PERSONAL HEALTH & FITNESS
Eating Healthy on the Go
If you’re like most people, your days are jam-packed. Whether it’s work, school or taking care of the kids, your every waking moment is filled with something to do, making it hard to find the time to eat, let alone eat right.
Fortunately, it’s easier to eat healthy than we think, even when we’re busy. By planning ahead and preparing a few simple snacks each week using some of the suggestions below, you can eat healthy when you are on the go, as well as satisfy those cravings for sweets and tasty treats.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it’s true. Unfortunately, many of us (about 18% of males and 13% of females between the ages of 35 and 54) still skip breakfast, according to an NPD research study in 2011. In addition to increasing your risk of health issues, skipping breakfast makes you more likely to load up on vending machine snacks mid-morning.
Try this fast suggestion for an easy breakfast on-the-go from our friend Monica Stark:
Cook a batch of steel cut oats, and add any flavoring of your choice. Scoop individual servings into a muffin pan and freeze. Take them out as needed and reheat for a few seconds in the microwave at work or wherever. To make your on-the-go breakfast even tastier, top with some berries and a little stevia.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Let’s face it: sugar tastes good. That’s why it’s been added to everything from breakfast cereal to energy drinks. Attempting to completely eliminate it from your diet is a commendable goal, but probably not realistic. A more realistic approach is to know that occasionally you’ll give into your desire for a sweet snack, and plan ahead by having some health alternatives on hand. Try one of these to satisfy your occasional cravings:
Graham Cracker Snacks - Place a tablespoon of fat-free Cool Whip between 2 low fat graham crackers, and then roll the sides in sprinkles. Place each treat in an individual snack-sized plastic baggie, and then freeze.
Yogurt Ice Cream - When summertime hits, nothing can be more tempting than a nice cool dish of ice cream in your favorite flavor. Next time you’re tempted, place a single serving container of Greek yogurt in the freezer for about 30 minutes. It should be almost, but not completely, frozen. Place the contents in a bowl, and then top with 2 packets of Stevia. Top with healthy snacks like a handful of almonds or fresh blueberries. For an extra treat, add a few sprinkles or a tablespoon of sugar-free chocolate syrup.
Pass On the Pop
Whether you’re downing regular or diet cola, an energy drink or vitamin water, there is a much healthier alternative: infused water. Not only will it let you stay hydrated, but also it’s refreshing and nutritious too. Simply place your favorite fruit and/or herbs into a Mason jar or pitcher, and chill overnight in the refrigerator. With an endless variety of fruit and/or herbs from which to choose, there’s a combination that’s perfect for every season and preference. Here are a few of our favorite mixes:
Green tea with a hint of mint – Full of antioxidants and thermogenic ingredients, green tea fights free radicals and helps you burn fat. Add some fresh mint for flavor, and as a bonus, you’ll freshen your breath Citrus splash– A great replacement for your morning juice, water infused with oranges, lemons and limes can provide you with a daily dose of vitamin C, and boost your immune system.
Berry blast - For a berrylicious treat full of antioxidants and vitamin C, add raspberries, blueberries and strawberries to your water. Carefree colada - Mimic the flavors in your favorite frozen cocktail by chilling fresh pineapple chunks and bits of fresh coconut and you’ll feel almost as good as when you spend the afternoon at the beach. For more fun, top off with a cocktail parasol!
Regardless of what you have planned, planning ahead is the key to eating healthy. Try some of the snacks and tips listed here to start, and always keep a backup stash of almonds, proteins bars, peanut butter or graham crackers in your desk, purse or car for emergencies. Not only will you feel better when you eat healthier, you’ll discover that it’s easy to do so too.