Seriously! If only our schedules could work completely around meals & snacks instead of the other way around, most of us would have much better track records of choosing healthier options. Simply put, when we are busy at work, running kids to all sorts of activities evenings & weekends, trying to fit in time for exercise and socializing-oh-and dealing with the unexpected (surprise! Bake sale tomorrow and you need 48 cupcakes made STAT) it's amazing we have time to eat at all. Usually one of two things happen: we get too busy and completely forget to eat OR we eat whatever is the easiest (usually fast food or processed carbs). In scenario 1, our blood sugar gets completely out of whack leading to mood issues (hello hangry), weight gain and poor choices later. Scenario two can also lead to blood sugar issues but also to digestive disturbances (that much grease ain't good for anyone) and also eventual weight gain. Plus both are killer for energy. Alternatives you say? Why yes-there are! Here are my top 3 tips for making sure you eat healthy EVEN when running around like a chicken with it's head cut off (sorry for the graphic image)
- Plan ahead. This one is the biggest and most important for success, and honestly once you get in the habit of planning for healthy food on the go it becomes a lot easier. One thing we try to do is pick two days of the week and devote a little time to pre-planning. Sundays & Wednesdays work well in our house, and every Sunday & Wednesday I try to take an hour and set us up for the next few days. I chop veggies and individually portion them into little containers with some almonds. I also make sure we have grab and go apples & bananas ready to rock. Other faves include mason jars with overnight oats (get a recipe here), egg muffins (recipe here), hard boiled eggs pre peeled, and some frozen burritos in the freezer for emergencies (Amy's are a great option that are supermarket available, healthy and delicious).
- Have some go-to fast food meal options to avoid picking the worst ones. Resign yourself to the fact that eventually the best laid plans fail and you may have to resort to fast food. When that happens, having a healthy go-to helps avoid picking one of the worst offenders. For example-fast food salads are notoriously full of bad fats and oils and waaaaayyy too many calories for a single meal. BUT if you order the plainest salad on there, choose the grilled chicken and not the breaded, hold the cheese and get the dressing on the side you can make them much better for you. Oh-and if they come with those little baggies of crushed tortillas or candied nuts-chuck em right into the garbage. Trust me-you don't want to add that. Subs can be great, but again avoid too many processed meats and pick something simple like turkey breast, no cheese (or if you must have cheese at least don't double it), lots and lots of veggies and go easy on the sauces (plain old mustard is probably the best choice-lots of flavour and straightforward ingredients for the most part). A great rule when trying to order any custom made fast food is to double the veggies, halve the meat and hold the cheese if you can.
- Keep non-spoiling snacks in the car for when you forget (because you will). Things like homemade trail mix (or store bought, just try to avoid ones with a ton of added sugar), small bags of nuts, a few apples, crackers like Mary's Organic, baked chickpeas, good quality beef jerky, etc can all be lifesavers when you are starving and on the go. Bonus tip-invest in a good quality water bottle like Swell and always travel with water. Staying hydrated is just as important, and no, coffee just doesn't cut it all day long.
Well-that's it! My top tips for eating well no matter where you are. Do you have fail safe methods of your own? Share in the comments or post them on my Facebook page here OR join my FREE Facebook community where I post all my best recipes! CLICK HERE!
Until next time!