One of the biggest struggles that most people face today is a crazy, hectic schedule. We are so busy that it makes eating healthy a real challenge.
Quick and convenient foods end up taking the place of healthy, nourishing food when we’re on the go, go, go all the time. These less-than-ideal food choices put us on the hamster wheel of experiencing low energy, weight gain, and potential health problems.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way, though? You don’t have to be a slave to your schedule and resort to fast food or processed foods. It is possible to eat healthy foods, even with a jam-packed schedule. It just requires a little bit of pre-planning to ensure success. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and your waistline will thank you too.
I’ve included a list of healthy snack ideas to get you started, so keep reading.
Eating Healthy When You’re Not Home
There are plenty of circumstances that will take you away from home, and make it more challenging to eat healthy food. Take the time to plan ahead and you can relax knowing that you won’t be derailing your healthy living efforts by consuming empty calories.
Daily Errands and Kids Activities
Some of us spend several hours in our vehicles every week running errands, shuttling kids back and forth between activities, and taking care of others. If we don’t plan ahead, it is easy to fall into the trap of swinging through the closest drive-through when you (or your family) are hungry.
Don’t wait until the point that you are starving to make food choices, as this will almost always lead to bad decisions. Instead, plan ahead, so you don’t have to rely on your willpower alone to keep you on track. Pack easy-to-carry healthy snacks, and keep them in either your purse or your vehicle. This way you always have healthy choices right at your fingertips.
Just because you are traveling, doesn’t
mean you should take a hiatus from your health goals. Encourage a healthy
lifestyle on road trips by packing healthy foods to eat in the car or hotel
room. You can pack a cooler to keep handy so you have easy access to snacks
while on the road. If you are driving and planning on stopping at rest areas
along the way, pack a nutritious picnic lunch to eat before you head back out
on the next leg of your trip.
Even though you can’t pack liquids in your carry-on bag, there are still plenty of options for what you can bring. You can pack wrapped whole food snack bars or even pieces of fruit in your personal items bag. I like to carry a travel (lunch) cooler when I fly and keep it handy to have easy access to snacks while on the plane. You just need to keep it to whole fruits, nuts, salad, sandwiches, or anything that doesn’t have liquid. Some airports are a little more particular than others and will stop you for yogurt, nut butters, or anything that spreads or pours. There are very nice coolers to carry on the plane now as well. With a little creative planning, you can keep your nutrition on track, and save yourself a bundle of money you would have otherwise spent on pricey (and often unhealthy) airport food and snacks.
Food Ideas That Are Easy to Pack
The following items are all easy to prepare, and convenient to take on the go. Feel free to experiment and find out which snacks work best with your lifestyle. Mix and match options to see what works for you.
- Baby carrots and cucumber slices with hummus
- Sliced or whole apples with nut butter or sun butter (iffy for air travel)
- Clementine or mandarin oranges
- Sliced or whole pears
- Nuts and raisins
- Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and/or sunflower seeds
- Whole Food Snack Bars (such as Larabar or Kind)
- Sandwiches or wraps
- String cheese or cheese cubes
- Cut-up rotisserie chicken (keep cool with an ice pack)
- Hard boiled eggs
Make The Most Of Technology
These days everyone has a smartphone or tablet with them at any given time. You can use this readily available technology to your advantage. Keep your food choices healthy when you are on the go by utilizing apps that make healthy living simple.
If anyone in your family is gluten intolerant, or just eliminating gluten, it may be a challenge to find restaurants in certain states or countries, that serve gluten-free meals. You can use the app called “Find Me Gluten Free” to help find restaurants with gluten-free offerings in the vicinity, in the U.S.
“Healthy Out” is another option to help keep your nutrition on track when eating out. You can search by tags like meals under 500 calories, paleo, heart-healthy, and more. Download the app for iOS or Android to find restaurant meals that fit your needs.
Make Midweek Meals Easy
Just because you have had a busy day doesn’t mean you have to resort to fast food or processed foods for dinner. With a little forethought, you can make sure your family has healthy meals ready to go when you walk in the door.
With the advent of Pinterest, you now have thousands of healthy crockpot or Instant Pot meal ideas available for free. Do a quick search and see what recipes may interest you and your family. If you prep everything the night before, or even earlier in the morning, you can come home to a delicious home-cooked meal that is ready to serve.
Another option is to batch cook and plan for leftovers. When you do have time to cook, simply double the recipe and set the extras aside to use later in the week on a particularly busy day. It takes very little extra effort to double the recipe, and you will reap the benefits of time savings later in the week.
Make Healthy Eating Strategies Work For You
Even with a busy schedule, or on the road, you can still make sure that you are eating healthy, nutritious meals. By putting in a little bit planning, you can ensure that you and your family enjoy healthy foods that support your lifestyle and your goals.