't get stuck and are forced to eat cafeteria food or vending machine products.
You don’t have to limit yourself to sandwiches, which is not that over the top healthy. Bread is kind of an empty food unless it’s really great whole grain bakery bread, and you probably jumped at the grilled cheese sandwich at breakfast 🙂 Some ideas for lunches are:
Salad with a scoop of hummus and some grapes
Tuna salad with red onions. Have some fruit for your carb.
Chicken salad with apple slices
Chili with cubes of cheese and carrot sticks
Anything you had for dinner that you had leftovers
If You Can, Walk or Ride Your Bike to Work
Sitting is so fattening and so congealing. You need to move energy as much as possible during your day, even if you job forces you to be sedentary, like mine. Take the stairs even if it means going up and down all day. When at your desk, stand up, stretch, roll your head, touch your toes. When you walk through doors, pause at the door jam, grab with both hands and stretch your heart through. This will keep your upper thoracic spine from congealing as you hunch over your computer 🙂
Work Out Before or After Work
I only like to exercise in the morning; the habit is so engrained. So find where your comfort zone is for exercise and as much as possible incorporate whatever it is that you love to do into your workweek and weekend. Do this by scheduling exercise onto your calendar. When someone requests something of you, you can then say, “I've already got something at that time do you have any other options?”
Make Your Work Station a Toxin Free Zone
When you’re out of your own home you are at the mercy of 83,000 toxic chemicals, so it’s really good if you can be diligent about cleaning up your own work zone. If possible move to a window so you can have fresh air. Avoid air fresheners, hand sanitizers, and restroom soap. Bring a healthy kit to work with organic cleanser for your desk, organic soap (wash hands frequently), and organic hand lotion.
Keep Hydrated with Purified Water
If you’re sitting there dehydrating at your desk because you don’t want to run to the restroom, please rethink. Just because you’re not peeing in the fields doesn’t mean that your body’s water needs have changed. Drink one half of your body weight in ounces of purified water every day.
Invest in a home water purification system. Bring your own water from home in a stainless steel container.
Clear Your Mind
Take regular mind clearing breaks. Close your eyes and focus your mind on a mantra or on the four Buddhist Metta (loving kindness) phrases:
May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I be at ease
Play Nice with Others
Recognize that your coworkers have their own personal challenges and stress. Be kind, helpful, and forgiving. This will translate to lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system.
Enjoy your work as much as you enjoy your play.
Peace, Fun, Love.
Your girlfriend in health,