Work Chic: Let the Office Be Your Kitchen

Over time, I’ve started keeping a few essential food-related items at my desk at work to make myself more comfortable.

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My essential kitchen items to keep at work list includes:

  • A ceramic bowl
  • A ceramic mug
  • A ceramic plate
  • Pretty napkins
  • A personal sponge

Ceramic Plateware

So…why all the ceramic? Well, if you’ve ever tried to microwave food at the office, you may have had a tupperware or two melt on you, depending on how long you were trying to heat said food item. There are some things you just can’t heat up in plastic. Beyond that, I’m trying to move away from plastics in general. I feel like when I heat food up in plastic that poisonous chemicals are slowly leaching into my food. Not sure if that’s real or not, but if you’re not sold, read the first reason of this paragraph.

And why not paper plates or other disposable items? I think it’s more eco-friendly and cost-effective to simply re-use plateware.

Currently, I am using disposable forks, knives, and spoons, but I would like to get a set that I can keep at the office and re-use.

Additionally, I brought in some of my favorites for my work-plateware. I mean…you have to look at your plates etc at work than you probably do at home, so they may as well be something you enjoy seeing and using. I brought in items that were colorful and pretty.

Pretty Napkins

This is the same reason I have the pretty napkins. On most days, I use whatever paper napkins I’ve collected from getting food out, but the pretty ones are nice to have when you want to use them.

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Personal Sponge

Ok, and so what’s up with the sponge you ask? If you’re going to keep re-usable plates at your desk, you’re going to need a way to clean them. Sure some places have a sponge in the kitchen, but…Well, have you ever seen the community sponge at the office? You know, the one that is multiple colors, has remnants of someone else’s food on it, and smells funky? Yea…there’s no possile way I’m using that one. I’ve seen offices with clean-looking sponges, but as a germiphobe, I have a hard time using something that has been used to clean things that have touched half the office’s mouths. Ew. I keep my own little sponge in a cup at my desk so I know exactly how clean it is and where it’s been used.

Be sure to check out my other Work Chic Post: Best Healthy Snacks to Keep at the Office  and stay on the look out for more office tips coming your way soon. :)

***

After my fabulous oatmeal-on-the-go breakfast, I moved on to a new twist on stir-fries…

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How’s about stir-fries with a new healthy addition – sea vegetables!

I learned from my acupuncture appointment that most Americans are deficient in iodine, which sea vegetables are high in. I think I’d heard this before from reading random news articles…and I’d heard that in general, they were good to eat, so I’ve been adding them to my pantry. I currently have: nori, wakame, and now dulse in my pantry.

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I first learned about dulse from Brendan Brazier. The ingredient is commonly found throughout his book Thrive. I ended up picking some up with a health food store groupon and have been wondering how to use it.

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I like to find easy ways to incorporate healthy foods into things I already eat (like sprinkling nutritional yeast on steamed veggies or salads). So, on Wednesday, I figured…what the heck, why not toss some into my lunch time noodle stir fry?

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In my stir fry, I have: tofu, edamame, udon noodles, soy sauce, chicken broth, sesame seeds, and of course…dulse.

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The dulse added an interesting flavor to the stir fry, but nothing bad. Just different. I think I’ll have to keep up this new habit in future versions.

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Hubby also brought home this giant churro from Costco. It was truly huge.

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So large, this sweet tooth fan and churro fanatic couldn’t finish it.

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After work, hubby and I went out to run errands and stopped by IKEA.

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We decided to just go ahead and eat dinner there. He had the pasta combo and I had the veggie soup, which I think is pretty good.

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And what meal wouldn’t be complete without an IKEA cinnamon roll. It wasn’t nearly as good as the one I had last time, and I only ended up eating about 3/4 of it. I think I’m losing my sweet tooth touch. First the churro, then the cinnamon roll. Whoa! lol But, I wasn’t going to force myself to finish eating something when I was already full either.

We also stopped by Crate and Barrel and I got some fab goodies that I can’t wait to share!

Do you keep any kitchen items at work?

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Comments

  1. says

    I love your work posts! I feel like a lot of bloggers who have blogging as their job or another nontraditional job don’t address how difficult it is to keep a healthy life style when you are on someone else’s schedule for 10 hours of the day. :)

    I generally bring what I want to work each day, but I would probably save a lot of time if I kept things at work instead – I’m not sure why I don’t!

    • says

      Why thanks Beth! It is definitely difficult to balance the two. I haven’t been talking much about work till recently, but I figured that talking more about it may inspire other office peeps who are like me. I hope. :)

  2. Marie says

    You inspire me to eat healthier. I’ve been using less plastic to microwave foods. I agree with you. The sponge is an excellent idea!

    Love that meal you were eating – looks very healthy.

    Have you ever tried hijiki at a Japanese restaurant? It’s actually cooked seaweed and delicious. If you like the other sea vegetable, you’d probably like hijiki. I don’t know how to make it but next time you eat Japanese, ask for it as an appetizer. Its great!

    • says

      Marie, I love that you said I inspire you to eat healthier on the post where I ate a churro and giant cinnamon roll! :lol:

      I’ve never tried hijiki before, but now I will look for it on menus! :)

  3. says

    I keep a mug and a reusable water bottle at work, and thats it :) I live close enough to go home for lunch every day, so I never eat here.. only snacks :)

    • says

      Hey Liz, I like Crate and Barrel, Pier 1, and IKEA. Some plates can be on the expensive side, but I figure, if you’re going to save money by eating in for lunch, you may as well treat yourself to a plate that you really love using.

      If you’re not too germiphobic, I also like getting vintage plates from garage sales, etc. There are usually some really neat things out there. The only ones I worry about are the ones that are super old or have metallic finishes, as I’m sometimes not certain if they’re food safe. But you can find some really unique pieces at extremely affordable prices.

      HTH :)

  4. says

    I just tried dulse for the first time at Pure last weekend and loved it!! Such a great texture and salty flavor. And I’m totally with you on the sponge- when I lived with 7 girls last year our sponges were infested with gross stuff.

  5. says

    great tips. since i’m in grad school i only work 10 hr/wk and eat lunch at home a few times/wk, so i don’t keep anything there. and as for getting a set of silverware to leave at work… try target. i got a set there (4 forks, knives, and spoons) before my freshman year of college and it’s really cute and held up well for the past 7 yrs. now it has become our ‘take to work/school’ silverware so our good stuff doesn’t get lost. or try etsy… i saw some neat lunch napkin/silverware combos in a case for kids to take to school with their bento boxes.

  6. says

    I agree with you on the personal sponge! I’m constantly replacing the one in our kitchen (or just using paper towels instead). Is the economy so bad we can’t afford kitchen supplies anymore? or are people just that gross. Scared to know which one is true.

    I highly encourage your own set of utensils for the office. Plus a small personal cutting board and knife. :-)

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