Do you get tired of eating the same oatmeal, protein bars and peanut butter sandwiches? When you’re working all the time, it can be difficult to put together something delicious, healthy and affordable.

October 24 is National Food Day, a celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food. It aims to help people “Eat Real,” which is defined by helping people cut back on high cholesterol foods and sugary drinks for more healthier options such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Follow these 3 steps spice up your meals and boost your health in the workplace.

  1. Meal prep Meal prepping is a cost-efficient way to help you make delicious and healthy options for the entire week. Go to a nearby grocery store and do all your shopping on a set date such as Friday or Saturday evening. Cook your meals on Sunday and have everything ready so that you can just pop and go with your meals for the following week. There are many meal prep recipes you can find on Pinterest related to healthy, affordable and delicious foods. Here are 5 chicken meal prep bowl options, 10 easy vegan lunch bowls, and 5 simple snack hacks. Set aside time to meal prep for yourself. Your hungry body will thank you later.
  2. Stay away from sugar If you have a sweet tooth, it can be hard not to reach for that extra sugar packet to sweeten-up your drink, or to resist popping a Snickers in your mouth during work. But sugar, when it exceeds the necessary amount, can be the worst ingredient in the modern diet. First, sugar contains no essential nutrients. It can also be a breeding environment for bacteria in your mouth, which can result in an extra visit to the dentist’s office. Sugar is also made of glucose and fructose. Fructose is metabolized by the liver, but if our liver is already full of glycogen, fructose converts into fat, which can cause a variety of health problems. Excessive sugar intake increases the risk of diabetes. If cutting-back on sugar is difficult for you, think of all the negative consequences associated with it, and limit your consumption to avoid major health issues.
  3. Promote healthy catering options Companies often cater food for employees at special events or offer luncheon networking opportunities. It’s nice to attend these events because who doesn’t love free food? If your company caters, offer healthy options. Some employees may also have gluten, nut, dairy or other allergies, or prefer less fat and caloric intake. Restaurants and stores such as True Food Kitchen, Whole Foods Market, and Jason’s Deli offer healthy catering options.

Work is important, and so is health. Utilize these steps to ensure you have a fit lifestyle to boost your physical and mental health and you’ll be more energized to tackle the week.

Sharon Schweitzer and Sunny Kim co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is an award-winning entrepreneur, cross-cultural trainer, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, (3rd printing), was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Sunny Kim is a Fall 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Access to Culture. She is currently a junior journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin with a minor in Korean language and certificate in business. She is also the founder and president of UT Asian American Journalists Association. Her main focus is storytelling people’s diverse experiences relating to race and culture. Connect with her on Linkedin

Photo credit: Pxhere