I get very frustrated when I’m unable to get healthy food when I’m hungry, so I’m constantly carrying around food with me. My friends find it weird, and it’s super time consuming to prepare. What can I do to make sure I have access to healthy food without it taking over my life? –Healthy on the Go
Healthy on the Go, your question is a great one! Most health-conscious eaters find it very difficult to eat healthily when they’re out and about. Many easily accessible snacks are highly processed, and it can be tough to find something satisfying, nutritious, and natural when you need it. Here are some healthy finds that won’t garner weird looks from your friends. Many of these products are becoming so popular that you’ll find them everywhere from your corner coffee shop to airport kiosks!
- Kind Bars or Larabar – Both are made with only whole foods (dried fruits and nuts), so you can actually read every super-natural ingredient. My favorite Larabar is Apple Pie.
- Yogurt – Stonyfield is an organic brand I love, which is popping up in more shops and cafés – even the airport! Also, the Greek yogurts are higher in protein and portable with side compartments of fruit and honey. Just don’t forget a spoon if you bring a yogurt from home.
- Apple or banana – Apples travel very well, and bananas are basically pre-wrapped since you don’t eat the peel.
- Salad bar – Look out for the salad bar at delis, supermarkets and lunch cafés. You can pick and choose exactly what you want to include in your salad, and you can get just the right amount for your hunger level.
- Smoothie or veggie drink – Got a juicer at home? Juicers make it easy to pack lots of fruits and veggies into a single cup, which you can drink at home or on the road. If you’re looking for a cool-down, smoothies are very filling and easy to find at sandwich or coffee shops. Just make sure you’re drinking a smoothie made with real fruit and yogurt or milk, and not an imposter made from a powder!
- Naked juices with protein – Naked brand juices are a great line of juices packed with nutrients. Each flavor has different nutritional benefits, ranging from “power-c machine” to “orange carrot,” a very good source of vitamin A. I particularly like their “protein zone” juices, which are super satisfying!
- Packaged sushi – This may not be something you pick up from any old gas station, but reputable grocery stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods carry pre-packaged sushi, with or without fish. These are nicely-condensed, delicious meals for when you’re on the go. Look for brown rice!
Trail mixes – There’s nothing like a classic trail mix to munch on between meals. However, some trail mixes are healthier than others. Look for one that’s heavy on healthy nuts (almonds or walnuts) and dried fruits and low on chocolate and M&Ms.
- Dunkin Donuts sandwiches – So, all your friends are headed to Dunkin Donuts? No need to fear! Steer clear of the donuts, but try their egg white veggie omelet sandwich with a cup of tea. The low fat protein from the egg whites will keep you full for hours.
- Starbucks cheese and fruit sampler – For the same number of calories, you can have a cinnamon chip scone or a cheese and fruit box at Starbucks. The sampler box is going to deliver a healthy balance of calcium and protein from cheese, fiber from fruit, and low fat carbs from crackers. The scone is all sugar, white flour, and butter and is going to have you hungry again in no time! This one is no contest.
– Stacey Antine, M.S. R.D., author, Appetite for Life and founder, HealthBarn USA.
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