Top 5 Go-Tos for Tricky Eating Situations
Does this look like a meal you could cobble together in a few minutes from less than five items purchased in a hurry at the grocery store?
Aside from the plate, it is.
Why is this important? Because life brings us tricky situations that can throw us off our eating regime when certain situations arise.
You’ve taken the time to learn the basics about where to get the best in-season veggies, wild, local seafood and grass fed meats.
You’ve learned how easy it is to prepare all of the above in a timely manner, since fresh and authentic means no need to prepare elaborate sauces or utilize lengthy recipes.
Finally, you’ve seen experienced firsthand for yourself how vibrant you feel when you make eating in this manner a top priority…and then it happens.
Whether it’s a last minute road trip, a business meeting that lasts far longer than anticipated or simply a day that goes exactly the opposite of what you had anticipated, the fact is there are situations that arise which can throw even the most organized and savvy individuals off their ideal eating routine.
Is there any recourse? Absolutely; and it starts with having a simple list of go-to foods that one can quickly find, often in the most unlikely places.
Below are my top five easy to find, in a pinch food solutions that can replace what could have become a food disaster in five minutes or less.
- Grocery Store Grab and Go While it might seem like a bad idea at first blush to venture into a grocery store, feeling starving and with only a few minutes to spare, but if you have a plan, it can be surprisingly seamless. Select a bag of pre-washed organic spinach, a small avocado, a lemon, and some sliced turkey. Open the bag, slice the turkey, scoop out the avo, squeeze the lemon and place all into the same bag as the spinach: voila – a salad from a store that may not even have had a salad bar! Can’t find turkey or spinach? Just eat the avocado! Fat, fiber and fulfilling!
- Road Side Gas Station While one could easily select a pizza or hot dogs from the conveyor belt or a gigantic soda, those are far from being the only options. Instead, grab a bag of raw almonds, a can of tuna and a green apple. Granted, the apple may not be organic and the tuna is indeed in a can, but collectively, these three foods still outweigh the former option in terms of providing at least some nutrition and not being nearly as inflammatory to the body.
- Juice Bar The green juice may sound incredibly nutritious, but the fact is that many options at the neighborhood juice shop and larger franchises alike tend to be extremely high in sugar, low in fiber and protein and often, completely lacking in fat. In fact, some healthy-sounding juices sometimes carried with them a whopping 39 grams of sugar — the same as more than five standard chocolate chip cookies you’d pick up from your office’s cafe. (1). However, a 100% veggie juice would certainly provide a wealth of vitamins and micronutrients so if you simply ask for a scoop of raw walnut or almond butter and enjoy that on the side, you’ll lower the glycemic index of the meal and save yourself the discomfort of a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash.
- Fat Coffee or Tea Regardless of whether or not you’re following a keto diet, you can still benefit from having a fat-snack. By keeping a few travel size packets of MCT or coconut oil in your purse or briefcase, you can easily make yourself a fat coffee or tea, depending on the time of day. You can now even find grass fed butter packets to go and in a real pinch, Starbucks offers Kerigold butter; just ask the barista for it. Even without the MCT, a dose of cafe and fat can do the trick to tide you over until your next real meal.
- The Stand-by: A Bar While we’re fortunate now to have many selections in the bar category, we have to be more mindful now than ever when we read our labels, as with the increase in product come increase in confusion. Many products are now labeled as being Paleo and while that’s all well and good, it doesn’t necessarily parlay into what the macro nutrient ratio of that bar might be. For instance, one popular bar contains just dates and nuts on the ingredient list… and a whopping 20 grams of sugar with 1 gram of protein and only 3 grams of fat. Many others have a higher protein content, but source this important macronutrient from powdered whey or soy. A better option would be to choose a grass-fed beef or wild salmon bar, eaten with a handful of nuts to up the fat content.
When you weigh out the pros and cons, even though the turkey you find at the grocery store might have added salt or the apple in the gas station wasn’t picked yesterday, in the grand scheme of things, choosing the best option when none of the options are all that great allows you avoid having to transition back to healthy eating because you didn’t deviate that far in the first place.
Just remember one key rule of thumb: any time you’re in a tricky eating situation (apart from when you’re in the middle of a triathlon or marathon) go with a healthy fat snack over a sweet snack.
Your mind, body and blood sugar will thank you!