Lifestyle, Motivation, Nutrition

So Long, Vending Machine

It’s time to end this. You’re sweet and all, but I just don’t think this relationship is healthy. I feel good for a little while and then I feel guilty. Plus, my jeans aren’t fitting anymore. It’s not me, it’s you.

Vending Machine

Think of this as your “Dear John” letter to…the office vending machine. If 2013 is your year to “break-up” with bad habits, then it just might be time to send the vending machine packing. Unless your office is fortunate enough to have a vending machine with fresh produce and other nutritious snacks, most machines are filled with sugar, sodium, and ingredients lists that go on for days.

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up the foods you love—not even the occasional candy bar or bag of chips. After all, here at TOPS, we believe that all foods fit…in moderation. This just means that you have take time to plan ahead, so that you’re not stuck with a sugar high. Packing your own snacks in reusable containers is a great way to manage portions and ignore the call of the vending machine. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Cocoa-roasted almonds and dried cranberries: This satisfies your sweet tooth without the side of guilt.
  • Ants-on-a log: Not just for kids anymore. All you need is celery, almond or peanut butter, and dried cranberries or raisins.
  • Low-fat string cheese and crisp-bread crackers: This is perfect for when you’re in the mood for salt. Plus, the crackers add fiber to your day.
  • Turkey jerky, almonds, and dried fruit: This is a filling snack and gives you a sweet/salty fix.
  • An apple with a tablespoon of light, whipped cream cheese: A fiber-friendly snack with a twist.

Finally, if you really, really have a craving for something in the vending machine, split it with a coworker and don’t beat yourself up for it. After all, you’re human, and if all you truly want is a piece of chocolate, all of the almonds and dried fruit in the world probably won’t make up for it. Over the next month, experiment with your own nutritious snack combinations to help you find what you like best. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to making 2013 the healthiest year yet…and the vending machine will be a distant memory.