Let's face it, we all live busy lives. I can't tell you how many times people will tell me that they "forgot to eat" or that they "didn't have food" or something along those lines. The problem is that most people are not prepared with healthy options in their busy lives. There are many great snacks, however, that are easy to take with you and don't involve any refrigeration! I want to arm you with some tips I have for eating healthy on the go, as well as provide you with some of my favorites that I take with me when I'm rushing around.
5 tips for healthy eating on the go:
1.) Plan head. Know what your day is going to look like, when you KNOW you'll be able to get food, and plan and prepare for snacks in between the times that you know you won't be grabbing a meal.
2.) Pack smart. Give yourself a variety to choose from so that you can eat as balanced as possible, even if you are stuck on pre-packaged foods for the day. Also, PRE-PORTION, if what you bring isn't already portioned into individual serving sizes.
3.) Set up reminders. For those who "forget to eat" here's a tip... set up reminders in your phone on your calendar. That way, when a couple of hours go by your phone will alert you that it's time to get a snack so that you are nourishing your body properly for your busy day.
4.) Carry water. Staying hydrated is VERY important as you go through your day... and, no, sodas don't count... neither to energy drinks. Heck, I don't even count dairy or juice. WATER. Period. Our bodies need it. If you know that there will be drinking fountains around, then it's best to just carry a refillable water bottle with you.
5.) Avoid super heavy foods. Why? Well, let's face it, if you stuff a fatty fat snack in your face and then rush off, you are likely to get gas, bloating, upset stomach, etc. Feed your body with the best foods possible so that it doesn't backfire on you.
Melanie's favorite on the go snacks:
1.) Fresh fruit. Many fruits don't require refrigeration and are firm enough to throw into a bag without having to worry about smooshy foods. My favorites are apples and peaches, but I also love using small containers to hold fresh berries.
2.) Freeze dried fruit. I prefer freeze dried fruit to just plane dried fruit, because it's lighter and sweeter (and doesn't get stuck in your teeth so much). I get mine at Whole Foods (365 brand), but there are various brands out there. Apples are my favorite.
3.) Bars. My favorite are KIND bars, and I'm also a big fan of Uber bars (from Lara bar) as well. I prefer bars with all natural ingredients to protein bars that are full of lots of artificial ingredients and fillers.
4.) Nuts. As long as you don't have an allergy, nuts are your friend. Go for more nutrient dense nuts like walnuts, almonds or pistachios... as opposed to peanuts.
5.) Dry cereal. I'm not talking sugary kids cereals here, I'm talking healthy cereals. Shredded wheat squares are good, Cheerios are always a favorite (plane Cheerios, not the kinds with added sugar), or if you are gluten intolerant there are lots of great gluten free cereals that taste great dry and travel well. If you want to stay full longer, go for ones with a higher fiber content.
6.) Crunchy snacks. Back away from the Frito Lay. If you want healthier crunchy snacks that still taste great, check out items such as Terra Chips, Lentil Crackers/Chips, Glutino Gluten Free Pretzels, Dried veggie snacks, etc.
7.) Protein. There are many great jerky options out there (not Slim Jim, sorry). For a leaner jerky go for Turkey or Bison (or, heck, if you can take the fishiness of it... salmon). Your best option will be jerky that also contains NO MSG, and a lower sodium content... check out Perky Jerky. Another great protein source is canned tuna, chicken, or salmon... it doesn't require refrigeration and can easily be popped open to accompany a crunchy snack listed above.
8.) Almond butter sandwich. You can make a lovely almond butter sandwich and carry that around... healthy, quick, and... ok... if you want to throw 2 tbsp. of an all natural jam on there go ahead ;-)
All in all, it is ALWAYS better to eat things fresh and natural, but when you are in a pinch you can surely make smarter choices when on the go. Oh yeah, and I have to throw this in here... don't bother with any of those "100 calorie" snacks. They are usually very processed, have higher sugar contents (or artificial sweenter), and won't keep your satisfied by any means. If you have the option, you may also want to look into a cooler lunch pack to carry around with you... that way, you won't be limited to items that don't require refrigeration.
Happy snacking! :-)