Where Have All The Vegetables Gone?

[Imagine that title in the tune of Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?]

In June, I got laid off. Pretty soon after that, my stomach issues returned from all of the stress.

in July, I started marathon training.

Some people have a hard time eating healthily in an office, but I find that so much easier because of the regular routine: bring oatmeal or English muffin + sunflower butter + banana for breakfast, bring lunch or stop at one of the healthy lunches around my office, bring healthy afternoon snack or just don’t have afternoon snack. I was in a regular routine, and I very rarely got some sort of unhealthy lunch just because it was easier not to. I usually walked over to the vending machine, realized there was nothing healthy (or even a worthy unhealthy “splurge”) and walked back to my desk. I was generally pretty good at pretending candy bowls didn’t exist, or actually stopping at just one.

These days, I have this staring me down for most of day:



And to be perfectly honest, it’s not easy to stick to my healthy eating habits at a not-so-easy time of my life with constant access to food.

While training for a marathon.

When I was overweight, grazing wasn’t usually my problem–overeating of rich and/or fried food was. But these days, it’s hard not to graze. Some tortilla chips and hummus here, some nuts there.

Between the tough times, the marathon training and the stomach issues, I’m definitely eating a little differently than I used to. More carbs, less vegetables. I’ve never tried to eat “perfectly,” because there is no eating “perfectly,” I’m not perfect, and I like unhealthy food just as much as healthy food sometimes, but I’m just not eating as healthy as I used to. With my upcoming marathon and current taper, it’s important to eat healthily–especially since I’ll be running less.

So, I’m going to try to bring some more vegetables back into my life so that after the marathon, I don’t gain a ton of weight from continuing to eat like I’m running for hours a day.


So you might start seeing more of my meals again. Oatmeal with almond milk, sunflower butter and a banana this morning.


Brown rice with a chicken burger, bruschetta and broccoli for lunch. (Dinner was pretty much the same, except I switched out the bruschetta for some pesto. Living on the edge.)


Also, I got a Brussels stalk at Trader Joe’s? Have you guys ever seen of these? It was so random, I had to buy it. Mostly so I could photograph it and blog it.


HE’S BACK! He’s been in NJ since Thursday because I had a busy weekend, but my sweet little boy is back.

So–if you work from home, how do you not eat everything in sight? If you do work from an office, what’s your biggest downfall–or your biggest secret to staying healthy at work?

25 comments on “Where Have All The Vegetables Gone?

  1. laura

    I can totally relate — I work from home and it can be hard not to snack all day long. I try to keep water with lemon beside me at all times. If it’s there, I’ll drink it and be able to (mostly) avoid over-snacking.

  2. Caitlin

    Love the brussels sprout stalk! I bought one last year for the same reason. 🙂
    My biggest temptation is when there are little snacks and treats sitting around at work – I’m usually pretty good at avoiding them but especially during marathon training would justify extra carbs, snacks, etc. Definitely cutting back now that the marathon is over and being extra careful about packing my own lunch and snacks!

  3. Kristine @ Running on Hungry

    I work in an office (I’m in sales) and I totally agree with you – it’s so easy to bring my breakfast (protein smoothie), mid-morning snack, healthy lunch, afternoon snack and not be tempted by anything! My company stocks snack foods for free and it’s not all that healthy… so I try to avoid it!

    When I work from home, I definitely graze more, I think because it’s so accessible! I’m a total grazer and sometimes graze my way through an entire’s days worth of meals! My advice would be to try to stick to your normal office routine… at home! It may take a little while to develop a habit but once you do, I bet it’ll be easy to keep up! Whenever I work out mid-day I usually eat healthier too because I know my workout will go a lot better if I have good stuff in my system!

  4. Laura @ Watch Laura Go

    Oh boy, this one sure is tough. I always go grocery shopping with the best intentions, yet by the time I’m checking out, a few uh-oh’s have slipped in. I have to be really careful when shopping, so half of my purchases usually end up stuffed into the magazines and on top of counters so I don’t buy them. I try to buy a variety of food- stuff that requires a bit of effort and imagination. Lots of produce because it is more expensive than packaged goods so I’m less likely to let it go to waste. With my light schedule at college right now, I have lots of spare time so I try to just have lots of healthy options. Wouldn’t life be so easy if food didn’t make you gain weight?

  5. Allie @ Fitness Class Fanatic

    I struggle with not taking enough snack food to work because I don’t want to snack, then ending up at the snack machine faced with animal crackers each day :/. I know I should take stuff and leave at my desk, but I generally like things that will go bad (fruit); and hate to waste money buying single fruit in the cafeteria. If I planned a week’s snack in advance, I think it would be much better! Generally when I work from home I do better, since I have more freedom on when I can eat and what I can eat and it is just a few steps from my desk, so much easier to take a quick break than make a big production like when I have to go to the cafeteria to get lunch and decide how hungry I’m going to be for the rest of the day.

  6. Kimra

    Yep, I’m a grazer, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t gain weight when I was looking for jobs. I was trying not to go out to save money, but then I’d be home eating a handful of granola here, a little chocolate there … The one thing that worked was moving my daily coffee to the afternoon, because that was a treat I could look forward to. I’m definitely eating better in the office, but I’m also lucky that it’s one with minimal snacky stuff around.

  7. Grant@Cheap Web Design UK

    I’ve never had tasted Brussels stalk before, i guess i was in Ny when i first tasted Brussels stalk. Now i am big fan, I am not a great cook but I like to buy brussels sprouts on the stalk. They taste fresher. However, it’s more work to cut them off the stalk and there is more trimming work than with packaged sprouts.

  8. Kristin @ STUFT Mama

    Oh man, I’m home a lot with two toddlers and it’s hard to not eat a ton while they’re napping. Sometimes that’s all I want to do because I’m tired too. I just have to keep busy and plan my meals out ahead of time.
    Brussel stalks? I’ve never seen them. They’re cute though. 🙂 I kind of want to decorate it. Weird.

  9. Kristin

    I totally agree that it’s harder to eat healthy when I’m sitting at home all day. If I’m out and about doing things, then I don’t even think about wanting to eat but when I’m at home and bored well..I tend to graze a bit too!

    And now thanks to this post I’ll never sing the cowboys song the same :p

  10. Carol Blanchfield

    Portion control, but don’t give up a good plate of spagetti and meatballs!!
    Spend some time with Mom shopping
    Keeping busy with doing fun stuff esp.this time of year!
    Enjoy your time home, before you know it, you will be back
    in the office, believe in yourself!!!!!!

    Love you

  11. sarah (sarah learns)

    i have a really hard time with grazing too much on the days that i work from home. easy access to the fridge is a tough one for me – and i haven’t mastered a way to resist the temptation yet! 🙁

  12. Katie @ cooklaughmove

    I’m a grazer at home too, more choices and no one there to be accountable to.

    At work, I’m proud to show off my resolve and say “NO!” in the face of office treats. Also I only pack specific things, so there is no open bag of pretzels for mindless munching. Just a baggie with a single portion and when it is gone, it is gone!

  13. Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run

    I constantly eat when I am home. It is so bad. Sometimes I just stand in the fridge. And I totally eat a piece of a million different things that people should not eat at the same time. Maternity leave was a bad time for me because of that. I also need the structure of work.

  14. Christy

    I’m definitely a grazer as well. I work in a hospital and usually hardly have time to eat, so when I do get a chance sometimes I’ll eat the first thing I see because at that point I’m starving! But I have recently started running for more than exercise. I finished my first 5k last week and have another this week. And I felt so great I signed up for a 10k in January. I know those are easy days for you though! But you’re an inspiration and maybe I’ll be as awesome as you!

  15. Kate

    At the office, I always bring breakfast (oatmeal or cottage cheese) and lunch (turkey sandwich or some bean/carb combo), and healthy snacks (Greek yogurt, apple, banana). Sometimes I’ll be having a really crappy day and give in and go to the CVS downstairs for a candy bar or to Au Bon Pain for cookies, but I try to make myself eat all my healthy snacks and then if I’m STILL hungry maybe I can go get a treat. That usually works.

  16. Jenny

    I work from home too. I try to make my grazing and snacks always include a fruit or vegetable. That way at least i know i am getting in more portions of those and then if I miss one at a meal it helps out. And i try to keep portions smaller. I try to use small plates and containers. I also agree i try to have lots of water and drink that first it keeps me from wanting to eat as much. i also eat smaller lunches and dinners then. It is so hard!

  17. Amanda

    I work from home and definitely find it a challenge to not mindlessly snack all day. I think the key for me is staying busy, drinking lots of water (since I sometimes mistake being thirsty for hungry), and mostly sticking to whole foods, like fruits and veggies that are filling but low cal. I’ve also started eating smaller lunches and having a snack mid-morning and before the gym in the afternoon. It’s hard though and I’m still trying to figure out how not to go see what’s in the fridge or pantry a million times when I have down time.

  18. Katie

    I totally understand the lack of routine getting in the way! This is how I am currently feeling as well. I am in the process of moving and just finished training for a marathon. So I’m kind of in an in-between phase right now and its killing me! I need a new workout goal and a new eating routine to get me back on track!

  19. Jillian @ sprinkle massacre

    It’s so funny you should bring this up. I was just thinking about this over the weekend. I work a straight 9-6 job all week. I pack my lunches and snacks and eat only that. Aside from the frequent office birthday parties ( I won’t pass up peice of a cookie cake), I am pretty good. On the weekend, I am so off course. I either forget to eat for hours, or I am just eating whatever is in sight, since I am usually in the kitchen one day during the weekend cooking and prepping food for the next week.
    I was also off work the past 5 days and on Friday and Monday (when I really should have been at work), I found myself snacking a lot and really appreciating how my daily work routine keeps my meals in check!

  20. Allison W

    When I work from home, I roast veggies or make a huge salad for lunch. I’ll throw a ton of broccoli and carrots in the oven to roast along with a sweet potato and tofu. Then when I’m feeling snacky in the afternoon, I nibble on the leftovers. At least its vegetables and not chips or cookies. I also tend to not keep quick carbs in the house. Oats, quinoa, and brown rice all take time to make, but I can down a bag of tortilla chips in a flash.

  21. Liza

    I work from home to and tend to get caught in the grazing pattern as well. To diminish it, I will make decaf coffee (or regular depending on time of day) or maybe some tea. It normally is just that I’m bored working at my computer and want a reason to get up. If after that I find myself actually hungry, I’ll grab a handful of grapes or an apple. I try to put the chips/nuts/high calorie stuff out of eye sight so that I don’t just grab a handful when I walk into the kitchen.

  22. Alison @ The Peacock Diaries

    I’m new to working at home, so I’m just starting to figure this stuff out. So far I feel like it would be OK if I was planning ahead, but I haven’t done that too often. I had originally thought that at lunch I would just stop and make myself a healthy lunch from scratch, but now I know I kind of need to prep something in advance just as if I was taking it to the office…otherwise it is faster to eat out or just snack all day.

    My best eating happened when I was working in an office with almost no takeout/restaurant nearby. With no other options, I had to bring something from home — and why not make it healthy? The CONSTANT presence of junk in the office did try me at times. Always someone’s birthday, always a meeting with trays of cookies and the sweetest (=full of extra sugar) fruit salad ever. I also worked in special events and was constantly around food. The only thing that worked for me was saying no to EVERYTHING. Once I opened the door and had a bite, I usually made multiple bad decisions. So I just declined and went on my way.

    Except for the time that my best friend/boss and I sat on the floor eating cheese cubes out of a trash bag (it was a clean bag just meant to transport the cheese). What can I say, no one’s perfect! 😉


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