Healthy (and Tasty) Thanksgiving Snack Ideas

Thanksgiving is next week and one way to get the kids (and adults!) excited about the holiday and healthy eating is by involving them in the preparation process. If you don’t have a healthy vending machine nearby then here are some quick and easy snack ideas that are delicious and cute too!

A creative way to serve healthy snacks. Source: Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating

A creative way to serve healthy snacks.
Source: Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating

Turkey veggie cups! Source: Jess Lutz

Turkey veggie cups!
Source: Jess Lutz

A vegetable turkey plate. Source: WBCL Radio Pinterest

A vegetable turkey plate.
Source: WBCL Radio Pinterest

Breakfast muffin and fruit turkey. Source: onemorehand.blogspot.com

Breakfast muffin and fruit turkey.
Source: onemorehand.blogspot.com

BV turkey

The Fruit Turkey
Source: isharefunfood.com

Wouldn’t you love to see these in one of our New York vending machines?

5 Must Haves for a Healthy Desk

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Keeping yourself healthy at work can be easy and fun. Here are a few tips to help make your desk feel like an extension of home.

1) Lavender essential oil 

Stressed during the day? Lavender oil is a great way to improve mood and decrease anxiety. This super oil is also great for soothing muscle discomfort and improving digestion.

2) Large glass water bottle-

Stay hydrated by drinking 2-3 bottles per day. Add fresh lemon, cucumbers, or berries for extra flavor. Stick to warm water in the morning to give your body a jump start on the day. Avoid drinking out of plastic which can add harmful chemicals to your water.

3) Dark chocolate-

In need of a sweet treat? Avoid processed sugary junk and go for dark chocolate which is full of health benefits including high levels of antioxidants, fiber, iron and other trace minerals and has even been shown to improve brain function. Make sure that your chocolate is over 75% cocoa for the highest level of health benefits.

4) Snacks-

To get the most nutrients possible try raw nuts, dried fruit, nut butter, half an avocado, KIND bars, or any snacks from a healthy vending Machine!

5) Something green-

Keeping a plant or flowers at your desk can instantly improve your mood and help clean the air around you. Plants can also help cure a headache and eliminate airborne cold germs by increasing humidity levels and trapping dust.

Having a healthy vending machine nearby sure helps. It’s the difference between snacking on highly saturated fats or healthy, energy supplying foods. The latter will keep your energy levels going for longer.Contact Balanced Vending to get the healthiest choices delivered to your office!

5 Fun Ways To Energize Your Workday

Sometimes the work week flashes by us in the blink of an eye. Every day we have a million emails to answer, meetings to attend, and an unlimited list of tasks to handle. As a result, we find ourselves zooming through the day—sometimes without taking a break—only to find that we’re completely burnt out and moody by 5 p.m., riding the wave of caffeine and sugar.

The best way to avoid these extreme ups and downs is by gaining an active awareness of your time and taking breaks throughout the day. By doing so, both your mental and physical health will benefit, and you’ll find that even a 10 minute intermission will help you regain your focus and energy.

Here are 5 simple activities you can add in to re-energize your day:

1) Exercise or meditate.
Adding exercise into your work day may seem difficult if you sit at a desk, but there are a lot of great ways to add simple movement in. For instance, you can take a walk after lunch outside or around your office. Other options include finding an empty conference room to breathe deeply in and out for 5 minutes, doing 10 pushups, or even just taking the stairs whenever possible. These are easy ways to burn some calories and refocus the mind.

2) Read something that inspires you.
Do you find yourself getting completely caught up in office drama or feeling uninspired by the work you’re doing? If so, you may also find yourself completely attached to negative feelings and emotions. Taking 10 minutes to read an article on fishing, yoga, politics, funny news, or whatever really excites and interests you will allow you to can channel that positivity to renew your energy throughout the day.

3) Have a cup of green tea.
Dehydration is often the leading cause of fatigue. Many people turn to soda and coffee in the afternoon to keep them alert and energized, but the opposite is probably happening. The sugar in soda causes spikes and crashes along with a myriad of other health problems. Coffee may provide you with some short-term energy, but it usually results in a come down as well. By drinking green tea with filtered hot water, you are adding in antioxidants, a low dose of caffeine, and most importantly H2O, which will rehydrate and awaken your entire body. For other healthy drink options, talk to your Balanced Vending specialist about healthy vending machines!

4) Call a friend.
Social interactions help us to re-connect to feelings of joy and love. Take a few minutes to call a friend during your day and try to avoid talking about your workplace at all. Instead, share a story you heard or catch up on how their kids are doing in school. Letting your brain shift to more relaxed and personal topics is sure to give you a lift.

5) Have a healthy snack.
Keeping your blood sugar in check is key to maintaining energy throughout the day. Keep portions small to avoid overloading on calories between meals, and focus on good fats and natural energy boosters such as apples and foods rich in vitamin B such as Greek yogurt, whole grains, seeds, nuts and raw nut butters, organic corn chips and avocados. Making these healthy snacks easily accessible is extremely important and will help you make better food decisions. Talk to your company about adding a Balanced Vending machine to your workspace to ensure you have the right snacks available to you when you need them!

Support your coworkers and invite them to join you in these “energy breaks.” By doing so, you’ll strengthen the bond amongst your team and enhance camaraderie in the office. Most importantly, you’ll laugh and relax, which should help you increase productivity and positivity in everything that you do!

Healthy Practices to Kick-start Your Fall

Summer is coming to an end and its time to usher in a new, and often busier time of year. Autumn is a time of settling in, re-focusing, and for many, starting school or getting back into the flow of your normal work schedule. As you transition from one season to another it’s important to keep up the good habits that we all tend to pick up during the energetic summer months.

  1. Keep up you workout routine:Longer, warmer days paired with a desire to be swimsuit ready on the beach motivate us to exercise more in the Summer. As the weather cools and our natural reflex kicks in to settle down and prepare our bodies for winter it’s important to continue moving your body, which will help improve your mood and help you stay fit in winter.
  2. Eat Seasonally: Shop at your local farmers market and find foods that are local and growing in season; bonus points for going organic! Some great Fall produce choices include squash, root vegetables, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, and grapefruit.
  3. Spend time getting grounded: The intense energy of summer mixed with high temperatures and long days can create chaotic and unbalanced feelings as we move into Fall. Your office may also become busier this time of year as everyone comes back from vacations and holidays. The best way to get grounded is through daily practice. Take a moment everyday before getting out of bed to plant your feet and breath, invite your day in and express gratitude.free vending machines
  4. Eat Moderately: As winter approaches our bodies may begin to crave more fats. Adding these in is certainly recommended, but be sure to do so in healthy ways.  Snack on healthy options like those from healthy vending machines and eat a larger breakfast to ensure that you are starting your day off with good fats and protein. Oatmeal and eggs are two great options to keep you full until lunch.
  5. Add in warming foods: Keep your body working optimally while assisting your immune system by adding in warmer foods this time of year. Miso soup contains cancer fighting and anti-aging properties, antioxidants and is fermented so it will raise the good bacteria in your body to help fight infections. Limit your intake of red meats and instead add in sauteed greens and vegetables with coconut oil, an amazing source of healthy fat. Of course keep snacking to a minimum, but if need be make sure to visit a healthy vending machine instead of a candy store!
  6. Wear a scarf: Ancient Chinese medicine links most seasonal illness to temperature changes and ‘wind points’ located near the base of the neck where pathogens may enter and result in illness. Wearing a scarf or keeping your coat collar up can help block this wind and keep you healthier as temperatures rise and fall.
  7. Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is important year round to allow your body to restore itself and stay healthy. As the days become shorter you may naturally find your body craving more sleep. Listen to those
    feelings and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and avoid drinking water right before bed so that your sleep cycle isn’t interrupted.

For more advice on adding in healthier food options to your office for the changing season, contact your representative at Balanced Vending. Supporting your employees this time of year is key to increasing productivity and health in the workplace.

Ten Ways To Ease Anxiety at Work

Are you finding your workday is leaving you completely frazzled and stressed when you get home? If so, read up on the following tips, and keep your office stocked with a healthy vending machine to ease your office anxiety and make your home life more relaxing as well.

1) Start the day with a large glass of water.

The best way to lubricate, hydrate, and detox your entire body is by drinking a glass of filtered water first thing in the morning. For extra credit, add lemon juice! Coffee is dehydrating, so wait until you’ve had some breakfast and at least one glass of water before having your morning cup. You’ll find yourself less anxious and won’t experience such a large caffeine crash.

2) Take breaks to breathe.

It’s easy to get lost in our workdays. Meetings, deadlines, and a full inbox can take a toll on our mental health. It’s important to remind yourself to breathe! Practice a simple breathing exercise of 5 second inhales and 8 second exhales. Practice this for 5 minutes per day and you’ll notice awareness coming back to your body, which will help you relax in tense or overwhelming moments.

3) Organize your workspace.

For me, a clean and uncluttered workspace is absolutely necessary to get any work done. Take a few minutes every evening to tidy up your space, put pens in their cups, paper work in its correct folder or recycling bin and clean any plates or cups that may be on your desk. Now when you get to the office in the morning, you are starting with a clean slate!

4) Take breaks to look at personal items.

I love to have pictures of my pets, my husband, and my travels on my desk; it brings me a lot of calm and joy to be reminded of fun moments. If you’re feeling the panic start to rise after a meeting, just look at your adorable pet and trust me, you’ll be smiling in no time!

5) Schedule a meeting with yourself.

If your schedule gets totally booked up with meetings, make sure to schedule some of your own time in your calendar. That way, you will be more present in your meetings because you know you’ll have time later to get that important task done.

6) Create a mantra for stressful moments.

Everyone has moments of not feeling good enough and doubt. It’s important to remind yourself you are not in control of everything. Research has proven you can change your outlook with just a simple phrase. One mantra I like to use is, “I have been here before. I will be here again’,” or even simpler, “This too shall pass.” Write it down and put it near your computer for times of stress.

7) Take a snack break in the afternoon.

Get away from your desk for at least 10 minutes in the afternoon and have a snack. Eating something small and healthy can help you maintain your weight, keep blood sugar and mood regulated, give you energy and boost your brain power. If your business is lacking a healthy repertoire of snacks, have them contact Balanced Vending about a free vending machine!

8) Drink water all day.

Just as important as hydrating in the morning is drinking clean, filtered water all day long. Water is the foundation for maintaining optimal health and will help curb cravings for soda and sugar, which can both be harmful to your body and should be taken in moderation.

9) Express gratitude.

The more we realize how great we have it, the less stressed we become. This also allows us to live in the present moment versus worrying about unknowns in our future.

10) Get a good night’s sleep.

Make dinner the smallest meal of your day, power down all of your devices by 9:00PM and avoid alcohol before bed. If you have trouble sleeping, try melatonin to help ease your body to sleep with its natural rhythm. Just one extra hour can have a large impact on your energy levels and overall health!

Start by trying one or more of these tips, and hopefully you will find more calm and ease in your workday! If you have other tips that work well for you, please leave them in the comments; we’d love to hear!

Stand Up for Your Health

ny vendingMost of us sit for an average of eight hours or more per day at work. Although this may not seem like to too big a deal in the grand scheme of things, it can have huge impacts on our health. A few common side effects of sitting all day include eyestrain, bad posture, metabolic problems and even heart disease. Some studies are even making the claim that sitting all day is as bad for our health as smoking—pretty alarming facts!

The good news is there are some simple steps you can take to help balance out these risks. One easy way to add movement to your day is by moving during meetings. Either walk around your office space, or go outside if the weather is nice. When you walk and talk, you’ll find you cut down the meeting because your brain is focused and your body is active. You’ll also burn calories, and may even feel a larger connection to your team because everyone will be present, not distracted by cell phones or computers.

Another way to decrease health problems at your desk is to stand every 30 minutes. Set an alarm clock on your calendar to remind yourself to get up. Not only will you move your body, but you will also find that this small change gives you an energy boost and a chance to rest your eyes by looking away from the computer for a few moments.

Posture is another huge problem for most 9-5ers. It’s important to have a comfortable chair at work. I recommend using a small pillow behind your lower back for extra support. Consider a “non-traditional” chair. There are a lot of alternative chair options on the market now, including yoga balls that help strengthen your core. Be aware not to slouch, and take a few moments every hour to check in on your alignment and pull your spine straight as needed.

Stretching can reduce stiffness and tension at the end of a long day. You can stretch at your desk, or ask your company to create scheduled group stretch breaks. Neck, shoulder, and wrist rolls are a good place to start, and they require very little space. If you’re sitting on a ball, add in a few rounds of crunches a day as well. Why not work on your abs along with a paycheck?

The final recommendation I’ll make is simple, but often abused. Don’t eat at your desk! It’s a recipe for overeating! It’s really important to take at least 30 minutes to eat slowly and mindfully mid-day. Spending time with coworkers and talking about topics outside of the workplace can actually help you re-focus when you get back to your desk and will improve your mood. Bonus points for going outside after you eat to get fresh air, vitamin D, and a guaranteed mental and physical pick-me-up. Walking also ensures your metabolism stays active, making you less likely to gain weight while on the clock.

Many of us find that our workdays fly by, and before we know it, we’ve barely stood up long enough to run to the bathroom. This week, be mindful of your patterns and make these small changes to ensure you’re staying as healthy and active during the workweek as you are on the weekend. In addition, incorporating a healthy vending machine in your office will encourage further healthy habits. Learn how to get a free vending machine for your business from Balanced Vending by visiting our website.

Equipment Spotlight: The Merchant Six Combo

free vending machineLet’s think about technological advances for a moment. Imagine computers and cars from the 1980s. Got it? Now imagine computers and cars today. Huge difference right? Now compare vending machines from the 1980s with vending machines today. Having a bit more trouble? Well, you shouldn’t be! Vending machines being released and developed today have made technological leaps and bounds since they first gained popularity during the 1980s and 1990s. Let’s take a look at one of the forerunners in healthy vending technology from Crane Merchandising Systems: the Merchant Six Combo.

The Merchant Six Combo is one of the most technologically advanced healthy vending machines in production and showcases the major developments that the field of vending machines have seen over the last few decades. Here are some of the more impressive and useful perks of the Merchant Six Combo:

  • Limitless Options: One machine can vend everything from cold drinks and dairy products to fresh foods and snacks.
  • Customization: Customized levels and adjustable dividers allow individuals to create different “zones.” This means that you can easily separate perishable goods with longer lasting snacks and beverages.
  • Temperature Control: With the plethora of options now available in your vending machines, there is a need for various temperature options. The Merchant Six Combo makes sure this isn’t a problem. With three adjustable climate zones, all of your stored beverages and food will be stored at their perfect temperature.

Balanced Vending Brand Spotlight: Clif Bar & Company

healthy vending machinesLast week we discussed some of the advantages to healthy snacking. Today we’re going to take a look at one of the top-selling snack brands available through our healthy vending machines! Clif Bar & Company is a large presence in the artful practice of healthy, yet appealing, snacking, and its products are, by all accounts, delicious and nutritious. The foundation of the company started in the early 1990s as a home-based organic food project, and quickly gained popularity amongst active individuals, it took only two years for Clif Bar & Company to be officially founded. Clif Bar & Company prides itself as being eco-friendly and producing its food with organic and natural ingredients.

Clif Bar & Company’s flagship product was first produced by Gary Erikson before a long distance bike race. His goal was to make a product that could not only last a long time, but pack healthy energy for active individuals—a perfect option for healthy vending, while still maintaining a fair price-point for consumers.

Luna Bars are Clif and Company’s rising star on the snack scene. They are essentially nutritious, high-protein snacks (much like Clif Bars) but are created and marketed toward women.

We’re confident that Clif and Company’s culture and high-quality products will ensure higher popularity in New York vending and beyond!

The Advantages of Healthy Snacking

healthy vending machinesIt’s difficult to walk down the street, or even surf the Web, without seeing a slew of advertisements for different diets and health tips—it’s all very hard to keep track of. If you’re interested in developing healthier eating habits, a great place to start is your snacking! Like most workers in New York, vending machines are a go-to solution for hunger while on the job, namely because of their location (generally in or close to your office) and the plethora of options laid out for you. There’s one major problem with snacking solely from traditional vending machines: they’re stocked full of snacks laden with sodium and fats.

Luckily, with the new trend in nutritional eating came huge strides in healthy vending machine options that not only offer you the conveniences of traditional NY vending but the added benefits of healthy snacking. Choosing the more nutritious options on a regular has numerous health benefits such as:

  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
  • Increases work productivity
  • Reduces the risk of various heart diseases
  • Increases focus
  • Helps maintain a healthy sleep cycle

With the technological advances in healthy vending technology and health advantages like those listed above, it’s an easy choice to start snacking right!

Welcome To The Balanced Vending Blog!

ny vendingJust as Balanced Vending is your source for healthy vending machines in and around New York City–The Balanced Vending Blog will keep you informed about industry related news, health tips, and general announcements from us at Balanced Vending!

So who are we? We are not just any New York vending machine company; we’re part of a movement to make New Yorkers healthier, happier, and more efficient. We supply vending machines to your office, or place of business, and keep them stocked with nutritious snacks and drinks. Most vending machines are filled to the brim with sugar-laced sweets, highly preserved snacks, and drinks laden with high-fructose corn syrup. On the other hand, we choose snacks that are made from natural ingredients, are low in fat, and lower in sodium than options found in most regular vending machines.

In addition, Balanced Vending is on the frontier of vending machine technology. You no longer need to search through every corner of your desk for random quarters and dimes–many of our machines are equipped with card reader technology (how cool is that?!). Finally, we make sure your favorite snacks and drinks are always in stock with our wireless machine monitoring systems.

Bookmark this blog for healthy vending news and more from Balanced Vending!