Inquiring Minds – Snacks

In this edition of Inquiring Minds, I want to pick your brain about a topic that may not seem to be related to writing. (Oh, but it is.)

I’m talking about snacks.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets up from my desk and goes down to the kitchen as a way of procrastinating–err, I mean, taking a break–only to return with a snack to keep me company while I work.

Whether I’m writing, editing, or proofreading, I like to have something to nibble at my desk. This is not the same as eating a meal at my desk. I try to avoid that unless a deadline dictates that I do so. Rather, I just like having a plate or bowl of something to munch nearby. I’m not sure if it keeps me focused or helps to distract me, but that’s what I like.

Eating or snacking at your desk can be tricky. If you want to keep working, you need a snack that doesn’t require two hands or make a mess. Soup, ice cream, overstuffed burritos, gooey pastries, plates of spaghetti … none of those things are desk¬†friendly. I can’t worry about slobbering soup down my shirt or having burrito contents tumble onto my keyboard while I’m trying to work. I need one-handed, tidy snacks that can be shoved absent-mindedly into my mouth without interrupting my workflow.

Years ago, I was terrible about eating breakfast at my desk, when my son was an infant and would sleep until mid-morning, after staying awake until 3 a.m. Then one day I knocked over a full (minus a single sip) can of diet Coke and had to race the clock and tear apart my precious ergonomic keyboard in order to save it. I’m reasonably certain I had entire bagel’s worth of crumbs in there. And, God only knows what else. Believe me, if you ever question whether you should be eating at your desk, I invite you to pry open your keyboard and discover the horror of what’s lurking beneath those keys. You’ll change your ways. After that, I imposed a strict “no open container” rule. Now I only drink from a cup with a lid and a straw. And, although I’m only slightly less terrible about eating at my desk, it’s still progress.

My current favorite is a bowl of Mauna Loa Maui onion & garlic macadamia nuts. If (I think) I’m really hungry, I might throw in a few pieces of jerky or a meat stick to boost the amount of protein. But I like snacks like these because they don’t leave a coating of ‘flavor dust’ all over, causing me to pause after each bite and wipe my fingers on my pants–err, I mean, a tissue.

Another favorite is an Atkins bar or a Quest bar since I tend to eat low carb. With bars, you just have to be careful that they don’t have a coating that will melt all over your fingers. Or, hold them by their wrappers. Problem solved.

How about you? Do you have a favorite snack to munch while you write?