You all know how high on the list I put eating healthy and planning ahead to keep your goals on track. But one topic we haven’t really covered on here is how to do that when you are on the go! I mean, yes, I talk about meal prepping every week(like this from last week), but how does that translate into keeping on track when you are busy running errands around town? Well, today we have Jenn Baxter from Live A F.A.S.T Life visiting to talk to us about just how to go about doing that! Make sure to head over to her gorgeous site afterwards, she has a lot of great things to say!
You’ve cleaned up your diet and purged your kitchen of all the sugar-filled cookies, the salt-laden chips and the genetically modified “foods.” You filled up the fridge with organic fruits & veggies and antibiotic-free meats. You are rocking this healthy eating thing, and then…
You’re caught on the go.
Maybe you just got off work and don’t have time to go home and cook before it’s time to pick up the kids at practice. Or maybe you’re on a road trip and you have to depend on the interstate restaurants for your next meal.
But you’re suddenly stricken with panic, as you realize… there’s no way to eat clean in this moment! You don’t have enough time… there aren’t any healthy places nearby… you’re tempted to just give up and grab a burger and fries at the nearest drive-thru.
But wait! It doesn’t have to be that way!
It IS possible to eat cleanly on the go. Whether it’s just on your lunch break, during a day of running errands or in the middle of a road trip.
The key is to plan ahead.
Eating clean will always be easier at home because you can control every part of the process. The quality of ingredients you choose to cook with, the ingredients you include in your recipes, the way you prepare them and even the way they are served.
If you’re on the go or traveling, it’s obviously pretty impossible to maintain this level of control. But you CAN still keep a fairly decent amount of control over what you’re eating by making plans ahead of time, based on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing.
So, the next time you’re getting ready to hit the road or are running short on time, try implementing some of these tips:
Whether you’re eating clean or not, it is important to eat smaller meals consistently throughout the day, instead of leaving large gaps of time between several large meals. This will help prevent your blood sugar from spiking and dropping erratically. But when you are committed to eating cleanly, it is even more important to make sure you’re never caught without a healthy snack on hand.
If you’re on a road trip or just short on time and find yourself hungry without a snack, you will be much more likely to give in and grab something quick like French fries or a milkshake. So, make sure that never happens by preparing your snacks ahead of time! Here are some easy ideas for clean snacks you can keep on hand or prepare ahead of time and take on the road with you:
- Almonds, walnuts or other nuts
- Organic blueberries, strawberries or raspberries
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Protein bars (make sure you check the ingredients!)
- Organic apples with almond butter
- Organic applesauce
- Sweet potatoes
- Healthy luncheon meats (like Applegate Farms)
2. Look up menus ahead of time
Whenever I am traveling to another location or am even just meeting a friend at a restaurant I’ve never been to before, I will look it up on the internet in advance. By checking out the menu ahead of time, you can make a plan for what you will eat and avoid being tempted by not-so-great options once you get there. It’ll also save you some time because you’ll already be ready to order! If you have questions about an item on the menu or want to know if they can make a substitution or leave out a certain ingredient, call ahead and ask them! Most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate dietary requests, so don’t be afraid to ask.
3. Have some old “stand-bys”
This is especially important if you’re traveling on the road and don’t always know where you’ll be stopping for your next meal. But once you’ve been eating clean for a little while, you will start to know which places are good to go to and what you can get while you’re there. For instance, if you’re traveling on the interstate and are left to choose from the usual suspects, but you know you can eat salad from Panera or grilled nuggets from Chick-Fil-A, then try to find one of those before you stop. Most chains have “store locator” functions on their websites, so you can always pull off the road and look them up on your phone too.
4. Bring it with you
You might think it seems a little silly to pack your lunch and carry a cooler bag around with you on a normal day of doing errands or going to appointments, but you have to do what you have to do! If you know you are going to get stuck in a tough spot where you don’t have a lot of time to eat or you’ll be somewhere without a healthy option, don’t just bring a snack… bring your whole meal! I have literally walked into my naturopath’s office before, carrying my cooler with salad, hard boiled eggs and pickles because I knew I’d be coming straight from another appointment and would be too hungry to wait until after. Don’t worry about what others think (which in actuality, is nothing at all because no one is paying attention!), just look out for you and your health!
5. Don’t be afraid to try something new
Even though it is a good idea to have some old stand-bys or bring your own food with you, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid new places altogether! Make it a point to search for “healthy grocery stores” in an area you’re traveling to or look up new restaurants and check out their menus. Some of my favorite places to eat clean on the go, have just been places that I found haphazardly while traveling. Just make sure to check out the ingredients they use and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Want to know what some of my favorite places are to eat clean? Check out my FREE Clean Eating Travel Guide right here!
Jenn Baxter is an accomplished writer in Charlotte, NC, who has been published in numerous print publications, as well as featured as a columnist on Beliefnet.com. Her freelance clients span across the nation, as well as Australia and the UK, in the fashion & beauty, health & wellness, travel and life coaching industries.
In 2015, she launched her website, Live a F.a.s.t. Life, based on her own experiences with clean living, emotional health and downsizing into a 160 sq. ft. tiny house, and released her first book, “Tiny Abundance: My Journey to a Simple, Yet Fabulously Abundant Life in 160 Square Feet,” which is available on her website and Amazon.com. She also strives to help others learn to clean up their homes, their bodies and their lives in her first e-course, “De-Clutter, De-Tox, De-Stress.”