Do you feel that you never have time to eat healthy when you’re constantly on the go? That your food choices are limited and you tend to have more cravings for unhealthy foods? You’re not alone, it is the reality of most busy professionals struggling with time pressure, deadlines, travel arrangements and other surprises of the hectic modern life.
The good news is that, with a little planning and work, you can eat healthy even if you’re busy and traveling.
Let’s see the available options!
You can take them virtually everywhere, so keep them in your car, bag, on your desk, in your gym bag, when you are traveling.
Keep snacks under 200 calories and try to avoid those loaded with additional sugar. You can choose to make your own snacks or buy them pre-packed. Ideally, pick low glycemic index foods that release energy slowly – such as veggies and fruits, a low-fat yogurt, a handful of berries, vegetable proteins (nuts and seeds, a protein bar).
1.1 DIY healthy snacks
Sliced vegetables – mix celery, carrots, cucumber, peppers, zucchini, avocado, radish, tomatoes, broccoli. You can eat them as such or with a dip, such as hummus or yogurt.
Hard-boiled eggs make a great portable snack/breakfast option, they have good animal protein and are versatile. You can mix them with your vegetables of choice, such as avocado, and add nuts and seeds as a topping.
A sandwich – with tofu, salmon, avocado, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and other veggies you may have in your house. You can add eggs, nuts and seeds as toppings.
A salad – mix your favorite greens, fruits (fresh or dried), nuts and seeds into a lunch box, add olive oil, salt and your favorite condiments.
Fresh fruits – bananas, apples are loaded with fiber and keep you full. To add more flavor, combine them with complimentary cheese (for example cheddar with apple or blue cheese with pear).
A jar of trail mix – buy them in bulk and make small portions. Mix almonds, pistachio, nuts, seeds, cashews, pecans with dried fruits (bananas, apricots, figs).
Whole wheat crackers, sticks or biscuits, rice bars/cookies – eat them alone or add more flavor with a plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, sliced avocado, tomatoes, fruits, banana slices.
Homemade protein and energy bars – such as granola bars. Granola is a baked snack made of rolled oats, nuts and a sweetner such as honey. It has high protein content and makes a filling snack.
Dark chocolate – with at least 75% cocoa content.
1.2 Pre-packed healthy snacks
KIND bars – Live kind! Nutritionally dense snack bars that lead with nuts as the first ingredien. These individually wrapped bars are easy to take with you as a quick nutrition bars when life gets in the way. These KIND nut bars are also gluten free, have a low glycemic index, and are made without genetically engineered ingredients.
These delicious bars consisting of nuts, fruits and spices, coated in roasted peanut butter and smoothed in dark chocolate are gluten free, have low glycemic index and are a good source of fiber.
Larabar – Raise a Bar to Real Ingredients.
Healthy snacking: With 100% real ingredients and no artificial sweeteners, you can Raise A Bar to what you love! Larabar makes simple healthy snacks you can feel good about eatin. Plant based clean eating made simple: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, Kosher, soy free, non-GMO, and a good source of fiber. Healthy indulgence: Conveniently wrapped and great for packing on the go, Larabar is perfect for anything from a morning treat to an afternoon snack.
You can choose among a variety of flavors such as blueberry muffin, butter cookie, apple pie, cherry pie, lemon and more.
Nature’s Bakery – Soft-baked snacks made with real fruit and whole grains. Nature’s Bakery make soft-baked goodness using real, wholesome ingredients in convenient, on-the-go snacks that help you and your family not just survive life’s everyday balancing act, but thrive in the hustle. Nature Bakery’s products are fuel for everyday life’s great journeys. Plant based, nut free, dairy free, certified vegan, Kosher, no artificial flavors.
Need a sweet snack and don’t want to feel guilty about it? Nature’s Bakery Brownie Bars are a perfect snack for kids or adults. Grab one as a quick healthy breakfast bar, use as a sweet treat for kids’ lunches, or enjoy as a convenient afterschool snack. Great for active and busy families.
Grandma’s Cookies offer a delicious variety of homemade memories. With flavors like chocolate, peanut butter and lemon pie, every GRANDMA’S treat is baked with love to transport you to your happy place with every bite.
This variety pack of Grandma’s cookies offers a great selection of our most popular flavors including Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Brownie, Mini Chocolate Chip cookies and Vanilla Sandwich Cremes. These snacks are perfect for packing in a lunch, enjoying in the car, after school, or even at work. With 30 individually wrapped packs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Purely Elizabeth – is a brand that combines superfoods like quinoa, chia, millet, hemp and coconut oil, herbs such as reishi, pitaya, spirulina and turmeric for deliciously functional benefits. Food that fuels. Choose flavors such as Chocolate Peanut Butter, Blueberry Hemp, Pumpkin Cinnamon, Cranberry Pecan, Maple Almond Butter, Honey Almond, Coconut Cashew, Chocolate Hazelnut, Honey Peanut Butter and more.
Mediterra Savory Nutritional Bars with black olives and walnuts incorporates the grains, fruits and greens at the heart of the Mediterranean diet and is the on-the-go fuel that’s perfectly suited for the marathon of contemporary life. Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, all-natural nutrition bars for sustained energy and overall wellness. Now, whether you’re meeting or messaging, enjoying a run or running around, Mediterra serves up the nutrition your body craves, the gourmet taste you love, and the convenience your life demands.
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Mix – Your brain’s best friend. Organic, functional coffee with Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushrooms that helps elevate your coffee routine with functional ingredients. Supports the cognitive function and whole body wellness.
Eating out is inevitable for a busy professional, however you can keep you healthy eating habits as almost all restaurants chains today have healthy dining options.
If you’re hungry when you arrive at the restaurant, you may end up eating too much. One way to prevent this is to eat a healthy snack before you get there. A low-calorie, high-protein snack like yogurt or a protein bar could make you feel full and prevent overeating.
If you want to avoid meat in restaurants and they don’t have many vegetarian options, consider ordering several side plates: mushrooms, potatoes, rice, grilled vegetables.
The way the food is cooked can have a significant impact on its quality and the calories. Choose baked, steamed, roasted and grilled over fried, crispy, crunchy or sauteed. Try to eat as healthy as possible, ordering foods as similar to those you would cook at home. In social gathering, allow yourself to indulge from time to time with foods you would not normally eat.
For checking the restaurants options in a particular area, refer to 6. Using technology to find your best deals when eating out or traveling.
3. At the office
Bring your own pre-cooked food at work and store it in the fridge, or eat at the local cafeteria or nearby restaurants.
You can buy bulk ingredients once a week and spend a day or some evenings prepping your food. Then take your portioned meals to work. Usually you can keep most dishes fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.
4. Exploring the dilemma “Eating out, ordering food vs cooking at home”
If you value more saving money over spending time, you may spend a little more time cooking, but you may save more money since you make your own food, which can also be healthier. Also, health costs (getting sick, insurance, pills) are extremely expensive nowadays, so you may save on that too.
How much can you save if you cook at home vs if you eat out or order food for work? You have 30 days in a month, 365 days in a year – how much can you save if you eat your own food 1 time/day? What about 2 times/day? Write down the figures – does it seem reasonable to spend or save that money?
Don’t get stuck with social pressure. Get satisfaction for saving those money with cooking!
However, you may value spending time and comfort over spending money. Especially if it feels challenging in the beginning, or you lack time, or you value time and comfort over spending additional money, search around for a company that would deliver your ingredients at home or eat out in restaurants. For checking restaurants, refer to 6. Using technology to find your best deals when eating out or traveling
5. When You Travel
Airports – while in the airports you have a wide range of food options, they are not the most healthy ones and they can sometimes be expensive. Some people pack foods for their flights – a sandwich, some protein bars or a pack of trail mix can be good choices. Check 1. Healthy Snacks ideas at the beginning of this post.
When you travel, you may do some research in advance for restaurants to make sure you get some of the best local dishes. Look the menus up in advance to check variety, prices, ratings.
You may check some restaurants offering International, Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese or Indian dishes where you can find healthy food options.
You can also pack some healthy portable snacks to take with you during your travels. Check 1. Healthy Snacks options at the beginning or this article.
Check the following 3 of the most popular apps for finding healthy restaurants:
HealthyOut is an app designed to help you find healthy meals in your area. You can filter foods by cuisine, ingredients and type of dish.
Veg Travel Guide is an app for vegetarians, vegans and anyone following veggie diets. It helps you find and share vegetarian locations.
Find Me Gluten Free – as the name suggests, this app helps you find gluten-free food around you.
We want you to get the maximum benefits from these healthy portable meals for active people! Great time saving solutions for busy professionals, while helping you eat as healthy and delicious as if cooking at home! With a bit of practice, you can adapt these solutions to best fit your desired lifestyle.