By Renée Cohen
Proposal Manager & Contributing Writer at Quantum
As part of Quantum’s Corporate Wellness Program, our Training Team invited Valérie Gaudreault RD, CIEC of Nutrition Anti-Régime to speak to our team last fall.
The Registered Dietician-Nutritionist prefaced her info-packed webinar by cheerily informing us, “We have a lot on our plate today!” (No pun intended.) She then proceeded to dish out (sorry, couldn’t resist!) some helpful tips on how to stay fueled and focused at work.
A self-professed cheese lover herself, Valérie’s true passion is freeing people from their food guilt. After indulging during the holidays, January tends to be a time when many people struggle to stick to their food related new year’s resolutions.
“Everybody feels food guilt at some point, and sometimes it blocks us from changing our habits,” Valérie says.
Aside from helping people make more satisfying food choices, Valérie is a firm believer in “intuitive eating”. She maintains that “Eating should be fun and simple, not stressful, and complicated.”
Stop judging! Start Observing
According to the dietitian, our food selections should be approached in a non-judgemental manner. Valérie suggests we observe our thoughts, behaviour, and attitude toward food with curiosity. She also advises that we determine which obstacles, if any, prevent us from eating nutritiously throughout the workday.
After polling webinar attendees, lack of time was cited as a major challenge and impediment to making healthy food choices. To remedy this, Valérie recommends planning ahead (versus improvising meals and snacks at the last minute). Not only does meal planning allow for more nutritionally sound choices ─ but it also helps save time by minimizing trips to the grocery store.
Some of Valérie’s other numerous time and money saving tips include:
- Always using a grocery list to help prevent unnecessary expenditures
- Planning recipes for the week and compiling the required ingredients
- Doubling your recipes and using leftovers
- Keeping a whiteboard on the fridge with an inventory of its contents
- Cooking and freezing meals (like soups and stews) in advance
- Preparing meals in a slow cooker in the morning, so dinner will be ready after work
- Using Apps like Flipp and Reebee to keep abreast of grocery store deals and discounts
Another creative tip for mealtime efficiency is Valérie’s suggestion of using a lunch box. “Keep it in the fridge packed with all your snacks and meals ─ this can save you time even when you are working at home.”
To encourage mindful eating for those working remotely, Valérie recommends separating one’s workspace from one’s eating space. “It is possible to eat at your desk and still connect with the experience…but it depends on the individual,” Valérie cautions, adding, “Try it and see what works best for you.”
She also suggests we monitor our energy levels throughout the day. An afternoon slump may be due to thirst, hunger, or a heavy lunch may be to blame. During the session, she provided our team with suggestions for energizing fibre and protein-rich snack combinations, as well as fun, easy ways to increase hydration. According to Valérie, if water or food don’t perk you up, incorporating some movement at your desk may be the key to reenergizing.
Recognizing that we all experience hunger differently, it is important to find a healthy solution that works best for you. Just remember Valérie Gaudreault’s recommendations to stay hydrated, plan meals ahead, practice mindful eating, and observe your food choices with curiosity, not judgement.
Let Quantum help you find a delectable job that will satisfy your cravings. Check out our openings *here*.