How to achieve your wellness goals while working a 9-5 job

Balancing a 9-5 job in Corporate America is no easy task—it's something people seek guidance on frequently, despite their best efforts in achieving both professional and wellness goals.

Let me know if this rings a bell at all:

Alarm clock goes off at 5:30 a.m.

Hit snooze.

It goes off five minutes later.

Snooze, again.

Repeat until 6:45 a.m. and then you jump out of bed realizing you need to be at work in an hour for a meeting.

Chug coffee with heavy creamer and 4-5 packs of sweetener.

Skip lunch.

Inhale vending machine snacks at 2:30 p.m. before your last meeting of the day.

Head home around 5/5:30 p.m.—totally exhausted and dehydrated.

Skip your workout class, get charged for it anyway.

Pour yourself some wine.

Order Uber Eats and call it a night.

I get it. I totally and completely get it, friends.

Life is so dang busy lately for EVERYONE, not just those climbing the corporate ladder, but that's not an excuse to live an exhausted, unhealthy life.

Here are some tips that have helped both me and my clients achieve our wellness and professional goals alike.

Batch cooking is essential

My dad always taught us, "When the time to perform has arrived, the time to prepare has passed."

Every time I cook a meal, I have enough leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. You should be solid with cooking three days a week if you use this method. Check out 50 batch cooking recipes, many of which are actually very easy to make/involve a casserole dish and not a ton of ingredients, to give you some foodie inspiration.

These are the batch cooking tips I swear by:

  • Chop all or most veggies/starches on Saturdays after you grocery shop and store in air-tight containers.

  • Roast veggies/starches/chickpeas on Sunday. I do this in the morning before church—it takes no time at all while I get ready.

  • I often set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast chickpeas/tempeh on the top rack, while roasting the thicker veggies, like broccoli or brussel sprouts, on the bottom racks.

  • Go about your Sunday and then cook double portions of the meat/main protein source while you prepare dinner. For example, if you're making chicken for dinner, cook 6-8 pieces of chicken that way you can have extra for dinner or lunch the next day or two.

My husband loves when we use leftover protein sources to make quesadillas the following evening. I have a good recipe for a veggie-based one, here.

Start your day with 5 minutes of silent gratitude

I hate this cliche, but it's a total "game-changer."

Lay in bed, close your eyes and thank God/the Universe/whomever you want for the life you have TODAY. So often we get wrapped up in social media comparison traps that we forget to be grateful for what we DO have, not what we don't.

Workout when you rise

It is literally impossible for me to get a workout in after the work day. Not only am I downright drained, I'm also still working at least up until 7 p.m. most days.

Set out your workout clothes the night before outside your bedroom, that way you have to physically get out of bed in order to get dressed for the gym.

Another good tip to workout as soon as your wake up is to find movement you truly love and enjoy! If you hate lifting weights and are completing a 5 day/week weightlifting program you found on Instagram, the odds of you remaining consistent are slim to none.

Aim for 3 to 4 workouts a week if you're a newbie, and 5 to 6 if you're a seasoned gym-goer.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Every meal you consume (breakfast, lunch and dinner) should have protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

New York City–based nutritionist Bonnie Taub- Dix, R.D., author of Read It Before You Eat It recently told Shape Magazine:

"Protein, fat, and carbs work with each other to promote a greater sensation of satisfaction. When you skimp on one group like protein, you tend to compensate by overeating something else you don't need any more of, like additional carbs or fat."

An example of this way of eating could be eating organic steel cut oatmeal (carbs), a scoop of plant-based protein powder (protein), wild blueberries (carbs) and a handful of chia seeds and almonds (fats) for breakfast. This meal has been my go-to breakfast during the colder months and it keeps me full for hours!

Find holistic ways to de-stress

Work can be stressful and the last thing anyone wants to do after a long day is think about work, but too often Americans are de-stressing by numbing themselves with substances like alcohol, marijuana, excessive TV exposure and the biggest culprit of all—food.

I have found reading a book, listening to music while cooking, deep breathing exercises and even sitting in complete silence for the first five minutes I'm home have all been wildly helpful in lowering my stress levels.

My reishi hot cacao recipe is also a staple during the fall and winter seasons when I'm trying to unwind.

The goods:

  • 1 c unsweetened nut milk (almond, cashew, coconut, rice, etc)

  • 1 dash of cinnamon1 tsp reishi powder

  • 1 tbsp cacao powder

Make it:

  1. Heat the almond milk up on the stove top or microwave in a coffee mug.

  2. Add the above powder to the milk and stir until frothy (it also works if you pour the mixture into a Nutribullet or blender to make it extra frothy).

  3. Top with more cinnamon, because #duh.

I hope you found these tips somewhat helpful! Be sure to reach out if you need any support.

In health and happiness,