By: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN

We’ve all been there. It’s 3 o’clock on a Wednesday, you have a couple of deadlines looming before the end of the week, and you’re trying to figure out how to be the most productive when hunger strikes. That very moment is the perfect time to reset, recharge and rely on a couple of key things that will set you up success, all of which you can keep in your desk drawer!

January is the perfect time to re-organize your drawers (and your entire desk too!) and stock them with the essentials you’ll need to make healthy habits easy and accessible during the workday. Here are five things I always keep in my desk drawer:

1. Refillable water bottle:

More often than not when we think we are hungry and can’t focus at work we’re actually already dehydrated. Next time you have a hankering for a snack, start drinking water instead to see if you are actually just thirsty. Aim for about eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day (and more if you’re active)! Plus getting up to refill your water bottle is a great way to get a couple extra steps into your day, so visit the watercooler or kitchen on the other side of the office as much as you can.

2. Health Warrior Honey Sea Salt Pumpkin Seed Bar:

When that afternoon hunger does indeed strike, always keep a couple of Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars in your drawer for a healthy snack in between meals. Made with simple ingredients that are probably in your pantry already (like quinoa, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, and honey) these bars have the protein you need to stay focused, the fiber to keep you full until your next meal, and none of the extra sugar you don’t need! High sugar snacks often lead to lulls in energy, which can cripple productivity. I especially love the Honey Sea Salt flavor when I need something that has a touch of sweet and salty goodness.

3. Roll-on essential oil:

No matter what line of work you’re in, sometimes things just get stressful. You begin contemplating if you’ll have to forgo sleep to get everything done. The next time you start to feel like you can’t handle it take a deep breath and reach for the essential oil roller in your drawer. Choose oils that calm and refresh. Peppermint is great for boosting concentration while jasmine will calm your nerves and promote optimism and confidence.

4. Tennis ball:

Does last night’s workout have your feet hurting? Constantly switching from gym shoes to dress shoes, and all the boots and heals in between can do a number on your arches. Use a tennis ball to roll out your feet under your desk for a mini foot massage (no one has to know). Do you carry stress in your upper back from typing or lower back from sitting? Place a tennis ball between your back and a wall to get into those tough to reach places and alleviate knots. Take the five minutes during the day and you’ll start to see a difference right away.

5. Lemon wedges:

Of course you’ll have to bring new ones every few days, but stashing some pre-cut lemon slices in your desk drawer will help to keep you refreshed and productive in more ways than one. Squeeze one into your water to perk up your tastebuds and keep your mouth from going dry throughout the day, or squeeze it over the leftovers you brought for lunch for extra flavor without the salt. Bonus- you’ll be getting more vitamin C in your diet, something we could all use a little bit more of during flu season in the office.


Maggie Michalczyk is a registered dietitian from Chicago, Illinois who is crazy about pumpkin. Learn more about Maggie!