How to Eat on the Run

We all know what it’s like to eat on the run.  It’s a horrible situation to be in, especially if you’re trying to eat healthy.  Let’s face it: most places to get food on the road are concentrating on convenience, not health.

The best thing you can do is take time out of your day to cook yourself a meal and eat right. There are a few things you can do to keep your diet under control while you’re running about though.

Be Prepared

Keeping easy, healthy foods in your car and at your home is the single best thing you can do. It’s cheaper than eating Granola-Bars-istock-photo-Lauraout or getting gas station food as well. There are some great foods like granola bars and bags of sunflower seeds that don’t spoil very easily. You can also keep fresh fruit and vegetables where you can access them quickly and easily.

The idea is to keep foods that transport easily and/or can be stored for a long period of time handy for when you don’t have time to eat a real meal.  Of course, don’t store fruit in your car on hot days or for long periods of time. The biggest benefit is that you have 100% control over what you eat. You’re not at the whim of the menu.

Healthy Dining

healthy_dining_1If you’re on the road and don’t have any of your own food with you, but do have time to order something and wait for it to be prepared, you can dine out. This isn’t nearly as good as being prepared, because you may not have control over where you can eat or what’s on their menu.

Start by trying to find the healthiest restaurant you can find.  It helps if you’ve been to them before.  I prefer bakeries that also server sandwiches. As a general rule, the more local a restaurant they healthier their selection will be.  That’s doesn’t mean that the chicken wings at Bob’s Fried Delights are good for you. Use some common sense. Even if you’re only given of McDonald’s, you have the option of a fruit salad or a grilled chicken salad.

Gas Station Food

This is probably the single worst thing you can do for food. There are almost no good meat or protein sources except cheesy-hot-dog-with-onionslocal, preservative beef jerky, maybe. Some gas stations might have fresh fruit, but in my experience, that’s a rarity. Usually, you can find sunflower seeds or peanuts, which are good sources of protein and carbs. They’ll definitely fill you up and give you energy. You can also usually find organic or healthy granola bars. Don’t reach for that pizza or hot dog. Pay attention to the nutrition facts to make your decision.

Watch out for foods that seem healthy but really aren’t.  Most carb based foods and chips are horrible for you.  Always look at the nutrition facts for the food that you buy. Pay attention to the serving size and servings per container when you’re reading them. ‘Healthy’ advertising can be quite deceptive.

For drinks, stay away from sodas and other manufactured drinks when selecting a drink. Usually water, coffee, and tea are fine for you. If you get coffee or tea, use skim milk and attempt to hold the sugar – or at least minimize it.

Be Smart

Overall, you need to be intelligent about your eating decisions. Make your own portable food whenever possible.  Eat at healthy restaurants, and if you absolutely have to eat food from a gas station, pay attention to the nutrition facts. Have any food-on-the-go advice. Hook it up in the comments.

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