Grab and Go Eating For The Holiday Rush That’s Also Healthy
Eating Healthy on the Go Can Be Difficult…
Everyone agrees that cooking brings many health benefits into your life, as well as to support much needed family togetherness when done for the evening meal. What if you’re in total agreement with all the upsides of cooking, but you simply don’t have the time or energy to tackle putting together even the most simple meal?
Especially now that the end of year holiday rush is upon us. There ARE ways to get quick and healthy food choices into your pantry for those grab and go moments, and it all starts in the grocery store aisle:
- The most basic is of course, to get really good at reading labels and understanding ingredients. The fewer the better, avoiding the ones you can’t pronounce and that are multi-syllabic ending in –ate, – ite, or –ose, with the worst being hydrogenated oils, HFCS, artificial coloring and flavoring, potassium benzoate and sodium benzoate.
- Don’t be fooled by packaging which displays farm or nature scenes thinking that is shorthand for “natural” or “healthy” (it’s often a decoy).
- Fat Free or endorsements by Weight Watchers and other weight management companies doesn’t mean the product is free of hydrogenated oils and artificial trans fats. Keep a close eye out for these harmful ingredients.
- Canned, frozen or boxed soups are sodium bombs with more salt content in one serving that is needed for a whole day. Make your own “quickie version” of soup by combining a couple varieties of canned, cooked beans (black, garbanzo, cannellini), frozen veggies, boxed vegetable broth and canned or boxed tomatoes with dried basil, thyme and red chili flakes.
- Frozen fruit and veggies are ideal for grab and go moments as they contain all the nutrition of fresh produce (look for brands without anything else added) and defrost quickly. Layer fruit with yogurt (plain, no added sugars) for a great nutritious breakfast and add veggies to a jar of pasta sauce (with no added sugars).
- Microwavable grain dishes can be great timesavers if they don’t contain much else but herbs and spices. My favorite brand is Seeds of Change.
- Nuts and seeds are awesome for quick protein and “good” fats. I keep a stash at my desk and in my car, and from my pantry I add them to salads, pastas and grain dishes. My favorites are almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnut pieces, and sesame seeds.
- Kind Bars are my favorite brand of energy/snack bar as they are simple combinations of nuts and seeds with dried fruits. Just a few ingredients and with low amounts of natural sugars.
- Choose bagged popcorn over microwave which always has lots of artificial ingredients and hydrogenated oils.
- Guacamole, huumus and salsa in the prepared foods sections are great for dips and spreads for sandwiches as long as they don’t have added sour creams and preservatives.
- Always have boiled eggs in the fridge along with a nice block of organic cheese. Paired with an apple and you’ve got a healthy, light lunch or snack that’ll boost your energy and carry for several hours of shopping and errand running.