When I talk to a group about nutrition, I often remind those in the room that the goal is to look at their reality and make decisions for their health and goals based on that reality. How many times have you said “I will start tomorrow.” or “I will eat a different way when life calms down.” or “Things are just crazy right now, I can focus on that once this passes.”
What if we stopped and recognized that the reality just might be that life doesn’t just “calm down.” So many of us are busy and we aren’t just busy one day - we are always busy. Consider this, if you travel regularly for work then your reality is spent in airports and at restaurants. If you wait until you no longer travel for work to make decisions to support your health then you’re likely going to be retired before you ever focus on it. Meet yourself where you are…today. Once you shift your focus and accept that sometimes what will help you feel your best does not look picture perfect then you can accept your own reality and you can start making decisions based on that reality. If busy doesn’t sound like you or if you feel like you have it all figured out then great - please message me and tell me what you’re up to. For everyone else, read on.
You’re busy. And busy people love convenience, right? I know I do! Which is why I’m sharing my top five tips for eating well while on-the-go or away from home.
By far one of the easiest ways to add more vegetables to your diet is to have the vegetables be the first thing on the plate. Add the rest of it right on top. This can be done in almost every restaurant since it’s just leafy greens you’re adding. Sometimes there’s a side of wilted greens on the menu, too which makes this really convenient and leads me to the next point..
Ask for double vegetables on the side or an extra serving of vegetables with your meal. If the entree comes with one, ask for an extra. This only increases the amount of vegetables on the table which increases how many you’re likely to eat.
Sides can be Apps, Too!
Appetizers are supposed to be appetizing - that’s the way that works. But sometimes appetizers are lacking in the produce department. Let your eyes wander to the other parts of the menu and even check out the sides. Could one of those make sense as an app? Probably and you’re more likely to find a veggie there anyway. It’s also true that you’re likely to eat a lot of whatever hits the table first since you’re hungry! Why not make it packed with vegetables?
Produce Can Travel
I’ve shared my history of traveling with produce in the past and it’s still one of the most steadfast recommendations I can provide. If you don’t have it with you then you’re less likely to eat it. I have an apple, wrapped in a paper towel, in my bag right now. Tupperware containers of sliced peppers, snap peas, berries, figs, and many other varieties of produce have made it into my bag or in the center console of my car at some point. You can also find produce on the road in gas stations, grocery stores, roadside stands - so many places if you keep your eyes peeled. Remember, it’s just a matter of picking it and stashing it in your bag so that you have it because if you don’t have it, you won’t eat it.
Convenience Stores - a surprising oasis
Gas stations get a bad reputation for having nothing healthy, but I disagree. Here’s why:
You’re almost guaranteed to find a piece of fruit.
Every gas station sells still or sparkling, unsweetened water.
You’re likely to find a good protein choice, too - cheese sticks, trail mix, yogurt - all of these make regular appearances in gas stations.
Don’t let the bad reputation of gas station food have you believe that you’re doomed if you left your snacks on the counter before you left.
Still looking for more ideas? Keep reading - Allison’s Top Four Orders in Popular Fast-Casual Restaurants