5 Healthy Tips for Working (and Eating) from Home

Technology and meals - do you pair them together? Technology and meals - do you pair them together? As someone who works from home, I know that maintaining a healthy eating routine takes some passion and planning. Whether your job allows you to work from home - or you are a full time, hard working stay at home parent, it is easier than you think to embrace wellness in your in-home setting - simply by reducing stress and eating right.

You may feel that the lack of a structured work environment makes it difficult to stay on track, your house versus a corporate office, for example. But in reality, if you learn to embrace all the wellness benefits of working from home you will find that you are able to take care of yourself and your family more than ever before. Healthy eating, stress reduction and exercise all go hand in hand. So focusing on all three of these areas will ensure that you succeed in whatever your diet goals may be - whether you want to lose weight, maintain it or build strength. Get 5 tips for when you work (and eat) from home, below:

1. Get Ready for Work
If you work from home I'm sure you have had many days when you glance at the clock and it says 4pm and what do you know, you are still in your pajamas. While I am a big fan of PJ workdays once in a while, the habit of not getting ready for the day can become a mentally fatiguing routine. There is something stable about a defined morning routine of getting ready for the day. Putting on "work clothes" whatever those may be, washing your face, pampering yourself, showering, preparing a light breakfast and packing lunches for the day. And that leads to the next tip..

Related: 10 super foods you should be eating now

2. Pack Your Lunch
Maybe you already pack a lunch for your kids or for your spouse who goes off to work in an office structure. Or maybe you don't pack any lunches at all. But give this tip a try and see if you like it. Instead of putting off lunch plans until "lunchtime" try packing yourself a lunch in the morning. You are more likely to be calm when you first wake - as any stresses from the day will have yet to shake you. So you are more likely going to pack yourself a lunch of healthy, nutrient dense foods like a large salad with some low fat protein and maybe a tall water bottle or glass filled with lemon wedges and mint for a beverage. My favorite lunch to pack for myself is a giant multi-veggie-ingredient salad topped with lightly sautéed tempeh or marinated tofu, maybe some quinoa, beans and/or brown rice thrown in too. Then around lunchtime I don't have to worry about making my lunch, I just grab and go…

3. Take a Technology Free Lunch Break
This is probably the most important tip I can give you. Many of us who work from home or even out of an office sit at our desks and eat our lunch. Bad idea. You desk area - or in front of your computer, iPad or even smart phone should be an eat-free zone. Instead choose a sunny spot for your lunch. Take your packed lunch and unplug for at least twenty minutes to savor the flavors, textures, colors and nutrition in your meal. I usually like to eat outside on a sunny day. Or even find a sunbeam on the floor on my yoga mat. You don't have to eat at a big kitchen table. Having a routine also means being flexible. The safety and comfort of routine can be played with to make it interesting and keep you on your toes.

If you are eating alone, lunch will be a nice quiet, tech-free time. If you are eating with your kids, this is a great way to teach them to break during the day for lunch - away from the television and their gadgets. This is a valuable lifelong habit they will appreciate. I remember my dad working from his in-home office. Everyday at the same time he would break for lunch and savor his meal in peace. I now see the order and restraint in that routine.

Related: 10 diet foods that are secretly making you fat

And this goes for breakfast too! Maybe you are a more 'large breakfast' person. Be sure to do it tech-free. Enjoying your hearty breakfast in the line of fire of your tech gadgets and online chatter during the busy morning work-rush hours will only boost your stress and set a poor mood for the rest of your day. Find a quiet morning space to eat.

4. Hydrate
Constantly. Lucky us, work from home-ers have very close and easy access to a bathroom. Really! Many people actually halt their water drinking due to the fact that they fear being stuck in a long office meeting or conference call with the uncontrollable urge 'to go.' Well drinking lots of water throughout the day (and I do mean pure water - nothing sweetened or caffeinated) will hydrate your cells giving your skin a boost of moisture, helping you flush out toxins, keeping your digestive system running properly and also fighting off dehydration-induced fatigue. Grab a giant water bottle and let it follow you around all day long.

Related: 10 fat-burning exercises you can do anywhere

5. Take a Yoga Break
Stretching and feeling a sense of calm helps your body in many ways. It keeps your circulation up - which aids in digestion, energy and removal of toxins. Yoga and stretching also relaxes the body. And a relaxed body is much more likely to eat healthy foods throughout the day. And luckily, you can easily keep a yoga mat in your home and take a yoga break whenever you choose. Kids can join in too! There are even several yoga DVDs specifically designed for kids or parents and kids to do together. Even a ten minute break can work wonders on reducing stress.

- By Kathy Patalsky
Follow Kathy on Babble

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