This roundup of tips for eating healthy while working from home are inspired by my inactivity and fear of gaining 100 pounds! But, luckily, I’ve actually lost weight since I went fulltime a year ago.
Before the tips, quip:
“Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal; let it sleep in your drawer a twelvemonth; never venture a whisper about it to your friend, if he be an author especially.” ~ A. Bronson Alcott.
Fellow scribes, I’ll let you chew on the “never venture a whisper about your writing to other authors” bit – and I’ll focus on the “sleep and digest your writing” part. Here’s a tip for healthy eating while working from home: savor your meals in silence, without reading or flipping through a magazine. Let your mind digest your writing and solve your article or plot problems…let your mind wander as you really taste your food.
For more info on working from home, click on From High Heels to Bunny Slippers: Surviving the Transition from Career to Home (Capital Lifestyles) by Christine Conners.
And, read on for my and other writers’ tips on eating healthy as a fulltime writer…
10 Tips for Eating Healthy While Working From Home
1. Stand while you write. My biggest complaint about writing from home fulltime is the constant sitting. It’s bad for your digestion, glute muscles, and back…so I stand! Darling hubby Bruce built me a special wood tabletop for my laptop to rest on, at the perfect height. Underneath is an open space, perfect for storing book and papers. And, sitting is a “break” or change of scenery, which encourages me to write more.
2. Never eat at your computer. The one and only time I caught Bruce eating chips at my laptop…suffice to say one of us was banned from the computer for 12 years – one for every chip consumed – and it wasn’t me! When you eat at your computer, not only are you completely distracted from what and how much food you’re putting in your mouth, you also run the risk of spills and splashes. This tip for healthy eating while working from home serves two purposes: it keeps your computer clean and your body healthy.
3. Plan meals the night before. Lynne S. Beach seconds the above, and advises writers to plan snacks and meals in advance. “For lunch, I’m having a turkey sandwich instead of waiting until I’m starving and grabbing ‘fast crap’,” says this part-time pharmacist, who is breaking into the writing world – and who is “typing while shoving jelly beans into pie hole” (not a recommended tip for healthy eating while working from home! ).
4. Deal with your insecurities. I used to get anxious when given a big assignment (if an editor is paying me $2 per word, I want to write it good!) – and so I’d eat a few cups of granola right out of the box. Granola is good for you, but not in massive quantities for dessert! Now I find other ways to deal with my writing fears and insecurities. Are you eating out of fear or to avoid writing? Find healthy ways to deal with it – it’s agonizing in the short run, and liberating in the long.
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5. Schedule your fitness breaks. Exercise is a great way to deal with writing fears and insecurities. I break at 10:30 am or 4 pm every day, depending on my article deadlines and how the writing is flowing. I run one day and do one of my three Pilates 10 Minute Solutions DVDs, which are excellent (read the Best Pilates DVDs for more info). This isn’t just a tip for eating healthy while working from home; to stay creative and productive, writers need to build and maintain a strong mind-body connection.
6. Remember: food is fuel. I’ve lost weight since Bruce and I married 3.5 years ago, partly because I’ve adopted his eating habits. He eats until he’s content, isn’t ruled by a sweet tooth, and listens to his body’s cues about hunger and satiety (it’s a little boring at times, I must say!). Food is fuel to keep your body and brain healthy so you can be a productive, creative writer. Avoid thinking of food as entertainment or your friend.
7. Buy the best. “My tip is to keep only healthy foods in the house,” says freelance writer and reflexologist Amy Kreydin. “You can’t eat junk if isn’t there.” If you have to buy chips or chocolate for the people you live with, ask them to hide them from you. If you don’t have willpower, this tip for eating healthy while working from home will force you to eat well.
8. Wash and chop in advance. Criss Cox doesn’t have junk food in the house to tempt her – and she recommends prepping your healthy food for ready-to eat access. “Wash and portion out your fruit so you can grab a snack and get back to work,” says Cox, a teacher by day and writer the rest of the time. “Do all prep work the night before.”
9. Mix and match. Emma Williams, who runs Modern Girls Kitchen, suggests keeping a lot of “mix’n'match” items – chicken, eggs, spring greens, fruit, veggies – and use them for a variety of options (sandwiches, salads, etc.). This way, you don’t get bored with the same old same old. Emma says, “I also keep a consistent schedule and try to eat lunch around same time each day, so I’m not snacking or overeating.”
10. Motivate yourself with quips and tips! Put notes and quotes on the fridge, bathroom mirror, cupboard doors – anywhere you look. Here’s a great one: “What you eat in private shows in public,” – it’s one of Kelli Zink’s favorite quotes for the fridge. This “Health Freak” blogger on CheekyChicago also says cooking at home allows for creativity. “Craving a fried chicken dinner with all the trimmings? Skip the KFC takeout and put your own healthy spin on a classic comfort food.”
Bonus tip for healthy eating while working from home: Atlanta-based freelance writer Liora Hess says, “Eat a healthy snack with protein at your low-energy times – which is 10 am and 2 pm for most people. Sunflower seeds are perfect!” Also try low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, a handful of almonds, or soy nuts.
If you’re not getting enough assignments, read 8 Freelance Writing Habits That Will Get You More Work.
If you have any tips for eating healthy while working from home, please comment below!