In an ideal world, we would have complete control of what are our meals are and the timing of when we eat them on the daily. Ideally.
However, the reality is, we lead busy lives. We run from appointment to appointment. We eat what is readily available to us. We eat when we can. It certainly takes a little more discipline to make sure you eat healthy despite the busyness of life.
That’s the story of my life as well. I produce events for a living as my day job (or I’d like to say, as my all-day job!), so it can certainly get hectic. Because my job requires me to do various meetings outside the office, I am often on the go. This kind of lifestyle can make it quite difficult to eat clean and on a routine schedule.
In light of this, below are four principles I follow to help me stay on track with eating well even if I am busy and on the move.
1. Start Right—Do Breakfast Well
It’s always encouraged to start any endeavor on a good note. Same goes with eating. No matter how my day may go, I do my best to always have a well-balanced, clean breakfast. Starting my day off with a good decision sets me up to make more good, healthy decisions for the rest of the day. Also, having an energizing breakfast makes sure I am well-fueled to be productive. It simply puts me in good spirits and makes me excited for the day—it’s the little things! My typical breakfast consists of primarily protein, like eggs or a protein shake, and some clean carbs , like overnight oats. I stay away from sugar as much as possible, so I take my coffee black.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan As Much As You Can
I plan ahead and have meals prepared by an awesome service called Athlete’s Bite. I get my meals customized to my specific caloric and nutritional needs, and it’s delivered to me every three days. I try to bring my meals with me as much as I can, but the reality is, I can’t have meetings at restaurants and always eat my “packed lunch.” Believe me—I’ve tried and it’s not always appreciated. When I can’t have my Athlete’s Bite meals, I try my best to plan around it. If I am able, I try to pick the meeting place and find a restaurant or a cafe with clean meal options. If I do not have that luxury, I check the menu ahead and set my mind to order the healthiest item on the menu. And then, if I don’t have that luxury—because there are no clean options—I’ll either eat before or after the meeting. I’ll just order black coffee!
3. Slow Down While You Eat
By definition, eating on the go means eating while you’re busy or occupied with work or something else. You’re not one hundred percent focused on eating. I recommend you to eat slowly and mindfully. Practicing mindful eating simply means being present while we eat—paying attention to it and being aware of it. Whether I’m eating in a car or during a work meeting, I try to put my fork down in between bites and my phone down as well. It encourages me to take my pace down a notch for a moment and appreciate and recognize that I am nourishing my body. It takes our mind a few to realize it’s getting full, so doing this helps me eat till I’m about eighty percent full, which I find is the sweet spot.
4. Snack Smart
I typically discourage snacking. I don’t think it’s a good habit and it often leads us to consume empty calories. With that said, if done well, it can prevent us from making bad food choices. I always say—aim for better, not perfect. I habitually pack a little baggie of raw almonds, a single serving of protein powder, and a Quest protein bar with me daily, along with my Athlete’s Bite meals. If I can’t find a way to microwave my meal and I feel the tummy grumble, like when I’m stuck in traffic, I’ll have a few almonds to hold me over till when I can have a decent meal. If it’s rush hour and I know it’s going to be a while (we’ve all been there!), I’ll have either the shake or the bar which is a great meal replacement. I’d rather snack on these healthy options rather than grab some “easy” fast food out of desperation.
Eating healthy can be difficult. But it can also be quite easy. The trick in the fight for a lean and healthy body is having nutritious food ready and available. And when that’s not possible, having a plan to make healthy choices is essential. Even if you know what’s healthy, if you aren’t prepared when it’s time to eat, that’s when we make some bad health decisions. A bit of planning ahead goes a long way—so I encourage you to take a few minutes everyday to have a nutrition game plan that fits your busy life. Your body will thank you.
Some Of My Healthy Go-To’s On The Go:
Athlete’s Bite – The meal-prep service I used so I have healthy food readily available. I also have experience in prepping my meals, but I find Athlete’s Bite makes much more delicious (than anything I make!), and it’s also extremely convenient.
Japanese sushi restaurants – Eating sushi is a good clean option—it’s raw so you know it’s clean! I recommend having tuna sashimi or a grilled fish or chicken option and mixed vegetables (ask for little to no oil in the veggies).
The Wholesome Table– I love this restaurant for it’s gluten-free, no refined sugar, and dairy-free options. Gluten, sugar, and dairy can all cause inflammation in your body, but is found in almost everything. It’s good to know that there is a restaurant out that have these options available, and their dishes are tasty too!
Starbucks – Your neighborhood cafe now has some healthier options. I like to order the Roasted Vegetables with Chicken or the Sous Vide Egg White with Couscous and Quinoa. Just make sure you walk by the pastry section with blinders!
Convenience stores – Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. When I’m in a pinch, I head to Ministop, 7-11, or All Day and grab a boiled egg or canned tuna and a bottle of fiber or alkaline water. My awesome trainer taught me this trick and it’s saved me from going through with the fast-food route!