6 a.m., the alarm goes off.
You’re up and at ‘em (or maybe you hit the sleep button a few times haha). Brush your teeth, wash your face, get dressed, and out the door. Off to the gym for a morning Map 10 session, on the rower or Air Dyne before hitting the office.
8:30 a.m.- Swig a protein shake
9 a.m.– Office time
10:30 a.m.-Hunger strikes! Grab whatever you can from the breakroom (cooooookies)
1 p.m. Hunger strikes AGAIN…lunchtime. Walk across the street to Panera or Chipotle for some grub to grab and go back to your desk
1:30-5 p.m. More work, with a little snack attack in there—a protein bar or some protein powder with your evening workout in mind.
5:30-7:30 p.m. Gym session #2-strength and conditioning
8 p.m.- Starving for dinner! With no food at home though, you do what you most often do: Swing by Whole Foods to pick up some prepared foods from the Chef’s Case—one of your ‘usuals’, salmon or chicken breast, and a veggie or two of some sort. You inhale it at home, and then begin to wind down for the night
9 p.m.–11 p.m. TV, reading, e-mails, bed
Sound familiar? An on the go, busy lifestyle?
Between your love for training, making a living, and eating in between, there’s often so much to do and so little time.
When it comes to being busy in fact, one of the most common things to “go” is your nutrition, or rather, your meal prep.
Try as you might to eat clean and healthy ‘on the go’, eating out or being on the road is straight-up just not the same as home-cooked meals, prepared with your own two hands and ingredients you know (and trust).
Day by day, you make it by with snacks here and there that you happen to ‘find’ in your desk, or in your bag, while going from meal to meal by the seat of your pants—finding whatever is in sight when hunger strikes, and attempting to make the best choices possible in the process.
However…there is a better way!
Here are 7 Easy Steps for Clean Eating On the Go to support your busy lifestyle.
- Invest in an insulated lunchbox or small cooler. If you are going to arm yourself with good eats to have on hand for the day, it all starts with something to keep them in. Take a trip back to elementary school, and pick out a color or design that inspires you. Also, don’t forget to purchase several re-usable ice packs you can take in and out of the freezer every day. Or check out this cool lunchbox by PackIt with ice packs built into it .
- Throw in some Tupperware & packing supplies. Glassware based Tupperware is ideal for health and toxin reasons. You can find these practically anywhere—Target, Wal-Mart, the Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon . While you’re at it, don’t forget to stock up on some aluminum foil and plastic baggies for storing your food as well day in and day out. You can use your own silverware from home, thrown into your lunchbox, or purchase some plastic ware if needed.
- Pack that lunch-bag. Before you hop to being back on the go, or even hit the store, make your list. What foods do you realistically see yourself eating? What foods do you like? Then map it out for the day. If you are gone from sun-up to sun-down, typically eating your last meal (dinner) at home, then pack that bag with the other two meals, and plenty of snacks, in mind and a well-rounded balance of all your energy needs being met (protein, fats, veggies, some fruit, some starch as needed). Here are some ideas:
- Water!: Stow a case of your favorite bottles in your car trunk or never leave your home without your reusable, filtered water bottle in tow!
- Proteins: Hardboiled eggs, Homemade egg muffin cups, Turkey meatballs, Applegate Farms chicken sausage/turkey sausage, Egg scramble, Ground meat, Pulled chicken or chicken breast, Pulled pork , Grilled fish, Tuna-canned, Chicken/tuna salad (with Primal Mayo or Dijon mustard), Homemade meatloaf muffins
- Veggies: Power Greens, spinach, kale (or other greens of choice), cooked or raw, Steamed broccoli, Roasted asparagus or zucchini, Greens cooked into your eggs or other casserole dish, Brussels sprouts,
- Fats (place in small tupperware container, or keep a bottle on hand): Coconut butter, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, olives, nuts/seeds
- Fruit or Starches (Optional): Banana, apple, orange, berries, sweet potato, potato, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, rice, quinoa
- Snacks (2-4): Hardboiled eggs, nuts/seeds, Lara Bars, Rx Bars, Protein powder, piece of whole fruit, veggie sticks (carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumber), avocado, Paleo granola, beef jerky, chicken or tuna, turkey roll-ups/ham roll-ups, chicken or turkey sausage links (Applegate Farms)
- Cook in bulk. Every night that I eat dinner, I make extra to pack for lunch (and sometimes even breakfast) the next day. In essence, I am only cooking once per day, and making things that are fairly simple and easy to make in bulk. (Think grass-fed bison, beef or turkey burger patties, chicken breasts and thighs, even fish, roasted veggies or sautéed greens, and of course, sweet potatoes. For breakfasts, more leftovers, or pre-scramble and cook your eggs or egg muffins ahead of time to grab and go in the morning). I make some things in bulk ahead of time that I know will last awhile too (i.e. Throw 5-6 sweet potatoes, wrapped in foil, in the oven for an hour or two one evening to have plenty on hand for several days, use a rice cooker to steam veggies or prep rice if you eat rice, roast a pan of Brussels sprouts, cook up a whole butternut squash or spaghetti squash, etc.). You’ve heard it before: Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Don’t be one of those people. Choose one time at the beginning of the week, and perhaps another at mid-week to make ahead some of your favorite staples to have on hand (And the best part? Many of these can cook while you do other things! Just turn the oven on and let them do their job. Bonus points: Get a crockpot!).
- Always prepared. You train to be prepared for the unknown and unknowable right? So shouldn’t your eating be the same? The next time you are at the store, stock up on some staple snack items to keep in various places that you frequent to have on hand (outside of just your lunchbox) … ‘just in case.’ Some of these could include: raw nuts and seeds (almonds, macadamia, hazlenuts, walnuts, etc.), almond butter and coconut butter packets, tuna packets, RX Bars or another clean bar, your protein powder of choice (we like Revive-) , fruit and raw veggies to keep in a fridge at work, even the condiments you like (Balsamic vinegar or Coconut Vinegar are awesome on salads, a jar of nutbutter or coconut butter, salsa, even hot sauce—anything to keep you from resorting to less than optimal choices on the food front).
- Grab & go wisely. Some days you just don’t get to preparing that cooler-for whatever reason. But you know, not all is lost! You can continue to make good food choices wherever you go—no matter the temptations for chili cheese fries or bacon-cheddar burgers calling your name otherwise. Practice the KISS philosophy, and you can’t go wrong (Keep It Simple Stupid= stick to meats, veggies, and some healthy fats—which you, preferably at least have some of those in tow, like nuts/seeds, coconut butter, coconut oil, or your preferred fats of choice).
- Eating Out? There’s an app for that. When all else fails…and you’re on the go…there’s an app for that (especially for those times you are traveling outside of your ‘comfort zone’). Check out Good Food Near You (Type your location into this app and it’ll list healthy choices from nearby eateries), Food Tripping(a GPS-based app, focuses on finding local, sustainable food at spots that are convenient to swing by while you’re on the road), InBloom (an app that stores your dietary and lifestyle preferences to locate nearby restaurants—as well as shops and hotels—that cater to your needs)
By taking these simple steps to fuel the machine, you will have plenty of good sustenance to allow you to do the really important things you want to do in your life.
Easy said…easy done.