Eating Right at a New Job

I haven’t posted in a few days because I started a new job on Monday. It’s a great opportunity that gets me back into a more technical role in IT, and I am very excited to be starting this new chapter in my career. What it’s also brought, however unintentional, is a new level of stress, not only about the job and my getting “Snapped in,” as we called it in the Marines, but also with the food choices I’ve been presented with.

I started my first week by being in five hour meetings in which lunch is served. I literally went straight from new employee orientation to a meeting without even seeing my office first. At that first lunch, it was catered by Freebird’s which is a burrito place, kind of like Chipotle. It was easy enough for me to find good food, because I just had some beef and chicken fajitas with some grilled onions and peppers with a dollop of guacamole. The second day, however, was impossible: Philly Cheesesteaks. There was no healthy option available. I had to eat half of a Cheesesteak sandwich. Fortunately, it didn’t affect me too much, but it did leave me feeling hungry since I tried to mitigate the negative impacts by eating so little. Fortunately, I had a good dinner at home complete with a chocolate chia pudding!

Wednesday, my new manager took me and our team out for a welcome lunch for me, and we went to a Persian restaurant which had some amazing and delicious healthy food choices. I can’t remember the name of the dish I ate, but it was basically steak cut into cubes and grilled on a skewer with vegetables. I asked for a salad in place of the rice, and they happily complied.

Today, I brought my lunch. I’m in another all-day meeting that is catered, but I found out that the catering is by Firehouse Subs, which I really used to love, but is completely incompatible with my diet. I won’t lie when I say that I’m going to be a little sad that I can’t partake in the subs, but it is made all that much easier when the food I have is incredibly delicious and healthy. I also brought a little bit of that chocolate chia pudding that my wife made as a little dessert.

My unhealthy work lunch mitigation methods are:

  1. Pick and choose the parts that are healthy and leave the parts that are unhealthy.
  2. If you can’t pick a healthy part, eat a very small portion (enough to keep you from feeling hungry until you can get a healthy meal in).
  3. Bring meals from home when you know the catered meal is going to be unhealthy.
  4. This is the option I wish I had on Tuesday: make sure you have RXBars or Epic Bars or Larabars (or something you like) that you can eat in place of a catered meal if you were unable to bring a prepped meal with you.

Between those four options, I can get through just about any situation. Obviously, some are better than others, but the fact remains that you can get through any meal situation with a little planning.

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