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Eating Well On-the-Go

Whether it’s getting together with friends and family, running to sporting events, traveling for work, or going on vacation, eating on the go can be tough! Here are some ways to make sure to eat well, even when we’re out of our normal routine.


Plan ahead.

Bring non-perishable snacks or meal items. These can include PB&J sandwiches, trail mix, whole fruits, veggies, dried fruits, tuna pouches, granola bars, a reusable bottle of water for refilling when needed. This will keep you from caving in to temptations at gas stations or drive throughs, and make sure you don’t get TOO hungry! (HINT: that’s when the cravings come out). If you have to purchase a snack while you're out and about, make a choice that contains protein and fiber to nourish you and keep you full (popcorn anyone?). Want to learn more about healthy snack options? Check out this blog post on snacking well to maintain stable blood sugars.


Do your restaurant research.


Have you ever stopped at McDonald’s simply because you are too hungry to make a decision on somewhere else and wait a few extra minutes? Look up restaurants and eateries in the area you will be in, before you leave the house. Take a few minutes to find places that have options such as grilled/lean meats, wholesome carbohydrates like fruits, legumes, whole grains, and vegetable sides or salads.


Choose wisely from the menu.


When dining out, avoid menu items that use words such as “deluxe”, “super-sized”, deep-fried”. Use sauces and dressings sparingly, and always ask for the on the side. Customize your order – ask for a whole grain substitute if available, swap fries for a baked potato. Try to always have a side of non-starchy vegetables. Choose menu items that are grilled or broiled, not breaded or fried. And lastly, order a low or no calorie drink.


Go into family events with intention.


One of two things happen at family gatherings when it comes to food (or both, let’s be honest).


One - you show up hungry because you know there will be apps and desserts that you hit before the meal even starts (my personal favorite part). So you stand around the food tables and stuff your face, then proceed to eat a full meal anyway.


Two - your grandma sees that you didn’t take seconds and says, “Honey, you didn’t get seconds...were my mashed potatoes not very good?” *proceeds to get a second helping to appease grandma*


Sound like you? I get it! So here’s what you can do to fix this:

  1. Don’t arrive starving, you’ll just go straight for the food.

  2. Learn to say, “Grandma the potatoes are sooo amazing, but right now I’m stuffed and don’t want to overdo it.”

  3. Go in with intention! Don’t rely on willpower alone, rather prepare yourself ahead of time with a plan. For example, grab a small bite to eat right when you arrive and then leave the kitchen. Your intention is to chat with everyone, and enjoy the quality time you get to spend with your family and friends. Use that intention to carry your focus out of the kitchen and into a comfortable seating area or outside to gather away from the food and chat with your loved ones. This shifts your focus on them, not the food.

Remember.


Bringing healthful snacks and meal items can save you time and money while on the go. If you have to buy a snack while you're out, pick one that contains fiber and protein. Researching restaurants in the area before heading out saves time when you’re already hungry, and can prevent you from making poor food choices in a rush. Always plan ahead, and choose foods that are low in added fats, sugars, and salt, and high in fiber, protein, and vitamins. When at family or friend gatherings where you know there will be lots of food, go in with the intention of spending quality time with each person, and know that a little taste of everything should do the trick.




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