How to Host a Salad in a Jar Party
My friend Becky recently posted on Facebook about the Salad in a Jar Party she organized at work, and it looked like so much fun. Not only are you saving time prepping your lunch for the rest of the week, but you're learning new and interesting things about your friends and coworkers. Jicama is the key to my salad heart. I cheer inside when I find this potatoey-apple tuber chopped and sliced on the salad bar! After all, it's the most exciting vegetable you're not eating. (Locals: You'll find jicama at Mrs. Winston's in Santa Monica and Topper's Pizza in Thousand Oaks.) Can you guess what unusual toppings your friends secretly covet?
Like many of us, Becky is dedicated to getting back in shape and more importantly, getting healthy. I love how she's instigated a healthy revolution in her office. It only takes one person to lead the charge. The research shows you are what your peers eat, so assembling a healthy lunch is a great first step to building a healthy work environment. Did you know when your employees and coworkers adopt healthy behaviors, your team will have less absenteeism, more presenteeism (be fully functioning when present) and ultimately be more productive? What are you waiting for? Here's how to get a Salad party started.
Plan a few weeks ahead to give everyone time to get organized. At your office, Monday is a great day to make salads for a week's worth of lunches, but it's also a bit risky since people may forget to bring their ingredient after the weekend. Becky recruited party participants, sent out a reminder email on Friday, and chose Tuesday as the best day to fill those jars.
Ask everyone to bring their own jars. Have each person sign up for a specific ingredient, and get your office to sponsor the lettuce. Each quart sized jar needs about 2 cups of greens. It's important to get a realistic count of everyone who's in so there's enough of each ingredient. A serving size is 1/2 cup for vegetables and beans, dressing is 1-2 Tbsp. Layer the wet ingredients on bottom, including the dressing, and the lettuce on top so that it stays crisp. Each jar will keep for the 5-day workweek.
A few wellness tips:
- Get creative with your ingredients! Use this opportunity to try new seasonal fruits and vegetables together. (What's in season?)
- Create themes for each week to challenge yourself with new preparations for the old standbys, like roasted vegetable or squash week.
- Go beyond taste and share the health benefits of your ingredient with the group.
- Eat your lunch mindfully -- focus on how each ingredient tastes and feels in your mouth.
- Take a moment to be grateful for how this food is supporting your brain and body.
For information about how building a healthy work environment will benefit you and your employer, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Becky and her coworkers for their participation. All photos courtesy of Becky.