Let’s just remind ourselves that fast convenience food is popular because it’s everywhere, quick, looks tempting behind all that packaging, all making it hard to resist.
People think it tastes good but it is often high in calories, fat, salt, sugar, preservatives and additives to name just a few. This can make eating on the go difficult as these tempting foods may mean that we make poor choices when we are hungry.
So, make your life easier. Invest a little time in preparing ahead so you can plan for the unplanned and manage your eating when you are on the go. You will save time and money but, most importantly, you will be fuelling your body with food that is really healthy.
It’s all in the planning. Plan ahead and it will prevent you making poor food choices when you are really hungry.
- If you lack time in the week, this will really help you. Spend a couple of hours at the weekend cooking some food in batches ready for the week ahead such as soups, quinoa, lentils, pulses, hummus, roast vegetables, boiled eggs, savoury muffins etc. then you can just make up tasty combinations the night before. Make extra when you are cooking your evening meals as well so that you have an extra portion for the next day or you can freeze it
- Take your lunch with you to work in a small insulated cool bag with an icepack. That way, you have your home cooked food ready for lunch. Remember to include some crudities/vegetable sticks to have as well so that you can boost your daily fruit and vegetable intake
- Store a few healthy snacks such as bags of nuts & seeds, trail mix, protein bars, oatcakes or kale chips in a drawer at your desk so that you have healthy food readily available. If you are a chocolate lover, you can even have some good quality dark chocolate (85%) to hand which will help to satisfy any sweet cravings and will stop you from going to the vending machine
- Make sure you have a water bottle on your desk so that you can sip water throughout the day to help you maintain adequate hydration. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try flavouring it with cucumber, mint, lime or lemon wedges
- There is an abundance of juice bars and salad bars on the high street which provide nutritious food for those on the go. Choose vegetable based juices (over fruit ones)
- If you are out and about and have to grab something on the go from a food store, watch out for clever marketing and don’t be fooled by food which appears healthy but is actually not as it seems. The key here is to read the list of ingredients on the back of the packaging and to read them closely. Consider your choices carefully but you can also keep things simple by making up your own meal - choose some salad/vegetables, cooked lentils, an avocado or cooked meat, mix them together and there you have it - a ready made meal
- If you are buying lunch from a sandwich shop, choose a hot soup that will fill you up or a salad with protein and vegetables that will keep you satisfied for longer. Avoid all those supposedly ‘healthy’ treats at the counter that are often devoid of nutrients and will actually cause large spikes in blood sugar. Remind yourself that they are carefully positioned there to tempt you just as your hunger is really testing you!
- Wherever you choose to eat your lunch, whether it’s at your desk or on a park bench in the sunshine - eat mindfully, chewing your food well
- Be sure to remind yourself why you are putting the effort in every now and again. Remember ‘You are what you eat’
Remember you deserve to be healthy. A healthy diet is vital for your health and well-being and will have a huge impact on your life. Remember it starts in the planning.
You are what you eat. So: Eat Well, Live Well