Vending Machine Overhaul
Vending machines are the goddamn devil. They are in every school, workplace, and unfortunately for me, fire departments across the United States. They rarely offer anything health promoting and contribute to the chronic disease epidemic in children and adults. These refrigerated display cases are full of junk food and sugar-laden beverages that compromise health. If a double fudge protein bar and a diet Cherry Coke are your best options, I advise you to pack some of your own snacks. With that being said, the convenience of vending machines is undeniable, so if they must stay lets look at some alternatives to the processed bullshit.
Try these swaps for delicious, convenient snacks without the adverse health effects:
Potato chips → Siete tortilla chips or pork rinds with only “pork skin” and “salt” in the ingredients (Epic Pork Rinds are great)
Diet Coke and Coca Cola → Zevia Cola
Slim Jims → Epic Beef Jerky
Root Beer → Zevia Ginger Root Beer
Candy bars/protein bars → 75% or higher dark chocolate bars
Dr. Pepper (my old personal favorite) → Dr. Zevia
Mountain Dew → Mountain Zevia
Cream Soda → Zevia Cream Soda (this one is the best IMO)
Sports drinks → Mineral water (Topo Chico, San Pellegrino, Mountain Valley)
Sprite → Lime Waterloo
Sugary trail mix → Raw macadamia nuts and almonds
Energy drinks → Black coffee!
Read ingredient labels and avoid trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable/seed oils, artificial sweeteners, and sugars besides stevia leaf extract. The less ingredients the better. Waterloo, La Croix, Zevia, and Topo Chico are all great options for drinks when stocking your vending machines. Start making better choices today by removing these processed foods from your diet. If this vending machine overhaul isn’t possible, I suggest bringing your own snacks and beverages to work. Your health, your hands.