I have heard from so many people how impossible it seems to take the time to pay close attention to their diet in today’s busy world. People who are working full or even part time and taking care of their families or attending school seem to have their days so packed to the max with activity that it is difficult to find time to sit and eat let alone be choosy about what they’re eating. Trust me, I understand. There is a reason why drive-thrus thrive in our society. We’re busy people. If you feel like you’re struggling to come up with healthy ways to eat while you’re on-the-go I have some tips for you.
- Always keep snacks on you! Keeping a bag of almonds or walnuts with you at work or in your car is really an important thing for busy people. One of the reasons a normally health conscious person will cave in and eat fast food is because going for long periods without eating will cause their blood sugar to drop leaving them feeling dizzy and clammy due to hunger. It’s hard to say no to a quick bite in that condition! So please, try to keep nuts or whole grain crackers with you on the go!
- Do you have a lunch hour? If the answer is yes, skip the drive thru or diner. Go to the grocery store! There are so many options here.You don’t have time to cook, you say? Great! What a fantastic opportunity for you to get your raw fruits and veggies for the day. Most grocery stores have salad bars. Or grab some fruit and plain yogurt.
- Grocery store not in your time frame? Or maybe you really crave a hot meal? There are healthy options for on the go-ers. Discover what’s in the neighborhood. Do you have a Chipotle? They offer brown rice, beans, grilled veggies and hormone-free meat. Skip the tortilla on this one! Ask for cashews and sesame seeds on the veggies and you have yourself a lunch. A good sandwich shop can make a grilled veggie wrap on a whole wheat tortilla.
- You know I’m going to talk about packing a lunch. The absolute best way to control what you eat is to prepare your own food. I’m a big fan of setting aside one day a week to make batches of food that I can quickly access throughout the week. One thing to keep in mind, though is that you don’t want to pack something that needs to be reheated. So grill or blanch a whole bunch of veggies. Hard boil a dozen eggs. Boil up a box or two of whole wheat pasta (be sure to put extra virgin olive oil on it once it’s strained so that it all doesn’t stick together.) The easiest lunch I can think to pack is a salad. Use a large Mason jar or lidded plastic container or even a freezer bag and fill it 3/4 with dark leafy greens and get creative with veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Other foods that travel well are oranges and grapefruits.
Ok, you forgot to pack a lunch. You don’t have time for grocery store lines. You don’t have a Chipoltle around. You’re stranded on a desert island and you need lunch now. Of course I’m joking about that, but I know there are those rare times when the none of the tips I’ve given you apply. So quick go-to do’s and don’ts. Use mustard, not mayonnaise. If you don’t know if the oil is extra virgin olive oil skip it and stick to vinegar or lemon juice. Always opt for steamed, baked or grilled over fried or boiled. Baked potato instead of fries. Chips over pretzels. Water over well, any other beverage. I know it’s hard to plan ahead. I know most of you are incredibly busy. But try to remember that old saying, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” It’s really the truth. It may seem difficult at first to keep healthy habits in a hectic lifestyle, but the healthy habits really are crucial to staying busy. Believe it or not eating well can actually help you organize your time. A healthy you is a productive, energetic, happy you.