Many of us struggle to maintain healthy eating habits while we’re constantly on-the-go meeting the demands of our professional careers and busy family lives. A hectic lifestyle that involves traveling, fighting traffic, running late, or being stuck at the mall could make it easy for us to forgo healthy eating and succumb to fast food and sugary snacks. Keep a healthy diet and your energy up during a jam-packed schedule of work, family activities such as road trips, day camp, and beach days, with these six quick tips to keep you in shape while on the run.
1. Menu Plan Monday
The start of the week can be grueling for many of us who struggle to shift gears from the weekend to the workweek. Engaging in Menu Plan Monday isn’t only an opportunity to keep track of your menu planning throughout the course of the week, but it also gives you the chance to use up all the ingredients in your kitchen that can often be ignored — veggies in the crisper. Planning your meals well in advance will help ensure your meals are healthier and well-balanced. It also allows you to search recipes from the menus of others who do plan out Monday's meals.
The blog I’m an Organizing Junkie is home to Menu Plan Monday and can provide you with insight on your quest to get organized with food.
2. Pre-Packaged Snacks
In between meals, it’s easy for us to reach into the drawer or open our refrigerator and grab the most convenient and accessible food item. To avoid consuming junk food simply because it’s convenient, stack up on healthy snacks such as on-the-go apples and oranges, snack-size low-fat yogurt, raw nuts, raisins, and other dried fruit to place in sight. This is a great alternative for those who may not have time to pre-make their breakfast or lunch. "Most people will eat junk food because it is convenient, but they'll often choose healthier options if it's made available," Mary Hartley, registered dietician and nutritionist for CalorieCount.com told SheKnows.
Opt for hummus and veggies or kale chips if you choose to do some light TV snacking.
3. Avoid Fast Food Baked Goods for Breakfast
A wholesome-looking muffin for breakfast could seem like a sweet and quick fix to our breakfast woes while we’re on-the-go, but it could wreak havoc on our waistline. Although not all muffins are created equal, some of them could contain about half of the saturated fat for the day. Rather than biting into a muffin, choose a plant-based protein shake, flax and chia cereals, or even whole grain toast with nut butter, and a piece of fruit.
Smoothies are also a healthier alternative when you’re on-the-go. A strawberry-yogurt smoothie can provide you with vitamin C and potassium, high fiber, and keep you full from breakfast to lunch.
4. Brew Your Own Tea or Coffee
Many of us start our day and spend a considerable amount of time waiting in line at our local coffee shop for some caffeine. This daily habit can come out to be costly and consume more time out of our busy schedules. To avoid long lines, and to save time, brew your own tea or coffee before you leave the house, and keep it in an insulated thermos. You can get your caffeine fix on your way to work, or at work, and even enjoy it mildly hot at noon.
For coffee or tea, choose a quality brand, preferably organic to avoid pesticides, herbicides, and various toxins, says AuthorityNutrition.
5. Don’t Skip Lunch
It’s easy to forgo eating at the office when we have a busy hectic work schedule, but this is no excuse to skip on lunch, regardless the workload. If you find yourself pressed for time to leave the office, pack your own lunch. "Don't starve yourself at lunch – it will only lead to overeating later," Hartley told SheKnows. Some quick and healthy low-calorie lunches include sandwiches and wraps, and salads and platters.
6. Healthy Dine-Out
At one point or another, we’re bound to dine-out amid our busy schedules and family activities. However, dining out doesn’t mean you have to abandon your health mantra. For plates that come with sauces or dressing, simply ask to have these on the side, avoid having anything fried, and do not feel pressured to eat everything in sight. You can simply divide your plate into two servings, and save it to eat for a later meal. Cooking Light provides some healthy restaurant options for dining out.
Maintain healthy eating habits with these six quick tips to stay healthy and in shape on-the-run.