When Snack Attack Hits, What’s in Your Desk Drawer?

11am hunger pains. 3pm boredom and energy fix. Does this sound familiar? When you open your desk drawer, go to the vending machine, or meander by your colleagues snack wall, do you see this…


Depending on how you feel, do you dive in with carefree abandon? Do you say “TODAY I need this treat!” or “I’ll do “better” tomorrow” or “It’s just one piece”.  Does the stress, hunger, boredom, tiredness or need for energy drive you to make decisions that may not be the most beneficial for your body? Do you even know if these options are harmful or helpful?

A recent articlesuggested that desk drawer snacks are an over rated office perk that should be removed in 2017 corporate wellness plans. I agree if used unwisely. However, rather than eliminate the desk drawer snacks, I say make it over. Take your current vending machine, desk drawer or maybe that shared group of snacks and give it a make-over with two simple points in mind:

Is this snack HARMFUL or HELPFUL for my body?

Rather than use “good” and “bad” – let’s move away from the punitive terminology and towards a mindset of nourishing the body; a perspective of self-reflection and thought; and a solution model that is tailored, not prescriptive.

Below I provide some options for making over that snack drawer with “HARMFUL” and “HELPFUL” in mind. This approach can be applied to vending machines by working with your vending machine company or check out ones that provide healthy snack/meal alternatives – LeanBox, Berkshire Natural, or Healthy You Vending as examples. This can also be applied to a shared snack wall or corner stocked in one employee’s area from pooled funds.

Before I suggest some options, let’s first define HARMFUL and HELFPUL

HARMFUL: Snacks that….raise and crash blood sugar, have too many unpronounceable ingredients, the first ingredient is sugar, corn syrup or another additive, added sugars is above 15g per serving, contain too many artificial ingredients, additives or oils. They make you jittery, bloated, cramped, or sluggish.

HELPFUL: Snacks that….are in their natural form (with packaging just to contain the item), have 5 or less ingredients OR have all natural ingredients such as apples, figs, brown rice, honey etc…all things we eat in their original form, have less than 15g of sugar roughly per serving. They satiate, are calming, energizing versus hyper and jittery.

Would a “HELPFUL” to your body snack drawer look like this?  (on the left are organic wild rice cakes)


Along with what’s captured in the pictures, below I’ve listed some ideas for what a HARMFUL and HELPFUL snack drawer might contain.

In an upcoming blog, I’ll discuss how to tackle the “WHYs” behind choosing your snack drawer options in the heat of the moment. But for now, consider the following: We all have those stressful, over tired days; hopefully not most of the time. We all have cravings and needs. Indulging 10% of the time – not every day - is beneficial for balance and to ward off the issues that come with denial. So allow yourself that 10%, but make sure that 10% isn’t a death by a thousand cuts. Meaning 10% every day. Crowd out that 10% desire and craving with the 90% helpful. Keep the helpful items within reach while also keeping moderation in mind.  

Craving strikes? Drink water, take a quick walk, stretch, talk with coworkers – DISTRACT yourself from the need to reach in that drawer for reasons other than an ENERGIZING SNACK.

Snack wisely.
Remind yourself of the drawer’s purpose.
Stay tuned for more tips when the snack attack hits!

HELPFUL
—  Nuts – preferably raw (lightly salted if so)
—  Whole fruit – preferably organic
—  Dried fruit
—  Full fat plain yogurt
—  Hummus
—  Lentil/bean based chips
—  Carrots, peppers – veggies – preferably organic
—  Pre-portioned cheese – full fat or raw milk
—  Organic rice cakes
—  Coconut, seltzer water or tea.
—  Nut, seed, low sugar bars
—  Pickles, olives, kombucha (fermented tea drink)

HARMFUL
—  Candy Bars & candy – high sugar or low % chocolate
—  Chips – especially those baked in corn, palm oil
—  Buttery packaged popcorn
—  Sugary cereal
—  Animal Crackers
—  Yogurt or chocolate covered pretzels
—  Pretzels with multiple flavorings
—  Juices – less than 90% fruit
—  High sugar energy/power bars
—  Pop tarts
  Cookies with high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients


NOTE: These are only recommendations for snacks based on Your Wellness Scout experience. This is not an endorsement or critique of any items specifically listed or pictured in this blog.

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