I see many clients that work in offices from Bishop Ranch to Silicon Valley to San Francisco. Their offices frequently offer generous lunches and snacks galore for their employees. Yes, this certainly keeps people at work and allows for bonding and the social connections necessary to create a successful business. Such a benefit, however, is offset by the fact one of my new clients from Oakland CA has gained 20 pounds and is prediabetic in the two years he has worked there.
Unfortunately, the person who orders the food at most companies is usually an administrative assistant who makes their orders according to a preset budget from a local catering company or restaurant and makes their food decisions based on what they think is popular. The owners or executives of these companies are usually too busy to put time into deciding what is the best nutrition for their people and do not realize that the choices are causing weight gain and health problems.
I frequently provide lunch presentations at many local companies. At one of my “Lunch and Learn” presentations in Oakland CA entitled Food and Mood, I was discussing how food affects your mood and there I was surrounded by the normal vending machines and baskets of Cokes, Juices, candy and chips. I was struck by the contrast of my audience learning about healthy food choices in their daily lives but never giving a thought about their junky food supply at work. As usual, I was honest in my talk and said if they wanted to feel most efficient on the job the selection of snacks and drinks had to change.
At another recent engagement I saw spaghetti and meatballs for lunch with garlic bread and a Caesar salad at a High Tech firm in Oakland CA. I call this sleepy food, high in fat and carbs and very little protein and fiber. I have to tell you that most of the people were surprised with what I said because they love their free lunches. How can a client of mine be successful if they are eating these unhealthy lunches? So, I took it upon myself to tell him to ask your boss about me consulting with the company to change their vendor selections and catering menu while sticking to the company budget. I am happy to tell you my initial consultation has grown where now I work with numerous companies in the Bay Area. Luckily, many of these companies are fortunately located close to a Trader Joe’s where I made a list of snacks for them to have on hand at the office. In addition, I have met with their vending machine suppliers to arrange having beverages containing no sugar such as Propel, Iced Tea and sparkling flavored waters.
I worked with the managers of several catering companies providing meals to the companies and was able to create menus that consisted of the food items available in their kitchen that still could be provided within their budget. The employees were thrilled about the change in seeing more interesting entrees such as chicken piccata with spinach and whole wheat pasta and a springs mix salad or a pork tenderloin with couscous and mixed veggies and a spinach salad. Every meal was now high in protein and always accompanied by a cooked veggie, salad and whole wheat grain.
I consulted with another company in San Francisco CA and I was able to get a listing of the favorite restaurants in the area that commonly cater business meeting lunches. I worked with the restaurant menus and each chef was very amenable to my suggestions such as serving more protein and more veggies in their entrees offered to the companies. Most indicated they would be happy to provide the menus we created as long as there were at least ten meals which were easily met. We set up a schedule that worked for the company and the feedback has been amazing.
So the lesson to be learned is please do not eat food each day that you know is not healthy and you probably know by now does not help with efficiency on the job. Talk to other co-workers along with those people that do the ordering and understand that making changes in the menu can be still be cost effective. I am available to guide you through the process to help your office have better nutrition and prevent weight gain and health problems.
GOOD NEWS! HEALTH INSURANCE WILL PAY FOR NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING- Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net, Hill Physicians, Sutter, and other major companies. Please refer to my website www.LindaRD.com for past articles and information about services. Feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org