Guerrilla Tactics for the Office Food Wars

I wake up each morning committed to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.  I know that eating gluten will cause my fibromyalgia pain to flare up like a fiery dragon ripping and tearing through my muscles.  I am full of motivation, exuberant and happy with myself for doing what is best for me, starting my day with a Udi’s muffin and my favorite cup of coffee.  Then I get to work.  As I walk jauntily from the elevator to my cubicle I see once again that I need to arm myself for war.  Tables of poisonous manna presented on long tables.  This is our thank you for another job well done, or another good financial report, or to celebrate someone’s birthday or anniversary.  Fortunately for me I have armed myself by loading my desk and the refrigerator with gluten free goodies.   Here are some suggestions for healthy options to keep handy to thwart the nasty threat of chemical warfare known as the office food wars.

Some of the worst offenders in my office are the cookies and cakes. People bring them in pretty regularly.  One day our supervisor brought a box of Red Velvet cupcakes with icing and candy sprinkles in. They smelled like heaven in a cardboard box!  And if that’s not bad enough, she put them on the corner of MY cubicle.  She sat that box of deliciously devilish delights right above my head. Now, grant you, I have a lot of willpower because I know what gluten does to me. But this was too much. I caved. I had one. Oh, but wait, that box sat there all day, the smell of goodness wafting under my nose as I was trying to work. So I caved again – I had two. I wrote a blog post about this incident called “Has Anyone Seen My Willpower?”.   What would have saved me from this total breakdown of sanity? Udi’s double chocolate muffins! I had some at home in the freezer but now I keep them in the freezer at work too.

Then there are the big spreads that our companies lay out for us as rewards. Whether we met some sales goal, or it is a holiday, the buffet comes out, laden with forbidden pleasures. The key here is to pick and choose wisely and supplement with gluten free products you have stashed away in your desk or in the fridge.  Load up on the vegetables, unless you are a meat eater.  Once you have picked out the least of the offenders, and feel comfortable you have avoided the gluten laden foods, you are going to be tempted by the breads. Whether it is rolls, biscuits, or a loaf of French bread, they look and smell wonderful. Don’t let the temptation get to you. Head for the Udi’s gluten free bread you have stored away for just such a dilemma. I keep a loaf at work along with a jar of organic nut butter for a quick anytime snack.

I hope this gives you some good ammunition for the Office Food Wars. I had never thought about it much until I discovered I was gluten sensitive.  Stock up your desk and the refrigerator with plenty of Udi’s gluten free products. Along with some organic vegetables, fruits, and nuts, you will be prepared for battle. Your health and your waist line will thank you.

Gloria Vester
Gloria’s Health Story

4 responses to “Guerrilla Tactics for the Office Food Wars”

  1. Margaret says:

    I am actually one of those awful bakers who bring in the tempting treats. I can’t and won’t eat them because I know how I will feel if I do. I bake for good causes and fortunately for me they are sold quickly.

  2. Silent Cal says:

    The saddest part of this is that while I can have all these workarounds in place, I still feel cheated on a different level. My company also does things like this to reward us–but I can’t participate with happy abandon like my co-workers because I’m too busy picking over the offerings for safe food. Often, there’s NOTHING if the theme is desserts. Now, some will chime in with the happy-crappy mantra of how good I’m being and isn’t being healthy more important…yada yada yada. At that moment–NO. The point is REWARD for work…not "good for me for not eating anything with gluten in it." It’s the principal of the thing…I can’t have the physical reward that I earned–plain and simple. And I can’t share my companions’ food at restaurants [a sign of trust and affection]. Having to eat GF at special times separates us from our "tribe" at every turn. That’s the one thing I just can’t adjust to.

  3. Dianne G says:

    Just sticking to meats, veggies and veggie dip, etc. is not always safe. Many meats are injected or seasoned with blends containing modified food starch or other gluten-containing substances. Dressings and dips often contain gluten, and catering/buffet trays NEVER have the ingredients listed or available so that we can check. Unfortunately there have been many occasions where food that seemed "safe" was not, and I suffered. So beware of cross-contamination and hidden gluten, and definitely keep a stash of safe alternatives!

  4. Grit says:

    i do not work in an office,but i do work in a hair salon. now u wouldnt think hair & cake/cookies go together but they do !! will power ??? what ,where. i do try to have some udies with me ,(especially) on sat. when everyone comes around the coffee pot to see whats there,im ready if i need it.its kinda fun to watch! after all food, of any kind is a very social occasion! thanks undies for giving that back to me. Grit.

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