What to Pack: Healthy To-Go

My friend actually “requested” this post, and I loved the idea. She wanted a post on how to pack healthy food for an entire day in order to refrain from “giving up & going to the drive-thru”. Like myself, she has just begun a semester of full-time internship plus full-time night classes. So, basically, the both of us spend 8 am- 5 pm working & then head straight to our university for class from 6pm- 9pm. If that’s not a long day, I don’t know what is! Mix that with a 40 minute commute each way, & it leaves me with a serious lack of that whole “time” thing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t “eat out” during the week. I prefer to spend my money on fresh groceries that I can prepare myself from home. I like having control over what I will be eating throughout the day, & what ingredients will be going into my meals. I find it much easier to maintain a healthy diet (& weight!) when my food choices are made in advance, rather than “in the moment” when I’m hungry & may or may not be thinking clearly. It’s easy to go overboard on food or make a poor meal choice when you’re starving and short on time.

I always start my day with coffee & a solid breakfast at home to get me going (ok, not gonna lie... it’s usually consumed in the car while I drive). Then I take 3 snacks, lunch, & dinner in my lunch box "to-go". I don’t always finish the snacks, but I would rather have too much than not enough. When you run out of food is when you end up hungry & desperate, tempted by a fast food joint—don’t do it! Here are a few tips to make it easier:

·      Protein: Keep quick protein options on hand to throw in a salad or mix in with veggies for a stir-fry. I make a lot at once & save it in the fridge for when I’m in a hurry. Here are some ideas:
o   Hard-boiled eggs
o   Grilled chicken breasts
o   Sliced deli meats (ham, turkey, etc.)
o   Canned fish (tuna, salmon, etc.)
o   Fully cooked bacon
o   Jerky

·      Fruits & Nuts: Great for snacks, but don’t overdo it! I usually go for sliced apples with almond butter, Larabars, trail mix, berries, or whatever fresh fruit I have in the fridge.

·      Vegetables: You can never have too many…
o   Slice up veggies like baby carrots & celery as soon as they’re home from the grocery store & keep them in the fridge. Toss in a bag with some broccoli or cauliflower for a snack.
o   Keep spinach or mixed greens on hand for salads.
o   Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots, & broccoli slaw make great additions for salads as well.
o   Avocados are a great source of healthy fats & taste good too!

Here’s an example of what I packed one day last week:

Drinks: Bottled water, coconut water
Snack 1: Sliced apple with cinnamon almond butter
Snack 2: Beef jerky & Homemade Coconut Cream Pie Larabars
Snack 3: Carrots, celery, broccoli & cauliflower
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with spicy mixed veggies (leftovers)

So, here's a few do's & don'ts to wrap it up:

  • Pack the night before
  • Learn to love leftovers
  • Always bring an extra snack
  • Take lots of liquids & stay hydrated!
  • Skip breakfast
  • Wait until the morning to pack
  • Pack too little
  • Give up & go to the drive-thru ;)

That's it! Let me know if you have any questions & what you like to pack for on-the-go! 

post signature

No comments: