Dried Fruit & Nuts: The Salty-Sweet Fix You really can’t go wrong with dried fruit and nuts, which is essentially trail mix. This combo is chock-full of fiber from both fruit and nuts, as well as healthy fats and protein from nuts. Together, dried fruit and nuts provide plenty of vitamins and minerals to get you through that next stretch of work. Buy it: Back to Nature Harvest Blend trail mix Cubed Fruit Bowl: A Refreshing Morning Treat Sometimes, your stomach just can’t make that stretch between breakfast and lunch. When your belly starts growling at you mid-morning, treat it to a refreshing bowl of fruit to hold you over until noon. If fruit alone won’t cut it, add cottage cheese for an additional texture and flavor element, or sprinkle chia seeds on top for a crunch. For a protein boost, add some Greek yogurt and make it a parfait. Make it: You can cube or slice any variety of fruit to make your fruit bowl to taste, or you can purchase pre-made fruit bowls at most grocery stores. For a little inspiration, try this Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit Salad recipe from Cooking Classy. Roasted Chickpeas: Fiber-Rich Salty Snack When you want the savory mouthfeel of potato chips, but don’t want the questionable ingredients most potato chips are made with, try roasted chickpeas instead. This fiber-rich snack offers the same salty crunch, but with fewer calories and more health benefits: Because of their high fiber content, chickpeas can help with digestion, and their relatively high protein content (for a plant) can keep you full all afternoon. Buy it: The Good Bean Classic Hummus Crunchy Chickpeas Hummus and Veggies: A Healthy Crunch There’s really no downside to a snack that consists mainly of vegetables — all varieties of vegetables, starchy or not, provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients. One classic veggie-packed snack is raw vegetables and hummus. Make it: Simply chop up some vegetables and dip in your favorite hummus. Looking to make your own hummus? Try this recipe from Choosing Chia. Sugar-Free Meat Sticks: On-the-Go Protein Even when you work from home, you can still often feel like you’re on-the-go. Your “commutes” are just shorter… You know, from the office to the kitchen and back again. Next time you’re passing through the kitchen, get back to work quickly by grabbing a sugar-free meat stick, which can offer long-lasting satiety from protein. Buy it: Paleovalley 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks Popcorn: For a Long-Lasting Snack When you’re really feeling peckish — as in, you could peck at some snacks for an hour or more — keep it healthy and relatively low-calorie with popcorn. Popcorn is extremely volumetric, meaning it has a low calorie density, as long as you don’t slather it with butter. Plus, it’s rich in fiber, so go ahead and peck! Buy it: Try Angie’s BoomChickaPop Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn, which is one of the few brands that actually uses real butter and not “butter flavor,” whatever that is. If you prefer pantry popcorn, try Skinny Pop Original Popped Popcorn. Boiled Eggs: When You Need Some Protein Did you know that to facilitate muscle growth, you should eat at least 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each day? For a 150-pound woman, that comes out to at least 120 grams of protein. Amp up your protein intake with one of the simplest, most natural snacks you could possibly eat: hard-boiled eggs. Buy it: Of course, you can just boil eggs at home and keep them on-hand in the fridge (for up to a week), but if you really can’t squeeze in the time to boil (or you just hate peeling boiled eggs), try pre-boiled hard-cooked eggs, like these from Organic Valley. Avocado Toast: The “Duh!” Snack Avocado toast is the perfect mini-meal: Fiber from whole-grain toast and healthy fats from avocado quiet your hunger and give long-lasting energy to make it through the last stretch of the work day. Between the grains and the avocado, this snack contains ample B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and other essential nutrients. Make it: Fresh avocados and whole-grain toast are the minimum you need for this universally loved snack. To spice things up a bit, try adding some toppings, such as minced garlic, sliced radishes, a fried egg, pickled onions, crushed red pepper… The options are endless! For more ideas, check out these recipes by Cookie and Kate. Plantain Chips: For a Tropical Crunch What do you do when you want fruit, but also salt, but you’re not about to sprinkle salt on your fruit? Turn to fruit chips, of course. Plantain chips offer a salty, subtly sweet crunch — perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. Buy it: Artisan Tropic Plantain Strips With Sea Salt. These plantain chips are made with only three ingredients and don’t contain any hydrogenated oils. Turkey Jerky: Quick Protein Boost To be frank, it’s hard to find sugar-free jerky (turkey or otherwise) out there that isn’t in the form of sticks. If you’re looking for sugar-free, I’d go with the Paleovalley 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks listed above. However, if you don’t eat beef — or you just want some regular jerky — there are some low-sugar turkey jerky products available, and they can stand as a lower-sodium, still craveable way to get some more protein into your day. Buy it: Country Archer Hickory Smoke Turkey Jerky Seaweed Chips: For An Immune-Boosting Salty Fix Wait, seaweed chips? Yes, it sounds strange, but hear this out: Seaweed is extremely rich in antioxidants, which are known to keep your immune system humming along smoothly. Seaweed also contains ample tyrosine and iodine, both of which support thyroid function. On top of that, seaweed is a sustainable food source and it’s low-calorie. Buy it: Gimme Extra Virgin Olive Oil Seaweed Chips Leftovers: When You Need More Than a Snack News flash: Snacks don’t always have to look so snack-y. When you’re craving something more hearty — but don’t feel hungry enough for a full meal — simply heat up a small portion of leftovers. Not only can this satisfy your tastebuds, but it’s a good way to add more veggies to your day (let’s be honest: many of us only eat veggies at meals). Make it: Heat up whatever you have in the fridge! For a super quick fix, give your plate a spin in the microwave, but know that leftovers reheat just as well (and often better) on the stovetop, in an oven or toaster oven, or in an air fryer. Learn How To Meal Prep & Batch Cook With Us! Discover a simple strategy for meal prep that will show you how to cook once, with just a few simple ingredients in your pantry, and have a variety of healthy, delicious meals for days. 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Noom and WW (formerly Weight Watchers) are two trendy diets that have established their place as strongholds in the wellness and weightloss industries. These two diets are both scientifically proven to help people lose weight, though they use different approaches and focus on different aspects of healthy living.
Workplace stress has smashed through the barrier of office walls and crept into every corner of our lives. Burnout, although classified by the World Health Organization as an “occupational phenomenon,” bares its teeth in relationships, hobbies, and social lives. Ask any person you know in any profession, “How do you honestly feel today?” The answer is likely to include one — or all — of the following: tired, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, distant, irritable, lost, depleted. People consider it normal to work themselves into the ground each day, hardly ever coming up for air, let alone some alone time for relaxation. “Success” has become synonymous with “busy,” but that is not so — and it’s up to each individual to push back against that mindset by taking mental health days when they need them. What is a mental health day? A mental health day is simply a day you take off of work to recharge, re-energize, and revitalize. Mental health days can restore your creativity and work ethic, make you feel excited about life and work once again, and, perhaps most importantly, help you stave off burnout for the long term. Despite the fact that burnout has gained international recognition from health agencies as a bonafide issue, many people still find it difficult to take time off of work and take care of themselves — a serious problem when one-third of Americans say their job harms their physical or emotional health and 25 percent say that their job is the number-one stressor in their life. “It amuses me that mental health is still so elusive to us and that it continues to remain on the backburner,” Laura Rhodes-Levin, an anxiety therapist, tells Clean Plates. “ It is common knowledge that we should eat healthy and physically work out our bodies to keep ourselves fit and healthy. The same is true for mental health: It should be preemptive and preventive, not something we do when we are overcome with anxiety and/or depression or just plain burnt out.” And you need to reserve more than just your weekend, Rhodes-Levin says: “I believe the weekend is meant to provide rest, but most often, it is filled with catching up on your personal needs that you can’t take care of during the work week — so when do we actually get to fully refill our mental tank?” That’s where intentionally scheduled mental health days come in. How do I know if I need a mental health day? Burnout, stress, and anxiety look and feel different for everyone, but in general, the following symptoms can signify the need for a mental health day: A feeling of detachment from your work, especially work that you usually deeply care about Feeling resentful or cynical toward your work, workplace, colleagues, or superiors A loss of creativity, productivity, and focus Feeling lost on your path; wondering, more than usual, if you are in the right place You are constantly multi-tasking You have a short fuse and get irritated easily Sleeplessness or difficulty falling asleep at night Racing thoughts An immense feeling of overwhelm Panic attacks Chronic fatigue during the day Over-reliance on stimulants like coffee and energy drinks Lack of motivation to do anything other than what’s necessary Loss of interest in hobbies outside of work Caring less about your state of physical health Intense and constant food cravings Under-eating or over-eating Recurring headaches, colds, infections, or other minor health conditions But take it from the anxiety therapist: “I am hoping after reading this article,” Rhodes-Levin says, “That you are taking a mental health day before there are signs and symptoms — that you are refilling your mental tank while it’s still half full and not waiting for the orange emergency light to go on.” How to talk about a mental health day “Having to fake emergencies just doesn’t feel good inside our bodies and takes away from enjoying your mental health day,” Rhodes-Levin says. “It starts a whole line of thinking that can inhibit where you go and what you do on your mental health day because you’re afraid of who you might run into or who might see you.” Not every workplace is sympathetic to these sorts of things, however, trust your personal relationship and speak privately with the necessary parties about what you need. Regardless, asking for a day off shouldn’t need an excuse. If your situation is less than understanding, Rhodes-Levin says, try requesting the time off without being specific. Some helpful langue is to simply think of it as a “personal day off.” You are not obligated to explain what you will do with it. How to plan for and take a mental health day Like Rhodes-Levin noted earlier, taking care of your mental health means being preemptive and preventive. Scheduling regular mental health days, such as once per month or once per quarter, allows you to rest your brain periodically and manage work stress proactively. If you have a primarily independent job, such as something in a creative field, make sure you have important tasks completed or prioritized for completion when you return. If you have a job where someone depends heavily on you, such as an administrative job, inform your employer of your scheduled mental health days ahead of time. Let them know that you won’t be available for phone calls or emails on those days. If you do shift work, make sure you find someone to cover your normal shift. And if you need a substitute, such as if you are a teacher, secure your sub as far in advance as possible. What if I need a mental health day right now? If you were unaware of the signs of burnout — or perhaps you just ignored the signs — the need for a mental health day can really creep up on you. One moment you’re fine, and the next, well, you’re not. If you wake up one morning and realize you need a mental health day ASAP as in right this minute, just do it. Sure, it can be disconcerting to take a spur-of-the-moment day off of work. But work can always wait. Going to work is useless, anyway, when you’re operating at 1 percent productivity. So phone in and let your boss know that you won’t be coming in for personal reasons. If you are the boss or if you’re self-employed, shut down your computer, silence your email notifications, and get to relaxing. How to spend your mental health day So you secured the time off: Now you should spend it in a way that helps you recharge and regenerate so you can return to work feeling better than ever. Rhodes-Levin says, “It’s funny that we need to ‘do’ something. We have become ‘human doings’ rather than ‘human beings.’” So truly, you don’t have to do anything — the freedom comes in having the time to engage in anything you’d like. A therapeutic day is different for everyone. There are some things you might want to stay away from on a mental health day, particularly computer and phone screens. Other activities, such as exercise, are totally up to you. If you feel burnt out from your usual intensive gym routine, it’s okay (and probably necessary) to rest your body on your mental health day. But if you absolutely love a good long run, go for it! The key is to choose activities that will genuinely make you feel good and happy, and spend the day entirely on your own terms. As Rhodes-Levin puts it, “When it is all said and done and we hopefully live to a ripe old age, I imagine we will have spent plenty of time at work. Don’t wait until then to relax and enjoy your life.”
In this quick guide we cover what both diets are, what makes them similar and different, and which foods you can and can’t eat on each eating plan. So, whether you’re in the decision process of starting a new diet or want to learn more about these styles of eating, it’s critical to cut through the hype and dive into the truth about which diets you’re considering. Here are the basics.
Similarities, differences, and which is better for your goals.
The keto diet and a low-carb diet revolve around the same basic idea: Reduce carbohydrate intake to lose weight and improve health. Both diets are popular, both have been scientifically studied, and they share many pros and cons.
Work-related stress and anxiety are at an all-time high. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed burnout an official medical diagnosis. We often blame burnout on external factors, such as workload, relationships, and stressors as simple as rush hour traffic.
Add these ingredients to your weekly rotation for mental clarity and sharpness
You know the feeling: Staring at your computer screen, flipping back and forth between Facebook, email, and that thing you’re supposed to be working on… but not getting much work done at all. Brain fog can really put a kink in your day, or even your entire week.
There’s nothing not to love about a Mediterranean diet — these delicious ingredients and vibrant meals are associated with a longer lifespan, improved brain function, and reduced risk of chronic disease.