Over the years, I’ve become an expert at ketofying things. Seriously, I can find a way to make a keto version of anything. A large part of that is my imagination, and, of course, google. But, I owe my keto success in large part to the items I keep on hand at all times. These are those items *Law & Order voice*
Jk. Healthy habit dreams, anyway. Working in an office brings a unique set of complications to a healthy lifestyle; besides being a huge time-suck on your day, you have to contend with donuts in the breakroom, coworkers who want you to try their famous banana bread, and a 3 PM slump that has you searching for snacks, any snacks, ALL the snacks. And don’t get me started on the temptation to frequent one of the many restaurants within walking distance of your office that practically beg you to drain your paycheck.
Ok, this is getting a bit dark. Let me get to the bright light at the end of this tunnel.
So, what’s a Glow Getter to do in an office situation when trying to stay keto? Stock up on safeguards! As unorthodox as it sounds, I use my cubicle and office fridge to keep me keto at all costs. A little office prep goes a long way towards staying in ketosis and avoiding those snacktime regrets.
Check out my office essentials:
1 // A Refillable Water Bottle
How many times have you reached for a snack when a glass of water would suffice? (I hear you laughing, stop that. It’s true!) Often, our bodies mistake thirst for hunger. Before grabbing a bite to eat, I ALWAYS drink a cup of water first and see how I feel. Often, I’m not even hungry at all. In addition, I drink half my body weight in ounces of water per day, so having a good, refillable water bottle at my desk is a must. I usually aim to get in about 30-50 ounces each work day, depending on how much I had before I left the house. (Get bored with water? Try one of these cool water bottles that lets you add fruit infusions!)
2 // A Fun Mug
Let’s face it, sometimes you get tired of water—tea or coffee helps to break the monotony. And what’s better than drinking a nice glass of tea out of a fun mug? I keep an assortment of mugs at my desk, but that’s because I’m a hoarder. For you, one mug that tickles your fancy should suffice.
3 // An assortment of teas
You knew this was coming, right? Stock up on teabags to get that aforementioned break from water. I keep a variety at my desk, which could range from a green ginger, to dandelion, to ultra spice chai (a personal fave). And, unless you just need a good walk, skip the Starbucks when it comes to your tea leaves—a grande tea at the Bucks will run you about $3, which is the price of roughly TWENTY BAGS OF TEA at the grocery store. And if you really need that walk? Brew your tea in a travel mug and hit the road.
4 // Butter/Olive Oil/Emulsified MCT Oil
No, you don’t need all three, although I do have them at my desk at any given time. The point of keeping these at work is to help boost your fat quotient for the day. I lumped them together here because they’re sources of fat, but in reality I use each differently.
- Butter - Add this to a side of vegetables for a quick, high fat side dish, or drop a tablespoon in your coffee to make it bulletproof.
- Olive Oil - Sometimes, I just can’t get my lunch salad fatty enough. Enter the olive oil. I mix a tablespoon in with my salad dressing to add 14 easy grams of high quality fats. Boom.
- Emulsified MCT Oil - This one is oddly specific, I know. As you know, I’m a fan of bulletproof coffee/tea, which provides a good serving of fats to start the day and boosts your energy. However, mixing coffee at the office can get tricky and I am not here for the greasy coffee that results from undermixed bulletproof drinks. Emulsified MCT oil adds a creamy texture to your drink that you may be missing, while still adding all the benefits of MCT oil. Winning!
5 // Frozen Veggies
Look, sometimes you don’t meal prep. No judgment. On those days, it can be hard to stick to a keto plan when faced with all the options of restaurants and food trucks right outside your office. To combat this, keep a bag of steam-in-bag frozen veggies in your office freezer and serve them with a tablespoon of the aforementioned butter. For about $1, you can have two to three servings of veggies from that one bag, which is cheaper than anything else you’re going to buy around your job, I’m sure. Because keto is a moderate protein diet, you’re unlikely to be eating more than 4-8 oz of protein at a meal, and you can easily grab a protein from a nearby salad bar. Or, if you’re feeling really inconsiderate of your coworkers, also keep a can of sardines at your desk. (Again, no judgment. I’ve done this and have no regrets. #Omega3sFTW)
6 // Salt
In this culture of hypertension, many people are scared of salt. If you’re on a ketogenic diet that’s low in processed foods (as you should be!), then you shouldn’t be one of them. Most people on the Standard American Diet should avoid adding extra salt to their foods because their packaged foods are PACKED with sodium, but not you. Feel free to season your foods til your heart’s content, because you actually need that sodium when eating keto. In fact, I add about ¼ teaspoon to 16 oz of water everyday just to boost my electrolytes and keep the keto flu at bay. Try it!
7 // Snacks
Gotta have the snacks! Whether it’s from boredom or actual hunger, that 3 PM slump is real. Don’t let the afternoon lull tricks you into undoing all your hard work. Keep some snacks on hand to help ward off the breakroom goodies. Some of my favorites are almonds, cheese sticks, celery sticks and dip, or, when times get hard (aka shark week), sugarfree Reese’s. Now you know my darkest secret.
8 // Scale/Measuring Cup/Measuring Spoon
These are really optional, but as I mentioned in the pantry post, keeping track of what I eat is important to me. If you’re using oils or portioning out frozen veggies, you really want to know exactly how much you’re using and not guesstimate, which will help prevent carb creep and excess fat consumption (yes, there’s a such thing as too much!). If you’ve been keto for awhile, you probably can eyeball most portions, but these tools help keep you honest. I like to use this measuring cube that combines a measuring spoon and cup and fits nicely at my desk without making my cubicle look like a kitchen.
I know you’re wondering, does she really keep all those things in her office? Yes, I do! They truly help me stay on track through the times when office stressors are testing my willpower. Do you think it’s weird to stock your workplace with these items? Do you keep anything at work to keep you keto? Let us know in the comments!