office snacking

I love snacking. Finger food? Appetizers? Bring them on. In fact, I so enjoy these little meals that I’d pick portable foods over five-course meals nine times out of 10. OK, maybe seven.

This kind of love has led me to engage in some strange behavior. Like the spontaneous purchase of a rice cooker a few weeks ago (in hopes of being able to craft the homemade sticky rice cakes I’ve been ogling from this book for cyclists). I normally refuse to let single-use appliances into my life, but this one doubles as a slow cooker. That’s got to count for something.

I started to wonder what all you other busy triathletes/runners/fitness addicts keep kicking around for sudden hunger attacks, and thought I’d get the ball rolling by offering a peek into my secret stash. A little embarrassing (where are the kale chips, hippie?), and by no means my favorites, these mainstays get me through the day when the going gets tough. It’s time to fess up, people: I want to see your drawers.

1- Nuttzo Chocolate 7 Nut and Seed butter
2- Natural Peanut Butter
3- Kirkland Signature Roasted Seasoned Seaweed
4- Coffee from Whole Foods (we fell behind on roasting this week!)
5- King Oscar sardines, now available in mini, single serving tins
6- Assorted low-sodium soups
7- Random Peanut Sesame noodle bowl that was on sale. (Disappointing.)
8- Ryvita crackers (aka delivery method for 1 and 2)
9- Vega All-in-One Nutritional Shake
10- Bear & Wolf Wild Alaskan canned salmon, from Costco (great mixed with a microwaved sweet potato and salad dressing).

Thankfully, this way of eating works well with my own version of the daily grind, which lands me about a 20-minute walk from anything decent to eat for lunch (ie: the new Del Mar Whole Foods). Having to walk under the freeway to get there is not ideal, however; plus I’m still a frugal hippie who only buys lunch about once a month. If I bike commute it’s even worse—I’ve yet to find a jersey that fits a Tupperware of salad.

The solution? A well-stocked snack drawer. Though dark chocolate-covered pretzels have snuck in on occasion, I try to keep it full of healthy options. It comes in handy on days I was too lazy to pack lunch the night before, and am too busy with work to even think about leaving the office. With the frozen Amy’s burritos I keep in the office freezer, I could probably survive here for two weeks.

I leave you with this excerpt from a Slate piece on how to cook in your office. I’m not quite looking for deals on hot plates, but its bit on office kitchens entertained me:

Office kitchens—if it’s fair to call them that—are right up there with morgues and faux Irish pubs as the most depressing places to be at noon on a weekday. They’re usually windowless, filthy, and reeking of stale, microwaved cheese. […] Nothing worth eating has ever come out of an office kitchen. It’s either frozen dinners or last night’s leftovers, entombed in a plastic container and revivified in the microwave.

What’s in your office snack drawer? What are some of your favorite go-to mini meals?

And for those of you looking to incorporate more snack-love into your life, here are some links to get you started:

The 50 Best Snack Foods in America
DIY 100-calorie snacks, from Women’s Health
How to Snack Smarter, from Real Simple

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