It’s happened to all of us. You know the feeling – you are away from home running errands, or you are out late because you had to stay at work longer. And you realize that you are hungry. Not just a little hungry though, you’re ravenous, your head is starting to throb, and you can’t even think straight.
You have to eat. Now!
Obviously because you are busy there is NOTHING even remotely healthy anywhere in the house, the office or your car. Okay a quick stop to McDonalds for a “Salad” with grilled chicken will do right? NOPE – processed, manipulated, transformed – you better think again.
And if you did do that? You just put food into your body that will lower your immune response, raise your blood sugar, reduce your energy and put weight on you.
We’ve all been there.
Sometimes you really do have to eat ‘right now.’ But over time, these eating emergencies add up and significantly impact your health and fitness. Right now I’m all out of the “Healthy snacks” because I haven’t grocery shopped in oh about 8 days…I’m setting myself up for disaster – because guess what? The snack cabinet with the chips is totally stocked. Funny how that happens.
You need to plan for eating!
The first step is to make a list of healthy, on-the-go foods that you enjoy eating. Make sure that you include things with healthy fats, protein and carbs (if it’s around your workout time). When you are very hungry, you need to have all the macronutrients covered in order to get quick energy, satisfy your hunger and clear your brain fog. This does not have to be a complete meal, but it needs to be balanced enough to substitute for one if needed.
Unsalted nuts. Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts. (These will provide protein and good fat)
Raw Veggies. They are crisp, juicy, cold and sweet and full of the micronutrients your body craves.
Protein shakes – easy, portable and good for you
Cheese (PLEASE USE MODERATION IF AT ALL). If you eat dairy, having a small slice of your favorite cheese will give you a complete protein, a little fat and be very
Nut butters. Cashew, almond, peanut…find your favorite. Almond butter is great on a banana; cashew butter is perfect on whole grain crackers.
Boiled eggs. Do you like cold, salted boiled eggs? They are a powerhouse of protein. Just be sure to get free range eggs.
Water. You have to drink water.
The second step seems obvious, but it has to happen if you are going to eliminate impulse eating: buy the food on your list. You have to get it in your house, so you have it when you need it.
The third step is to plan to bring your food daily. This food has to travel with you, and you have to decide how you are going to transport it. Make it convenient! If you only have five minutes to grab your snacks on your way out the door before work, it has to be streamlined. Ideally you will leave yourself more than five minutes, but life happens.
Get a Small cooler. Put Plates, utensils, napkins in the cooler. Pickup Small storage containers or plastic bags. You need individual containers to put your food in. Don’t take the whole package of cheese! Make sure you pack the snacks – and voila – run out the door.
Make sure to always have these favorite snack items on hand and you’ll never be caught with no healthy alternatives…