I keep getting e-mails from women who want to eat well but experience odd reactions from their coworkers. Their comments range from patronising questions or an emphatic yuck to a blatant ploy to put you on the defensive.
Avoid those awkward conversations so you can unwind during your break! Here are some tips:
Tip #1: Disguise Healthy Food With a Fun Container
Maybe your coworker isn’t asking questions to put you on the spot, but just talking to talk! Throw Captain Obvious some fodder by bringing your lunch in a conversation piece like a vintage lunch box or a nifty tiffin container.
Tip #2: No Questions, Please
Ah, seclusion! Nobody asks, “what’s that?” when you have headphones in your ears and your nose in a book.
Tip #3: Rebranding
Call your lean, protein packed, superfood filled and possibly foreign sounding dish something familiar and leave it at that. Not in the mood to define sweet potato melange with quinoa? Just call it pasta salad. Everyone knows what that is! Is that witch Linda from accounting positioning to make it sound like you made up Amaranth again? Don’t let her! “This? It’s a sandwich. (Duh.)” If you’re not that creative, just bring a salad.
Tip #4: Don’t Bring a Lunch At All
Nobody’s suggesting you starve yourself all day, that would lead to crankiness, fatigue, muscle wastage, body fat gains and possibly sawing off the hand you use to visit this blog! Ensure you’re not even hungry at lunchtime by filling up on the clock…a protein and fibre top up every 2-3 hours keeps energy levels up not to mention the body composition benefits! Alternatively taking quality fibre supplements, snacking on some cut fibrous veggies, fruit and raw almonds at your desk plus having a filling drink such as a raw smoothie or vegetable juice will turn lunchtime into recess!
You can use your midday break to be active. Take a walk, be briefly whisked away into a novel, or do like my friend Beth from Uni and make extra income taking phone sex calls in your car.
Tip #5: The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Discourage future questions by over answering queries. Give the impatient, fast talking guy from marketing a long, boring explanation of why you chose a wheat free tortilla. See if you can talk until he looks at the clock, squirming. Uptight secretary being nosy? A vaguely erotic explanation of why you love avocados will discourage further prying.
You shouldn’t be ashamed of your healthy choices, and shame on anyone who uses that to single you out…it usually stems from a jealousy born of their lack of healthy direction and progress . If the lunchroom inquisition doesn’t stop with the above measures, you have a secret weapon: your healthy superiority. Put haters on the defence by astonishingly asking, “Never heard of kale? ” Exercise prudence when dropping this nuke: “Your lunch looks tasty. How many trans fat grams are in that? ”
Enjoy your break!