Lead by Example: Would your Health Habits Win You Votes?

Election time in our great nation is drawing nearer. Now is the time the magnifying glasses come out to examine the actions of our current and aspiring public leaders.  What have they accomplished?  What examples have they set?  While much of the attention may be focused on public office, don’t underestimate the power of your own influence.  As the leader of your company, work crew, or your household, your actions hold weight also.  What message are you sending about the importance of good nutrition as a part of a healthy lifestyle?

Employers, how would your workers score your efforts?  How do you show your employees that you care about their health and wellbeing?  What snacks are in the vending machines?  What do you provide in the break room?  If you want your employees to feel that you care about them, start by offering healthy snack and beverage options.

Healthy Vending Machine Snacks

As far as beverages are concerned, water and 100% juice are healthy alternatives to sugary beverages like soda pop.  Think your only snack options are chocolate and packaged pie?  Fitness Magazine has provided a list of 10 healthier vending machine snacks.

Number One Pick

1.  Planters Sunflower Kernels (1/4 cup)
160 calories, 14g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 4g fiber
The Bottom Line:  Full of healthy fats.

Second Best

2.  Baked! Lays Original
210 calories, 3g fat, 0g sat fat, 4g fiber
 The Bottom Line:  Surprisingly fiber-full.

Other Smart Snacks

3.  Sun Chips Original
140 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
 The Bottom Line:  Made of whole grains.

4.  Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels (20)
110 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat
 The Bottom Line:  Naturally fat-free.

5.  Smartfood Reduced-Fat Popcorn
120 calories, 5g fat, 1g sat fat, 2g fiber
The Bottom Line:  Low fat and has fiber.

6.  Peanut M&M’s
250 calories, 13g fat, 5g sat fat, 2g fiber
 The Bottom Line:  Just don’t go nuts…

7.  Fig Newtons
190 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 2g fiber
 The Bottom Line:  It’s fruit.

8.  Nature Valley Granola Bar, Oats & Honey
180 calories, 6g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 2g fiber
 The Bottom Line:  Beats hunger.

9.  Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts (39)
160 calories, 13g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 6g protein
 The Bottom Line:  High in protein.

 10.  Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk
110 calories, 2g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 1g fiber
 The Bottom Line:  Guilt-free chocolate.


Instead of stocking the break room with coffee and donuts, try replacing the donuts with whole grain bagels, low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter, yogurt and fruit.  Keep the coffee though!  For those seeking coffee alternatives, stock the break room with tea also.  Coffee and tea can be great sources of antioxidants and phytonutrients.  The unwanted calories come from the add-ins, like cream and sugar.  Encourage your employees to go easy on the extras.  Odds are your employees will be accepting of the changes, powered up to face the work day, and appreciative of your interest in their health.


We owe it to our bodies to give it the fuel it needs to function optimally.  As a leader, employer, stellar employee or parent, your actions influence the decisions of others.  As you set the tone, you empower those around you to prioritize their health.  Some will even take these healthy habits into their home lives, extending your positive influence even further.


Don’t limit being a positive influence on your employees at work — impact your family.  BE the person in your household who buys healthy food for the family or makes healthy choices when eating meals out.  BE part of the solution to the explosion of child obesity in our country.  Adopt this old, but true, saying, “if it’s going to be, it’s up to ME!”


So would your health habits win you votes?  Will you get elected or re-elected as the leader of your circle of influence that promotes health through good nutrition?  What are you already doing at your work place?  Your home?  Weigh in and tell us what you PLAN to do!

Yours in good health,



Nora Clemens has been a Nutrition Expert for over 30 years. Her passion is working with people to help them achieve health and wellness through nutrition and fitness. Nora prides herself in being able to design programs that meet each person’s unique nutrition and lifestyle needs by helping them overcome the obstacles that have previously stood in their way. Construction Connection Profile Link: https://www.constructionconnection.com/natd/view/767

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