5 Tricks To Eating Healthy On The Go

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There are a lot of busy people out there who are trying to increase the healthy side of their lives. This can be difficult, however, when you are constantly on the GO!

As a mother of five with the 4H fair season approaching, baseball practice starting for 2 of my kids, plus school trips, projects, and my own work schedule to pack in, I know how easy it is to jump on the burger and fry, drive through bandwagon.

Also, don’t get me wrong, having a double cheeseburger and yummy, greasy fries, every once in a while is perfectly acceptable.

The problem arises when this occurs daily. When your busy life gets so far ahead of you that each lunch hour is a lesson on what NOT to eat regularly.

Being an “on the go” person myself I have a few tips for those of you that want to make your lunches a bit healthier and thus increase your overall wellness.

PACK YOUR LUNCH

#1 is also probably the most obvious, and most unlikely to occur for many people. However, if you want the healthiest, and also most budget savvy option, making your own lunch is where it’s at.

Pack it up the night before or even stock the fridge at work with essentials for a satisfying meal. When I pack lunches for the family to go on a day trip we pack a sandwich (ham and cheese or PB&J), fresh fruit, yogurt, and crackers. You can jazz up your options by checking out EatingWell.com’s healthy lunch options as well. No matter what restaurant you go to, no matter how healthy the item you order claims to be, it will NEVER be as good for you as when you make it yourself.

SKIP THE MAYO

Grabbing a sandwich when you’re in a hurry is the natural choice for lunch 8/10 times. A quick run to a sub shot or darting through the drive-through at any burger joint is easy and cheap, but not always healthy.

Whether you are grabbing a burger or BLT your best bet for increasing the healthiness of your food is to avoid mayonaise. Mayo is incredibly high in calories and bad fats.  Instead of letting the sub shop gob on mayonaise, try asking for a touch of olive oil, which is tasty and full of good fats, instead. There are also a variety of mustard’s that may be able to satisfy your taste buds, including creole and horseradish!

If you simply can’t avoid the white stuff, opt for the lesser evil and go for a substitute like Miracle Whip. Many places don’t carry this option but you can buy the small packets to keep in your car or a full container for your work fridge.

DON’T MUCK UP YOUR SALAD

I love salads. No matter what time of year it is I can’t resist a bowl of leafy greens, fresh veggies, and chicken or steak! By design salads are meant to healthy, thus, many people assume that they are being healthy by eating one, no matter what they have topped it with.

I”m not talking about cheese, eggs, nuts or even bacon bits. These are packed with protein and don’t come in large enough quantities on a salad to do damage. I’m talking about DRESSING. Don’t get me wrong I love creamy, chunky blue cheese and spicy ranch, but these are not friendly to your mid section. I also really dislike low calorie versions of these dressings, so I will often get a side of a low cal french or vinaigrette and put just a dribble of my favorite ranch dressing in that to get a tiny taste of what I love. That way I’m at least MOSTLY healthy. For the best dressings, though, stick with oil and vinegar and vinaigrettes. Most restaurants also offer at least one low calories, low fat option as well. Along with this, don’t slather your salad in dressing. Most establishments that premix their salads will use too much dressing, so ask for it on the side and use about half as much you think you will actually need. You can always add more, but you can’t really wash your salad off if you use too much.

SKIP FRIED OPTIONS

There is nothing quite so savory as good fried chicken….There is also nothing quite so terrible for your system.

This photo is from the book 101 Chicken recipes available at http://culinarygeek.net/101.html

Having a fried chicken dinner every once in awhile is not a problem, everything in moderation is fine. However, skip the fried food at lunch. choose the grilled chicken sandwich or simply ask for the fried sandwich so you get all the fixings but request that it be grilled. Instead of crispy chicken on your salad opt for some savory steak. Save the fried chicken for an amazing special dinner, don’t waste your fried fantasies on a hurried lunch!

SIT DOWN

In the hussel and bussel of work, kids, traffic, etc. it can be really hard to find time to sit and eat. However, even if you can’t manage to sit at the establishment you buy lunch from, try to make it back to your office before chowing down, even plopping a bench outside is better than eating while you walk, drive, etc.

Not only is it unsafe to eat and drive, but when you sit down to eat you can focus more on your food and on your body’s reactions to it. When you sit, you tend to take more time to eat. You can savor each bite, getting more satisfaction out of your meal, and you will give yourself time to begin to feel full. If I am in a hurry I can scarf down and entire cheeseburger and fries in about 5 minutes. However, I generally feel overfull and a bit ill afterwards. If I sit down to eat the same amount of food, I take more time to eat and my body has time to tell me when it is beginning to feel full.  Sitting down to eat will help you eat less because your body will have time to let you know that it needs less.  Even if you eat the same amount, you are more likely to be more satisfied with your meal for longer, reducing cravings for vending machine snacks later on.

Now you’re ready to eat lunch like a pro and be healthy while you do it!

What are your healthy lunch habits?

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21 thoughts on “5 Tricks To Eating Healthy On The Go

  1. lovely tips! I’m currently on diet so I know how hard it is when you are busy Mom to eat something healthy. Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

  2. Great tips. I really need to pay more attention to the last one – I tend to grab lunch as I work and not really pay attention to what I’m eating because I’m busy.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Debbie

  3. Packign your lunch is such an easier way to make it healthier. I love that this is the first option. I also love the idea of sittign down. I often find myself standing.

  4. I like to add avocado to my sandwich instead of mayo. It adds more flavor and the same creaminess of mayo. I also always ask for my dressing on the side so I can control the portion size. Whenever I do bring a salad from home I also use Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing. It is my favorite.

  5. I agree completely with the salad toppings. I try to explain that lettuce covered in bacon and 2 gallons of ranch is not “healthy”. Your post is spot on and I like that you recommend sitting down and savoring the meal as well. Makes a huge difference.

  6. These are really good tips for eating healthier on the go! I do like fried food, but only from home. Fried foods from restaurants or fast food places rarely agree with me. While they taste delicious, I regret it later!

  7. I build my salad first, veggies galore, then I add my protein (usually leftover from the night before.) For dressings I love a squirt of lime juice or lemon juice. Sometimes just balsamic vinegar will do!

  8. These are awesome ideas, I know loads of people who always trip up on their diet over lunch because they just go and buy stuff!

  9. I agree with all of these. It’s better to make you own lunches and just bring them to work or school. Not only are you eating healthy you’re going to save money as well.

  10. Whenever I am out and order a salad, I always ask for dressing on the side. It totally undoes the good of eating a salad.

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