I’ve said it before, the office I work in is a carb minefield. Not just sweets people bring in, but multiple delis (the DC kind of deli, which wouldn’t last two weeks in New York because of the slow service and bland food), bagel and coffee shops. The fruit and vegetable selection in these places are always sketchy – a lot of bananas @the counter about an hour or so from going bad being sold for $1 each, for example.
Produce options @work are not that appetizing for a produce lover like me. It’s even more painful because I’m from Northern California and I was used to going to side-of-the-road produce stands and getting the best as well as the closest since the local stands were operated by local farmers.
Just because I don’t like the options I still need to have fruits and vegetables in my daily office diet. So here’s what I do:
- Dried fruit: these options can be sugary, but the flip side is that you just need a small amount to get a serving of fruit. I’ve also been looking carefully @the ingredients to make sure the sugar in the dried fruit isn’t corn syrup. Trader Joe’s has been a reliable provider. I’ve been combining them with nuts to make my own trail mixes as well as putting them in oatmeal and yogurt.
- Pumpkin butter: I heart pumpkins, any time of the year. Plus pumpkin is really good for you. I’ve discovered pumpkin butter in plain yogurt is very yummy. Here is a recipe to make your own out of canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling).
- Jarred peppers, tapenades, etc: I’ve been adding these to sandwiches instead of using mustard, mayo, etc. Even better, the Giant across the street from my office has been having a good clearance sale on stuff from the international aisle, so I’ve been getting them @half price.
- Small salads: speaking of Giant, a couple times a week I load up on light items from the salad bar – mostly spinach, peppers, and mushrooms. I rarely spend more than $1 on this combo. If I have some microwave noodles I’ll throw the salad bar mix in before microwaving.
- Citrus: oranges last a lot longer than things like bananas and apples. I’ve been bringing in one or two from home every day. We’ve been buying them in 5 lb. bags so it’s pretty cheap, even @Whole Paycheck.