How to Eat Healthy at Work

Joe Villegas

For parents, back-to-school means figuring out how to pack healthy lunches for the kids for the year. But what about yourself? How often do you find yourself eating junk around the office? How many times have you gone out to eat with coworkers only to find yourself pulling into McDonald’s? How many times have you asked yourself, “how can I eat healthy at work?”

Fortunately, there are simple strategies that can help you stay away from all the junk around the office. No more morning donuts, celebratory retirement cakes, and rifling through your coworker’s kid’s Halloween candy.

This October, the Princeton Adult School will host a course on nutrition, taught by Joe Villegas, a Crossfit coach, competitive strength athlete, and founder of Paragon Performance, which offers personalized fitness and nutrition coaching. Villegas has also managed to combine a career in the office as a strategic account manager at Trimble Maps (formerly ALK Technologies) with a healthy lifestyle. His course will dive into mindset, goal setting, and principle-based nutrition. The school will release information on this course and its other fall classes soon. Visit princetonadultschool.org for updates. Villegas is on Instagram at @paragon_performance and can be reached by email at theparagonperformance@gmail.com.

Villegas shared some workplace nutrition tips with U.S. 1:

Choose Whole Foods: That is, whole foods as in natural, unprocessed foods, not Whole Foods the expensive grocery store. The rule of thumb is that if it had parents, or it grew in the ground, you’re probably okay. Aim for foods like lean meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit.

By picking these natural foods you will not only be giving your body what it needs, you will also be choosing lower-calorie options by default. Unlike processed foods and fast foods that contain many oils and extraneous ingredients, whole foods give you exactly what the body needs to operate optimally.

Meal Prep and Plan Ahead: This may sound easier said than done however, getting into a simple routine of meal prepping can really take you most of the way. A study conducted by the National Weight Control Registry surveying tens of thousands of participants aiming to lose weight found that meal preparation is the single most effective tool at your disposal for staying on top of your weight.

Furthermore, it gives you a solid plan for when those unexpected work lunches and parties pop up. Don’t feel the need to overdo it. Use the whole foods mentioned in the first point above, then create some basic meals out of those building blocks that you’ll look forward to eating each day. For meal prep recipes, check out websites such as www.budgetbytes.com or google meal prep recipes to find some you like.

Go for 10-Minute Walks: Some of the best advice I can give you to complement your newly prepared meals is to walk for 10 minutes immediately after finishing them. A simple 10-minute walk either outside or around your building can make for a huge investment in your overall health and well being.

The post-meal, 10-minute walk has many benefits. First, it aids in digestion. Once you finish eating you can combat those feelings of being full simply by walking for 10 minutes. Second, it increases insulin sensitivity. This is extremely beneficial as it allows for improved uptake and usage of the foods you eat. Lastly, it keeps your metabolism burning hot. Extra activity such as walking is shown to account for up to 15 percent of your total calories burned for the day, where working out only accounts for roughly 5 percent. This is also known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

Beyond that, the 10-minute walks allow you to break up activity throughout the day versus have to find and commit larger blocks of time to exercising. For those with a busy lifestyle, this is a huge help.

In Summary: Staying healthy around the office can be extremely challenging. However, if you can stick to natural sources of food, plan ahead a little bit, and incorporate some movement throughout the day you will be making a huge investment in yourself. Strive each day to utilize these three tips, and the office junk will be a thing of the past.

Healthy Meals Supreme Delivers ‘Culinary Medicine’

Joe Martinez

Getting food delivered to your house doesn’t necessarily have to mean pizza or Chinese takeout, as a Carnegie Center-based startup company launched this year, Healthy Meals Supreme, aims to deliver healthy meal plans including specialized diets for certain medical conditions.

The food is delivered fresh each week in vacuum packs and is made according to what founder Joe Martinez describes as “scientific and culinary medical principles.” The service offers customized meal plans and provides a real-time nutritional calculator to help clients meet dietary goals.

The service is aimed at those who want to eat healthy but don’t have the time to cook, those for caring for aging parents who may not be able to prepare their own meals anymore, people who are having trouble following doctor-prescribed diets for a chronic condition, or for anyone who simply has difficulty following the directions of a dietician or trainer.

“We do all the shopping, nutritional calculations, measuring, and cooking for you. You save time and hassle — just ‘heat it and eat it’ — it’s that simple,” Martinez says. The service offers specialized plans for chronic conditions, simple healthy eating, diet and weight loss, fitness, and the high fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diet.

The service delivers to the Mid-Atlantic region including New Jersey.

Healthy Meals Supreme, 103 Carnegie Center, Suite 300, Princeton 08540. 888-422-6325. Joe Martinez. healthymealssupreme.com.

Chefs for Seniors Delivers the Chef, Not Just the Food

Seth Lefberg

There is a new healthy meal option for senior citizens: Monroe is now home to Chefs for Seniors, a national franchise that specializes in providing affordable, fresh, and healthy meals to senior citizens. Franchisee Seth Lefberg will launch his franchise in the Central New Jersey area.

Rather than delivering meals, chefs will visit clients’ homes and prepare meals that they can heat up for themselves as the week goes on. Plans begin at $145 for four entrees with 10 to 12 servings prepared during a two to two-and-a-half hour session. Clients select meals from a regional menu that can be customized to the client’s dietary preferences and needs. The process aims to be an affordable option for seniors who may want fresh home-cooked meals, but who may be physically unable to cook the meals for themselves.

“A visit from one of our chefs is about more than just food. We know our clients look forward to the social experience we bring to their home every week, and that’s the best part for us,” Lefberg said.

Lefberg is a business administrator with more than 10 years’ experience in managing medical practices that serve senior citizens. His business partner, Shachi Kaul, has more than 15 years’ experience.

Chefs for Seniors was started in 2013 by Barrett Allman and son Nathan Allman of Freehold. The Allmans were inspired by the needs of an older family member who couldn’t cook meals alone and had to enter into assisted living. Within the last year, the organization has expanded across the country.

For more information, visit www.chefsforseniors.com.

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