Happy Healthy Holidays: Eating on the Go

Are you still doing your holiday shopping? I try to get mine out of the way as soon as possible. I like to go when the stores are less crowded. Also, Amazon needs plenty of time to ship things to me.

Shopping online is one of the best ways to avoid the temptation of the food court and the stress of other “blissful” holiday shoppers. But it’s not realistic for many. Whether it’s your effort to buy local or trying to buy items that must be seen, felt and tried on first, there is a lot of go go go on the weekends, lunch hours and evenings to try to get all the presents ready for the big day.

Weekends in the mall plus holiday travel mean a lot of eating on the go. It may seem like there is no hope of eating a healthy diet until the New Year.

But with a plan you can conquer the food court. Your plan should be a battle on 3 fronts.

  1. Eat well prior to leaving.

    Don’t be in such a rush that you skip breakfast. And certainly don’t skimp on lunch to allow yourself to overeat latter. Eat normally before any power shopping trip or starting the trip to Grandma’s. Have a quick breakfast of Overnight Steel Cut Oats or increase your staying power with a Triple Protein Salad.

  2. Pack your lunch.

    Or dinner. And snacks. Never leave home without something to eat when you anticipate being gone for hours at a time. I suggest protein bars (make your own or try NuGO Slim, dry roasted edamame, fruit and GoPicnic meals for a day of shopping.  GoPicnic meals are also a nice compliment to a packed cooler for a road trip. Add in some hardboiled eggs, baby carrots, low sugar granola, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese and you won’t have to hit the drive through.

  3. Know your safe spots.

    If your supplies run out, or friends insist on stopping, pick a place you know you can make good choices. Try Starbucks for a smoothie, green tea or egg white wrap.  Panera bread has great salads and soups and you can get an apple as a side instead of chips. Ruby Tuesday has a packed salad bar where you can load up on veggies and proteins like hardboiled eggs and chickpeas. Use tools like Dailyburn Tracker and Restaurant Nutrition to determine what the better choices are at chain restaurants. At local restaurants go with the basics: lean protein and lots of veggies.

Being on the go means you aren’t being a couch potato! Make it a fun fit day out by wearing your pedometer or FuelBand to see how many extra steps you can add to your day. Now that’s a fun and fit holiday!

  • http://primefitnessforwomen.com/ Mary C. Weaver, CSCS

    Great suggestions–for any time of year! I always recommend that my clients carry what I call “emergency food” with them so they can avoid the drive-through when hunger strikes.

  • http://twitter.com/ThriveFit Pamela Hernandez

    You are so right – emergency food is exactly the idea. You never know when hangry is going to strike!

  • http://twitter.com/WorkoutNirvana Suzanne

    What great resources Pamela! I like the salad recipe, thanks. The restaurant tracker app is so useful! I can always use ideas for packing lunches so thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/ThriveFit Pamela Hernandez

    Thanks, the salad is pretty yummy. And easy!

  • http://twitter.com/theshiramiller Shira Miller

    Good advice! Luckily most of my shopping took place online this year but in the past, smells of fresh baked goodies from the mall food court were always a hard one to resist. Thanks for the scoop on Restaurant Nutrition; can’t wait to check that out!

  • http://twitter.com/ThriveFit Pamela Hernandez

    I find it very helpful when I travel. Have fun!