Let’s face it, as much as you can make healthy eating a priority, life loves to throw us a curveball. Whether you’re rushing to an afternoon meeting or didn’t manage to squeeze breakfast in before your morning commute, sticking to clean eating on the go can be tough.
When life gets busy, sometimes your health can take a backseat but that doesn’t need to be the case. With the right planning and preparation, you can make good food choices on the go. You can still stick to the fundamentals of clean eating and find a way that works for you and your body.
Here are eight tips for clean eating on the go:
- Make healthy eating a priority
- Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Avoid added sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives
- Stay hydrated
- Make healthy snacks
- Plan ahead and meal prep
- Choose healthy options when dining out
- Sunwarrior’s Lean Meal
The Fundamentals of Clean Eating
The term “clean eating” is thrown around a lot these days but, it’s not as hard as you might think. Clean eating is all about eating more whole foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. While limiting processed foods that have little nutritional value. Basically, clean eating focuses on eating whole, real foods in their natural state.
The fundamentals of clean eating involve limiting or, if possible, eliminating processed and packaged foods from your diet. It’s about cutting back on foods that have been drastically altered from their natural form. For example, clean eating would encourage you to eat a whole apple rather than drink apple juice.
8 Tips for Clean Eating On The Go
1. Make Healthy Eating a Priority
Eating on the go isn’t ideal but often it’s inevitable. It’s important to make healthy eating a priority so that you can stick to it as much as possible. To make healthy eating a priority, keep it simple and aim to create healthy habits.
When you’re strapped on time and busy, it can be easy to slip up. Don’t be too hard on yourself and just get back on track quickly. Whether you skipped your workout for a few days or indulge on a sugary dessert, get back on track and set yourself up for clean eating success.
2. Eat Lots of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Focus on eating lots of nutrient-dense foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Nutrient-dense foods satisfy you for longer, keeping you feeling fuller and less likely to reach for snacks throughout the day. If possible, eat vegetables in their raw, natural state.
Our bodies need to consume nutrient-dense foods to thrive. In many large observational studies, researchers have seen a link between high fruit and vegetable intake and a reduced risk of diseases like heart disease and cancer. Where you can, try to buy organic produce. This takes clean eating a step further by reducing your exposure to harmful pesticides and pollutants.
Raw vegetables often contain more nutrients than when they are cooked. As some vitamins are sensitive to cooking, eating them raw can be more beneficial. For example, when you cook tomatoes for just two minutes, the vitamin C content starts to decrease by 10%. However, that’s not to say that applies to all vegetables. Cooking foods like carrots and asparagus can make it easier for your body to benefit from protective antioxidants.
And the best thing about fresh fruits and vegetables is that they are one of the easiest, clean eating snacks to take on the go.
3. Avoid Added Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners and Preservatives
Foods that are highly processed tend to have little to no nutritional value and contain a lot of added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. Eating too much added sugar can have negative side effects on your health. Unfortunately, many people in the United States tend to rely heavily on highly processed snacks and convenience foods. In the U.S, added sugar accounts for about 17% of total calorie intake.
Drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to an increased amount of visceral fat. Visceral fat is a type of deep belly fat that’s associated with health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
There are plenty of “on the go'' foods that don’t contain these types of ingredients. Get used to reading food labels and focus on consuming convenience foods with whole food ingredients. Initially, it may take longer to find healthy foods to eat on the go, but as you start to understand food labels more, it will get faster. It will be worth it in the long-term as you will benefit from putting real, whole foods into your body like Sunwarrior’s Sol Good Bars. Made with healthy, organic ingredients for a healthy, active lifestyle.
4. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration contributes to mental and physical wellbeing. Filling up on water helps you feel fuller and less tempted to snack. If you’re looking to eat clean and stay healthy, hydration is essential. In general, you should aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce cups of water every day, so about two liters or half a gallon of water.
Related: Hydration: Drink Up!
Drinking enough water every day helps your body to function at its best and flush out toxins. Every system in your body needs hydration to work properly including your brain, heart, and muscles. Some people really struggle with drinking enough water. Sometimes all it takes is to add a little flavor to your H2O. Use the recipes here to help increase your water intake.
You can also eat water-rich foods like cucumber,watermelon, strawberries or cantaloupe to give your water intake a boost.
5. Make Healthy Snacks
When it comes to clean eating, preparation is key. Stock up on healthy snacks and make anything you need for the week ahead of time. Make sure that you’re ready for inevitable hunger whenever and wherever it may hit you. Fresh fruit and veg are great options for snacks on the go, as well as, olives and nuts.
Try and keep your snacks simple. Chopped vegetables and hummus or peanut butter and apple are great pairings and taste fantastic. Find snacks that you love and work for you. Stash your snacks in your bag for when hunger hits. By preparing your snacks for the week ahead, you can eat healthily on the go when you’re tight on time.
Energy balls are the perfect, make-ahead, healthy snack. Like these Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Or these Superfood Protein Bites full of superfoods to help you stay satiated and healthy!
6. Plan Ahead and Meal Prep
Planning and meal preparation are essential to clean eating on a busy schedule. It’s time to get into the kitchen and get cooking. By setting a few hours aside on the weekend, you can prep your lunches for the week. This is a great way to resist shop-bought sandwiches and convenience foods that often contain a lot of salt and preservatives.
If you know you’re going to be tight on time in the morning, make your breakfast the night before. Making overnight oats is an easy way to get a balanced breakfast that can help set you up for the day. It helps keep your blood sugar level so you’re not tempted to eat that mid-morning donut. Try out these healthy & easy no-cook breakfasts for an easy, healthy morning.
Meal prepping is also a great way to save money. By preparing all your meals, you know exactly what ingredients are in your food. When meal prepping, choose a consistent day to do all your cooking for the week. A lack of time doesn’t mean you have to stop eating well. You can eat well on the go, it just takes a little more prep and planning.
7. Choose Healthy Options When Dining Out
Going out for dinner with friends is a great way to socialize and make new memories, but it can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to healthy eating.
Before heading to the restaurant, check out the menu. That way, you know what you’ll be facing and can plan ahead. Already deciding what you are going to eat before you get to the restaurant can help you make healthier food decisions before stepping into the restaurant. For a healthy eating experience, try to skip the chips and bread basket and stick to water. Related: 12 Strategies & Tips for Healthy Eating Out Experiences
Life can get hectic and you don’t always have time to prepare meals. When you don’t have time to meal prep but want to get all your macro-nutrients in a quick meal, having a meal replacement shake is the easiest way to stay on track. Sunwarrior’s Lean Meal is a clean, plant-based meal replacement option. This fully plant-based meal replacement contains::
- Plant-Based Protein with a full amino acid profile
- Healthy fats
- Whole food vitamins
- Gluten-free complex carbohydrates
- Additional nutrients including B-12, Vitamin D, kelp, cinnamon, red algae, holy basil, and vitamin K2
The superfood meal replacement covers the most important nutrients. Whether you need a quick breakfast on-the-go or a snack to keep you going in between meals, Lean Meal can help. Add Lean Meal to any smoothie for added nutrition or add your favorite plant milk or water for the most convenience.
Between a busy schedule, a long commute, and back to back meetings, when hunger strikes, it’s tempting to reach for unhealthy foods. However, with the right preparation, planning, and understanding you can eat healthily on the go. By choosing whole foods and avoiding highly processed foods, you can feel good every day inside and out.