A common question I get…
“What kinds of foods can I eat on-the-go?”
I get asked this very frequently as a personal trainer and heath coach. My answer has two parts:
1. Food that grows or lives naturally (as long as you’re not allergic) and
2. Minimally processed foods (as long as your body “agrees” or tolerates them).
Whole Foods (Not the Store but The Food)
Whole Foods (not the grocery store but the actual produce itself) are unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and fresh meat.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies are naturally packed with micronutrients that our body can breakdown and use for different functions through your bodies. My rule of thumb is to try to “eat the rainbow” every day and I Don’t mean skittles 😆. Fruits and veggies have different nutrients which are apparent through their color. So if you “eat the rainbow 🌈 ” you can be sure you’re getting a healthy variety of micronutrients.
Fresh meat, like steak, stew meat, organ meats, smoked bbq meats, whole chicken, chicken breast, chicken thighs to name a hand-full (also wild game), do not have the added preservatives as opposed to deli meat or pre-seasoned, packaged, and some frozen meats.
Minimally Processed Foods
Minimally processed foods are foods that have undergone some processing but are mostly in their natural form. Examples would be ground meats, and a variety of Dairy Products like milk 🥛, yogurt, and cheese 🧀. The less ingredients, the easier on your digestive tract.
Modern foods are Whole Foods that have been modified by man such as wheat, oats, and legumes. Check out Chris Kresser’s book The Paleo Cure for more amazing facts and details on this.
Processed foods have a variety of preservatives, emulsifiers, added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavors and ingredients that you don’t recognize and have to pull a dictionary for. They also don’t have micronutrients so their calorie to nutrient ratio is LOW meaning this is the JUNK Food category. These foods are okay and “safe” to eat but do not contribute to health and well being.
Examples of processed foods:
Here is a list of common processed foods
low fat dairy products (they add sugar to account for the loss of flavor when the fat is removed) like milk and yogurt
Boxed and bagged items in the grocery store like cereals, cheese its, wheat thins, even crackers that have been labeled as “gluten free” or “health foods”.
Some frozen dinners and foods. Not all of them have processed ingredients or preservatives so make sure to look at the nutrition labels.
Fast Food restaurants
Healthy Go-To Options for On-The-Go
So, if you’re looking for quick, easy, on-the-go options, here are some types of restaurants and menu items to look for:
- Lettuce Wraps
- BBQ Restaurants
- Steak restaurants
- Portable fruits 🍎 🍌 🍊
- Portable veggies 🍅 🥕🌶
- Snack bars with WHOLE FOOD ingredients
- Meal Prep
NOTE: Pre-Week MEAL PREP is your buddy when it comes to a busy lifestyle. If you’re health conscious, take a few hours to prep healthy options that you can grab quickly throughout the week.
Listen to Your Body
If your body doesn’t “agree with” or tolerate a food well it will react with uncomfortable side effects as it tries to digest and assimilate nutrients. Some examples would be:
- Uncomfortable Gas
- Sharp stomach pain
- Frequent or sudden trips to the bathroom
- Mood swings
- Energy peaks and valleys
- Brain Fog
- Weight gain
How Do you Feel
Pay attention to how you feel after your eat because that’s how your body communicates with you. Something that works really well for you may “tear-up” your spouse’s stomach. Everyone is different.
The Bottom Line
The thing that remains constant is the undeniable fact that fruits, vegetables, and fresh meat are packed with micronutrients and macronutrients that contribute to health and wellness which means energy and improved focus to keep you on point throughout your day with your busy schedule.