“You are what you eat.” Well, yes and no; the food you consume does become a part of you as you process and metabolize it, but put it this way, I’m by no means close to being a poached egg and toast (my usual breakfast).
That doesn’t mean you should run off and binge on that donut or pizza. While we may not physically turn into what we eat, it does physically and mentally affect us. Plenty a time I’ve had weekends of indulgence where carbs, sugar, alcohol, and fats are part of my main dishes; and although the moment I’m eating it feels like paradise, come Sunday night or Monday morning I’m, more often than not, regretting my choices.
Now, on the weekends I can take it; but the few times that it’s happened during the week, it’s no fun. Let alone fun, it’s not productive and my work isn’t nearly as good as it usually is. What I’m getting at is that it’s important to watch and be mindful of what we eat on a daily basis; not because of how we’ll look as much as because of how we’ll feel.
So what does the workplace have to do with it? A lot, actually.
Think about it, oftentimes when coworkers bring in goodies, they’re rarely fruits and veggies. Cakes, donuts, cookies, pizza, chocolates, and candy come to mind. And while yes, it’s okay to indulge every once in awhile, this shouldn’t be the norm.
In an article earlier this week, Jen Arnold from Redesigning Wellness said that a significant part of wellness in the workplace is about reducing the barriers so that making healthy choices is easy for everyone. If you have a plate full of sugary, carb-loaded, and fatty yet delicious foods, the choice to be or remain healthy isn’t easy.
The workplace is a space that can help us strengthen or break our habits. As a flexible workspace operator, you should find ways in which to strengthen those habits that have a positive impact on your member’s lifestyles. But it goes beyond that. We’ve extensively covered wellness this month in Allwork and we’ve discussed why wellness is a key issue that workspace managers should focus on.
Here’s a short recap: if members feel well in your space, if they feel productive, if they feel happy, they’ll keep coming back.
Now let’s go back to how the foods we eat affect how we feel. While each body and individual is different, there are some foods that are hard to digest for most people; these include refined products, fatty foods, fried foods, spicy foods, beans, among others. When your body is having a hard time digesting the foods you consume, you’re likely to feel tired and sluggish.
So back to your flexible workspace. What can you do?
Well, our suggestion is that if you’re offering snacks to your members, try to make them healthy snacks; snacks that will keep their brains working, the blood flowing, and the inspiration coming. Snacks and drinks that will help them feel well all day long. Good news is that there are healthy vending machine options out there, all it takes is a bit of research.
Take for example workFlow coworking; co-founder Debra Perlson-Mishalove told Allwork during an interview a few months back that in their space you will not find any junk food or sugary and salty snacks. “We usually have herbal teas, fresh filtered water, and fruit,” she says.
She also recommended that people switch up their salad for a warm cup of soup, saying that the soup takes less energy to digest than do the raw veggies in the salad.
Jen Arnold for her part, recommends that workspace operators steer away from offering starchy foods and juices during events. “During events, you want people to feel focused, creative, and energized. If you offer them foods that’ll make them tired, sluggish, or anxious, they won’t be focusing on the event and what’s happening or being said.”
Jen also talks about the importance of giving people breaks and enough time to eat. “You don’t want people feeling too hungry or too full. Make sure you space out the breaks and that it gives them enough time to grab a bite to eat or a quick snack.”
Snack Recommendations For Your Flexible Workspace Event or Party
Water instead of soda
Fruit infused water and soda water instead of juice
Coffee and tea
Fruits and veggies, but make sure the fruit is cut up nicely and ready to eat (“don’t make people work too hard for it”).
If you offer a salad, make sure it’s got some meat or protein in it.
Offer dessert option, but watch out for the size of the portion.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer chocolate and some other goodies every now and then; it’s about making sure your members and event attendees have the option to make healthy choices that will help them feel better, do better, and think better.