On-The-Go Nutrition for Busy PeopleBy DuBose Fitness
Wouldn’t it be nice to stay home all day, preparing healthy meals for yourself? It would be so easy to stick to your nutritional plan, wouldn’t it?
Unfortunately, this is the real world. You’ve got family, work and social obligations. Sometimes, grabbing the right food is not always easy, right? Well, with a little preparation and equipment, you can make it easier to eat nutritious foods while you’re on the go. Here are a few tips to get you started on the path away from the vending machine!
1. Plan ahead as much as possible.
If you can, choose a day when you’re not terribly busy and make a meal plan for the week. Decide what you’ll eat for each of your three daily meals, and don’t forget to include snacks. Then, make a shopping list. While you shop, keep in mind that “if it’s not in the house, you won’t be tempted.” Steer clear of the unhealthy foods and keep well-stocked with fresh, healthy options.
If you’re super industrious, you can spend an afternoon preparing your meals and snacks in advance for the week! This is a great way to stay on track and always have healthy foods on hand.
Whether you do it the week in advance or the night before, be sure to always pack your lunch for work. Having a meal on hand will prevent fast food runs and vending machine trips. Again, don’t forget to pack a few snacks. Nuts and veggie sticks are great choices. Other options include:
- Tuna in a pouch
- Low sodium jerky
- Low-sugar protein bars
- Hard boiled eggs
- Sliced fruit
- Chicken or turkey breast slices
Use your imagination!
2. Invest in a good water bottle.
Let’s face it: there are good water bottles and there are bottles that should just be recycled. Investing in a good brand of water bottle will help keep you hydrated all day.
Choose a leak-proof bottle that’s BPA free. Better yet, find an insulated stainless steel option. One of our favorite bottles has a strainer insert which allows you to put a slice of orange or lemon in the water. Fresh, flavorful and cold water all day!
Your bottle doesn’t have to be large, just be sure you refill it as necessary during the day to track your water intake.
3. Keep meals simple.
You have a busy life. Don’t feel obligated to prepare five course meals at every family supper. Keep your meals simple and easy to prepare.
Some of the simplest meals are the most delicious. If you don’t already have one, purchase a Crock Pot or Instant Pot for perfect chili, chicken breast, lentil soup and more. Don’t be afraid of prepacked greens; they make a quick salad when you just toss in some green pepper slices, tomatoes and a handful of sunflower seeds.
Remember that you and your family don’t need perfection. Some nights, all you need is grilled chicken breast slices, a sliced avocado, some onion and a whole wheat tortilla. Dinner is served.
4. Consider a meal calendar.
Creating a meal calendar can help you eat well despite a busy lifestyle. It also allows family to prepare (and help prepare) for the day’s meals.
Jot down a few meals you know you and your family love. Then, choose a few you’d like to try. Don’t forget to ask everyone for their input – maybe they remember something you’ve forgotten! Then, map it out! Create a list of the ingredients you’ll need to prepare your meals and go shopping!
Try your calendar out for a month and see if that style of planning suits your lifestyle. If so, put your calendar and shopping list in a three ring binder. Revise your calendar as you see fit and have time!
Are you a more digitally-inclined family? There are plenty of free meal planning sites online! Just create your calendar and share with your family.
5. Don’t forget about travel!
Eating healthy foods while you’re traveling may seem pretty daunting. When you’re on the road you’re more likely to grab a service station snack or eat out. Here are a few ways you can eat well even while you’re away from home.
- Pack your carry-on with sandwiches, fresh fruits, nuts and cheese. Avoid liquids and gels due to airport security. If you’re driving, pack a cooler.
- Book a hotel room with a kitchenette. At the very least, ensure your room has a fridge and freezer.
- Use your coffee pot! Did you know you can make grits, oats and even soft boiled eggs in your hotel’s coffee maker? Search online for ideas. (But be safe! Your coffee pot isn’t a stovetop!)
- Learn about the area ahead of time. Know the restaurant and grocery options to avoid vending machine snacks and fast food runs.
- Order the low-fat options when you must eat out. Check the menu online first, then choose a meal that includes lean meats and plenty of veggies. Always start with the salad … and skip the extra cheese!
Eating healthy when you’re on the go isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s quite plausible! With a little preparation, you can stick to your nutritional plan with very little stress.