English author and 20th century modernist Virginia Woolf once wrote, “One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not dined well.”
If you are on the go all the time and relying on fast food for nourishment, then you are not dining well at all!
Today people are busier than ever, especially families. Our hectic lifestyles are due not only to things like work and school, but also extracurricular activities on evenings and weekends. We are constantly trying to find ways to make things easier to keep up with the hectic lifestyle.
Don’t Be Too Busy to Be Healthy
One family I know has, in a single week’s time, soccer practice, book club, poker night, knitting guild, scout meetings, gymnastics, dance, and then church on Sunday mornings. And that’s just for a family of four people!
Many of my friends say that it’s just so easy to run through the drive-up window of a fast food restaurant and eat on the go. The meals are somewhat reasonably priced but more importantly, they are so convenient!
Another form of convenience is pre-packaged meals from the grocery store that come ready to serve with lunch meat, deli cheese, crackers, a juice box, and a little snack. While these might seem healthy, the sodium and preservatives make them a less than ideal choice.
Eating Healthy On the Go
So how can your family stay healthy while on the go? Here are some tips that I use with my own family, and that you can use with your family, too!
Pack a Lunch – This is true whether the family member is headed off to either work or school for the day. Lunches that you pack at home will contain whole grains, lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy snacks like nuts or dried fruits.
Fix Breakfast – Save donuts as a Saturday morning treat. Replace those sugary cereals with healthy, whole-grain choices. Fix a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh-sliced strawberry and banana. Or better yet, fix a smoothie or protein shake that you can drink as you head out the door.
On the Go Snacking – I like to keep a snack in the glove compartment of my car. When I get hungry, there are always some nuts, dried fruits, or whole-grain crackers waiting. Keeping healthy snacks in the car is a great way to avoid fast food windows.
Pack a Cooler – Heading on vacation, or perhaps just a day trip? Pack the cooler with sandwiches, bottled water, and apples already cored and sliced. You can take care of lunches and snacks for the day without ever visiting a fast food restaurant.
Know Where to Shop – There are some stores like Trader Joe’s or Aldi that offer fresher, healthier, more organic food choices than some of the other big chain food stores. Do your homework and use a smartphone app like FourSquare to find these places ahead of time.
Cook for an Army – When we cook a big meal, we make sure that we cook enough for several servings. The leftovers go in the fridge. If we’re short on time or if I want to take that as my lunch, it just needs re-heated in the microwave.
Make Time for Meals – The family table is such an important part of your home. Even if you just live with your significant other and have no children, shutting down the electronics and sharing that time together can help you form a tighter family bond.
Behold the Power of Protein Smoothies
My favorite on-the-go meal is a protein smoothie. These aren’t just for bodybuilders! Protein smoothies are a healthy way to start the day, pump up before a workout, or replenish your muscles after you complete your exercise routine.
For a base I use one cup of almond milk, a scoop from my favorite organic protein powders, and about half a dozen ice cubes. Then I might add a handful of baby spinach leaves, berries, ground flaxseed, coconut oil, peanut butter, or a banana.
You can substitute Greek yogurt, any other milk, or orange juice for the almond milk. It is a common misconception that protein shakes have to taste bland and leave behind a gritty texture in your mouth. Nothing could be farther from the truth!
The next time you are on the go don’t stop at a fast food restaurant for empty calories and high levels of sodium. Use one of the tips above or better yet, just whip up a tasty protein smoothie to drink on the go!
When researching to write a series of articles about the benefits of healthy breakfasts, Canadian freelancer Rick Mercado came across the www.biogirlhealth.com website. He was surprised to learn that the site has information useful to men as well as women! He even found a great new protein powder from one of BioGirlHealth’s reviews. When he isn’t working Rick enjoys spending time with his wife and getting outdoors with activities like kayaking and hiking.