You probably know the old saying “if you plan to fail, you fail to plan”. My trainer has told me this many times, but it’s only in the last six months or so I’ve really taken her up on this when it comes to eating on the go. In my old life, it was so easy to just pick up something while I was out and about like Starbucks, Subway, etc. Not necessarily totally unhealthy options, but often not what I should be eating, and it costs money that I don’t always want to spend. Now I try to plan ahead when I know I’m going to be out for a few hours by bringing snacks or lunch along and in the process I save myself a few bucks!
Another great way to plan in advance, is if you are tracking your food and are going to be eating out, look on the restaurant’s website before you go out or use your calorie counter (ie My Fitness Pal) to determine ahead of time what your best menu options are. This might save you the surprise of finding out your salad which you thought was healthy is actually 800 calories! This past weekend we went out for lunch, and I checked out the menu and used my phone to determine calorie levels before ordering…the Asian Steak Salad I was going to order was 800 calories, but by removing the crunchy noodles and the pasta noodles, plus having the dressing on the side and only using half, I was able to reduce the calories by about 300-400. Still tasty, but much healthier and I didn’t blow over half of my daily calories in one meal. 🙂
I thought I would share a few of the different things I have brought along with me to give you some ideas of things you can pack in advance. I am always looking to include a variety of protein, veggies and fruits.
1. For this first image, my older two kids and I were going skiing and were going to be gone for most of the day. So we brought lots of pepperoni sticks, some cheese, grapes and strawberries, plus carrots, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. That day we also had some buns with meat and cheese for the kids, plus some popcorn and a little bit of chocolate (for me of course!).
2. This time it was just an afternoon snack for me, so I packed some sliced peppers and cherry tomatoes, plus mixed berries and grapes.
3. This was a post workout lunch, so it was turkey pepperoni, snap peas, carrots, grapes and cherry tomatoes. The small container is some cottage cheese with some low sugar peach jam.
4. Another full day out and about, and I had some left over herbed chicken pieces, cherry tomatoes, radishes and grapes, plus green tea and my usual protein smoothie
Some other ideas for foods that pack well:
– Nuts…almonds, pecans, walnuts and cashews are great choices. I recommend the unsalted or lightly salted. Also keep in mind that nuts are high in calorie, so just a small serving is sufficient. For example, a 1 oz. serving of almonds is about 23 almonds and is 163 calories. This of course will vary by the type of nut.
– Protein bites (I will be posting a recipe for this! These are my favorite for hiking)
– Lettuce/turkey/hummus wraps
– Trail mix (same caution as with the nuts…the calories add up quickly. Just a small amount per person will be necessary)
– Lots of water!