5 Tips for Eating Healthier On The Go
By Jason Bacigalupo
Vimocity Performance Coach
Whether you’re at home, in the office or in the field, healthy meal choices aren’t always obvious. What’s more, they may be unappealing or difficult to prepare.
Today, we’re going to walk through some small action steps that will help make your meals just a little bit healthier. Implementing just one of these action steps can shave calories from your daily intake, while boosting the amount of high-quality nutrients you receive. So let’s get to it!
1. Food Prep
Preparing food in advance is my favorite action step when I know that I’ll be on the go.
At some point in my weekend I’ll set aside 30 minutes to cut up fruits and veggies so that I can more easily use them later. For example, I really like bell peppers so I’ll cut them into strips and store them. I’ll do the same for fruits, cutting up strawberries or removing grapes from the vine. Once everything is washed, cut and stored it’s ready to be eaten, either on their own or as part of a larger meal.
I might also make a few extra chicken breasts and cut them into chunks or strips that I can use later. If I don’t have time to cook, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is a good replacement. I can shred that and use it as needed.
With the prep work done, it takes only a few minutes to mix and match ingredients for meals.
One easy example is to combine some of the prepped food with some spinach or spring mix to make a salad. Since I can’t stand a soggy salad, I’ll bring my dressing and add it at lunch time.
If I’m not in the mood for salad, I can use the chicken and some multi-grain bread to make a tasty sandwich. When paired with some pepper strips, baby carrots and celery rather than chips, I wind up with a very healthy lunch.
Regardless of which direction I go, I try to do this the night before – all I have to do is grab it from the refrigerator on my way out the door!
2. Healthy Restaurant Choices
It might not always be practical to bring food, which may mean a restaurant is your next best option. When that’s the case, try to make your meals as healthy as possible.
For example, most sit-down restaurants have a house salad on their menu that can be paired with grilled chicken. They can also prepare a grilled chicken breast with steamed veggies.
Sometimes, fast food is the only option. Fortunately, many fast food restaurants have now begun including healthier meal options on the menus. Try to select the healthiest option possible.
Lastly, if you’re really in the mood for a burger, try to pair it with some veggies or a side salad rather than the fries. You’ll replace excess calories, saturated fat and sodium with important nutrients and far fewer calories.
3. Healthy Snacks
The health food industry has exploded in the past decade, offering a variety of bars and shakes that are healthy, yet don’t taste like cardboard. An RXBAR is but one example of processed bars that utilize all natural ingredients in their product and pass the taste test.
However, plenty of whole-food options exist as well. I’m almost never without a plastic bag of unsalted mixed nuts. Fruits like apples, oranges and bananas involve no prep work and travel well. Finally, my traveling snack pack would not be complete without some all-natural beef or turkey jerky.
A friend of mine loves to make protein shakes and is always experimenting with different flavors. They’re always a variant of frozen fruit, organic protein powder, and in her case, almond milk. She can make them in just a few minutes, and again, they travel well.
4. Reduce Calorie-Dense Drinks
Soda and sugary beverages have been pilloried over the past several years, and with good reason. Calorie-dense drinks are easy to consume, don’t satisfy us and can have serious health consequences.
For example, a 20 oz bottle of Coke contains 240 calories and 65 grams of sugar. Some people drink multiple per day, which means that a significant portion of their daily caloric intake comes from sugar.
Instead, try to replace these drinks with water or unsweet iced tea. If you need a little flavor and fizz, naturally flavored sparkling water is an excellent alternative and easy to find at the grocery store.
5. Adopt a Disciplined Approach
Up to this point, we’ve discussed a variety of action steps you can take to make your meals healthier. I encourage you to pick one step from those outlined above and consistently put it into action.
First, assess what you are willing to do and how confident you are that you can execute it. Set yourself up for success by picking the lowest hanging fruit (pardon the pun), so that your confidence level is a 9 or 10 on a 10-scale. Habit change works best when we’re confident in our ability to implement it.
Second, commit to ruthlessly executing your new habit. Whether we realize it or not, we all have examples of habits and times in our lives that we demonstrate discipline. Ultimately, discipline is choosing to take action, even when we don’t feel like it. I strongly encourage you to make choices that positively impact your daily routine and stick with them!
Plan, Prep and Execute!
As you can see, it takes only a little planning and commitment to create healthier options for yourself when you’re on the go. Any of the action steps we discussed today will help you feel better and improve your health. Pick one and consistently execute it. You will never regret making a healthy choice!
The Vimocity team is here for you. If you have questions regarding our programs, our content or anything related to Moving Better, Feeling Better and Living Better simply reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better yet, join us on one of our live-streamed Daily Body Care sessions and ask your questions there!