Healthy Eating On the Go
If you’re regularly eating on the run with little time to cook, it can be tempting to grab prepared foods to fill you up. But many packaged foods lack the nutritional punch you need to fuel your body and keep you healthy. Here are some tips for keeping the weight off and your belly full, while also getting the nutrients you need to help you stay active.
Snack smart: Chips and bars are super convenient snacks, but they lack the healthy punch of whole foods and often contain as much or more calories than an entire meal. Instead, reach for fruits (such as apples, bananas, and oranges), veggies (such as broccoli, carrots, and celery), yogurt, and nuts. Keep in mind that serving sizes are generally smaller than you might think. Here’s a handy list of snacks and their recommended serving size.
Control portion: If you are going to grab a bag of potato chips or corn chips, choose a single serving size or separate out portions from a big bag. That way, you’re not tempted to nosh your way through more calories than you need. Chips made from beans contain more protein and fiber, which is a better choice than carb-heavy corn and potato chips.
Grab and go: Look for fresh, prepared options in the Co-op Deli. Serve up a bowl of soup or grab an entree from the hot bar. Plus, we make lots of sandwiches in house with whole grain breads. Bonus: Our sandwiches come “naked” so that you can add the condiments of your choice or skip the mayo altogether.
Use short cuts: If you do want to cook but need to cut prep time, look for shortcuts. Grab pre-cut veggies from the salad bar to make a stir-fry or grab pre-cooked meats that just need to be heated to serve.
Fill up on fiber: Reach for fiber-rich foods to feel fuller, longer. Fruits and veggies are a good choice, as are whole grains. Lentils and beans pack a double punch because they are loaded with fiber and protein. Also of note, solid forms of fiber (such as oatmeal) proved to make people feel fuller longer than liquid forms (such as a smoothie), according to a study by the University of Minnesota. Your best bet? Old fashioned oats with a handful of fruits such as blueberries or raspberries.
Prepare your own: Spend a little time on the weekend preparing your meals for the week. Package up wraps, sandwiches, snacks, and other lunch goodies. As an added bonus, this will save you money as well as time because purchasing raw ingredients generally costs less.