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We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” An admonition to avoid foods considered indulgent and stick to healthier options. But a more accurate phrase would be “you are what you feel.” In modern day society, we’re more stressed than ever. We work more than Medieval Age peasants, our children are assigned up to 3 times as much homework as is recommended, and sleep deprivation has reached epidemic levels. And all of that stress has far reaching impacts on our physical health, and how we digest and process the food we eat.

And in addition to stress affecting how well we absorb nutrients from our food, how much we enjoy what we’re eating affects us just as much. Eating food that you enjoy has been proven to help our bodies absorb the nutrients in food better than when you’re eating something you don’t really like. In other words, when you actually like what you’re eating, it’s better for you. That means choking down rice cakes, eating bland salads without dressing, or substituting cauliflower for mashed potatoes isn’t actually helping you lead a healthier life (unless you happen to genuinely like those things) because your body isn’t getting the benefit of the nutrients those items contain.

So while we can’t advocate a diet of nothing but brownies, remember that a salad dressed lightly with a delicious vinaigrette is going to help your body more than eating plain greens with nothing on them. A sandwich loaded with veggies and dressed with one of our custom sandwich spreads will give you more vitamins than a plain, undressed sandwich with nothing interesting on it. And mouth-watering, glazed, pan-seared chicken may not have any more iron than bland, boiled chicken with steamed vegetables, but your body will still get more iron out of it. So grab a boxed lunch, a buffet, or a breakfast that you know your office will actually like, and feel secure in the knowledge that enjoying a delicious, relaxing meal will help give their bodies the nutrients and energy for a happy, productive work day.