Do you struggle with staying on a nutritious eating path because you’re always on the go? You are not alone. One of the biggest complaints from our clients is that they live in their cars, at the office, in school, or at their kids’ after school activities. After a long, busy day, even when planning ahead for meals, we can all be tempted to pick up pizza or other fast foods on the way home.
Don’t despair. You can eat in healthful ways with little planning and prep time. There are a lot of portable foods you can take along with you on your travels. The key is to focus on fresh, whole foods as much as possible.
Invest in some good quality containers and cooler bags to carry your snacks and meals. Having a convenient way to transport your food make the challenge of eating healthy on the go so much easier.
Ideas for Snacks
There are some simple things you can take with you for snacks and some things that may need a little prep. Here are a few ideas:
The Obvious Choices
- Fresh fruits, especially apples, bananas, berries, oranges – All are portable and don’t require refrigeration. I like to slice and core my apples and peel the oranges before I head out the door so they are easier to eat or can be eaten in smaller portions. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the apples to keep them from browning.
- Veggies and dip – Grocery stores make it convenient to consume vegetables by selling pre-cut carrots, celery, broccoli, etc. Some vegetables don’t need cutting like grape tomatoes, mini peppers, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and many more. If you buy smaller sized carrots, you can take those along whole without cutting or peeling them. Celery pieces are also easily eaten without cutting. For a protein dip, try almond butter or hummus. This is when a small re-useable container comes in very handy!
- Nuts and dried fruit (no sugar added) – watch the quantity as the calories can add up with this type of snack.
- Rice cake or whole grain crackers or gluten free crackers with nut butter.
- Cheese and crackers – do your research on the better cheeses to eat with less saturated fat and less sodium. See Berkeley Wellness as a start.
No-Fuss Prepared Snacks
There are also snacks you can take along that require a little preparation or could be leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Ideas include:
- Extra quinoa from previous meal – to make it sweet, add a little vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp maple syrup, and a few raisins. Store in a thermos to carry along with you. Make it savory by adding a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper, finely chopped veggies, beans, and fresh oregano. Thermos container also works well for the savory version if you would like to keep it warm.
- Prepare our Overnight Oatmeal treat to bring along later in the day or for the next day.
- For a sweet crunch, try making these Maple-Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas, from Delicious Living.
Ideas for Meals
Meals on the go can also be easy and nutritious. As with prepared snacks, leftovers are perfect for ‘to go’ meals. Examples may include:
- Leftover chicken pieces are packaged easily or our Homemade chicken fingers can be eaten cold with Dijon mustard or Greek-style yogurt with a touch of honey.
- Quinoa salad or any green salad with left over grilled chicken, fish, or beef. Store the salad dressing separately and toss when ready to eat. Make a large batch of our dressings to use throughout the week: Homemade Salad Dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Whole grain wraps with leftover chicken, beef, or fish. Cut up some fresh veggies and a little bit of shredded cheese to add. Prepare the wraps ahead or store separately and then assemble at the soccer field or wherever your day takes you!
We hope these ideas keep you on a healthier eating path while on the go! Tell us what you think or what is your favorite take-along snack or meal.