Work-through-lunch deadlines, last-minute business trips and non-stop diaper changes can derail your intentions to eat well. When time is tight, it’s easier to forfeit fresh veggies for French fries. But leaving things to the last minute increases your chances of making poor food choices. Check out these three common healthy-eating challenges and solutions for overcoming them.
The challenge: Long and demanding work hours
Your morning rush has you dashing out the door without having a sit-down breakfast on most days. When you’re at work, looming deadlines interfere with your lunch break. Before you know it, you’re low on energy and famished.
The solution: Plan ahead
When breakfast at home seems unlikely, pack a portable meal the night before and grab it on your way out the door to eat on your public transit commute or at your desk when you get to work.
Don’t expect to go for hours without eating and still be productive. Planning ahead by stashing, say, a bag of nuts in your desk drawer to tide you over until you can have lunch will keep you from making the wrong choice at the vending machine.
The challenge: Eating well while traveling
You’re a frequent flyer and dealing with airline meals and unhealthy airport food has always been a challenge. Once you’re at your destination, finding healthy restaurant choices in an unfamiliar city is also a struggle.
The solution: Pack smart
Savvy travellers reserve room in their suitcases for snacks and portable meals. Select foods that stay fresh even when you’re wilting from security lineups and flight delays.
Good choices include portable tuna salad kits (no-drain tuna in vacuum-packed pouches) and all-natural fruit cups. (Note, however, that international travel regulations might prevent you from entering another country with meats, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables).
At your destination, dodge having to dine out at every meal by booking a hotel or bed and breakfast with a kitchen or small refrigerator.
The challenge: Busy family responsibilities
You’re facing weight gain from a recent pregnancy and have little time to prepare healthy meals for yourself. You keep hunger at bay mostly with processed snacks.
The solution: Eat to refuel
Busy new moms often ignore their own hunger cues or skip meals because they are too tired to whip something up. But sustenance is a must, even if it means abandoning pre-pregnancy expectations about how and when you eat.
Make a point to eat when your kids eat and involve the whole family in meal preparation whenever possible. If sitting down for a meal – let alone cooking it – seems like a mission impossible, fuel up with nutritious snacks throughout the day, such as turkey slices with low-fat cheese or almond butter on celery.