You work hard to live an active lifestyle, but let’s face it – sometimes it’s difficult to follow a squeaky clean eating plan. We don’t always have the luxury of preparing every meal in our own kitchen, and even if we did, chances are we wouldn’t always have the motivation or energy to do so. In fact, one of the most popular comments that I get from my clients and readers is that they know what they should eat, but when hunger, stress, or lack of time enters the picture, all willpower and desire to stay on track falls by the wayside.
Does this sound like you? If so, try these 4 tips to keep your good nutrition habits going strong.
1. Look for naturally-portable whole foods. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy! Admittedly, the foods that are best for us can take a bit of time to prepare – leafy greens need washing and chopping, whole grains need cooking, and it’s easy to swap this preparation time for something quick that comes out of a drive through window. But don’t worry, because there are lots of healthy, whole foods that are easy to carry with you on the go. These foods also don’t contain the artificial ingredients, chemicals, and additives that many processed convenience foods do. Stock your kitchen with the following and make these foods your go-to’s when you need some grab-and-go nourishment:
- Whole fruits like apples, oranges, bananas, plums and pears
- Baby carrots, pre-cut celery sticks, and sliced cucumbers
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and brazil nuts are all great choices)
- Whole grain crackers
- Whole grain granola bars (ideally ones with sugar grams in the single digits)
- Dry whole grain cereal
- Tuna pouches
- Natural nut butter
- Dried fruit
- Shelled defrosted edamame pods
2. Don’t forget the grocery store when evaluating quick lunch options. Not a fan of bringing your own lunch to work? Next time you’re evaluating the nearby restaurants, consider the grocery store. Many have prepared meals that are much healthier (and cheaper) than what you’ll find on restaurant menus. Look for salads topped with lean protein, chopped fruit and veggies, whole grain-based dishes, sandwiches on whole grain bread, and prepared sushi.
3. Become a fan of leftovers. Consider doubling or even tripling the quantities for dishes you prepare at dinner, and packaging those meals up as leftovers to be eaten throughout the week. Grain-based salads, soups, and chili are particularly well-suited for this as they tend to keep well in the fridge. If you’re firing up the BBQ, toss on a few extra pieces of lean beef, chicken, fish, or tofu, and grill them up so they’re ready to add to weekday meals.
4. Try getting your nourishment in liquid form. One of the easiest ways to get the nutrition your body needs (especially after a workout) is in the form of a smoothie. I’m not just talking about some fruit blended up with a scoop of protein powder. Make it a supercharged smoothie by adding a few handfuls of dark leafy greens, a source of healthy fat such as nut butter or chia seeds, and coconut water which helps to re-balance electrolytes. If you need some ideas, feel free to check out my favourite post-workout recovery smoothie, or find inspiration in some of these blended creations. Invest in a big shaker cup with a lid and you’ve got a perfectly portable meal!
Now tell me, what are some of your strategies for maintaining your healthy eating habits when you’re on the go? Share in the comments below!
About the Author: Outside of her full-time job, Angela is a fitness instructor, personal health coach, and blogger. When she’s not creating recipes and writing blog posts, she can be found running half marathons, traveling, and eyeing up her next purchase at Lululemon. To learn more about Angela, check out her blog, Eat-Spin-Run-Repeat.com. You can also get your hands on her free e-book, Creating a Whole Foods Lifestyle (complete with 10 healthy, delicious recipes) by subscribing to email updates.
P.S. Don’t forget to download PumpUp to start living a more active and healthy life today!