How to Eat Healthy on the Go
Whether it’s a busy day at work, a week of travel, or just your schedule getting a little too hectic, eating well when life gets busy can be tough for the best of us. Even with good intentions, we can miss meal prep or forget our lunch at home, and our eating habits can easily take a turn for the worse. Although it goes without saying that preparation is the key to success, I totally get that sometimes thing comes up at the last minute and the original plan you had in place is no longer going to cut it. So, for those exact moments, here are some simple troubleshooting tips on how to eat healthy on the go.
1. Don’t skip or skimp on breakfast.
If you know you are about to have a crazy hectic day – don’t skip breakfast. Eating breakfast will, at the very least, help to ensure that you have some fuel to get you going, and when you do eat breakfast make sure that you do it up. That light morning smoothie will probably not cut it if you’re going to be running around all day without another meal, so be sure you eating something filling and satiating. Opt for a generous portion of a well-balanced meal with carbohydrates, protein and fat to help get your day started on the right foot. If you’ve got time to make breakfast in the morning do it, otherwise try and make something the night before, or at the very least eat your dinner leftovers for breakfast.
2. Pack something, anything.
Before you leave the house, put something in your bag, anything. An apple, some almonds, a can of tuna, a piece of cheese. Having at least one thing to eat will help to alleviate the all-out panic mode of grabbing a pastry while you get your morning coffee or hitting the convenience store for chips while you are getting gas. Heck, you can even pack a whole lunch that requires no cooking at all. It doesn’t need to be exciting, in fact, the simpler the better, because if you are really truly hungry you will eat whatever you have in your bag. Think of this as your insurance plan, even if you don’t end up using it at least you have it, and you can avoid entering full-on hangry mode before you just start eating whatever you can find.
3. Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers.
I can’t emphasize this one enough. If you are already standing in the kitchen cooking, make extra. By simply making an extra serving, be it of your morning oatmeal or your evening stir-fry, you will easily set yourself up for success for the moments when you just don’t have time. Think about it, if you are literally already cooking something, all you need to do is add an extra cup of this and an extra spoonful of that and you will have a whole other meal that you don’t need to cook again. Simply store in the fridge, or the freezer if you need to, and that way you can ensure you have a quick and nutritious meal when the busy times come.
4. Eating out Doesn’t need to be Sh*tshow
I’m going to keep it real here for a second; just because you didn’t pack your lunch, and you’re not at a local-organic-vegan-gluten-free restaurant does NOT mean you need to eat an unhealthy meal. In fact, I am completely confident in saying that you can find a relatively healthy option at just about any restaurant out there. Yes, there will also be fries and wings and burgers on menus, but there is always an option made with whole foods, vegetables and protein. Nowadays even gas stations will carry healthy options like fruit, nuts, cheese, etc.. I’ve been in many situations like this myself and regardless of where I am I can always find a half decent option to choose from, you just need to look for it.
5. Sometimes Just Waiting is the Best Option
Truth bomb; skipping a meal is not the end of the world. Your body will survive, you will survive, and sometimes it is actually the best option. There is a misconception in the world of nutrition that skipping a meal is detrimental and should never be done – wrong. How often have you heard or said something like; “I didn’t have time, so I just bought a muffin.” “The conference didn’t have healthy options, so I just ate whatever.” “I forgot to pack a snack, so I just bought chips on the way home.” Look, I get it, I’m not saying you can’t indulge, but your lack of preparation is not a justification to eat junk food. In reality, you are often much better off just skipping that meal or snack and waiting until later when you have a better option to eat. Hear me about. I know going from 8:00am to 2:00pm without eating might sound craaazzzy, but I’m confident in saying that it’s sometimes better than just chowing down on junk food to hold yourself over. Real talk, you’re not going to starve if you don’t eat. In fact, most of us don’t know what real hunger actually feels like. You will feel better in the long run (energy, mood, productivity) if you focus on food quality rather than just eating to eat no matter what the option.