I have memories of my uni friend and I, sitting on some couches in the Student Union, with a small loaf of wholewheat bread, and a bunch of ripe bananas (both just purchased from the Uni supermarket) and preparing makeshift banana sandwiches. It wasn’t fancy, and we probably looked ridiculous, but it was our answer to a healthy lunch that also happened to be cheap, and filling.We did this so often that people started to recognise us with our little sandwich bar. Sometimes you just have to be resourceful!
When hunger strikes on the go, and you are not prepared for it, you generally end up spending more, and if you are after healthy options, depending on where you are and what your criteria are, you may have a more limited choice.Of course, the larger the place, the more likely you will be able to find a healthy option, but there are days you may only be able to find white carbs and dubious looking substances pretending to be meat.
Here are some tips for when you are out and about or travelling further afield.
TUPPERWARE. Little tubs in your bag are not just for parents weaning babies onto solids!
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh vegetables
- Nuts, seeds, dried fruits,healthsome crackers
- Hummous, home made guacamole (add lemon juice to avoid browning), nut pates
- A pre-made salad with dressing in a tiny screw-top jar (inside the tupperware) Don’t forget the fork.
BRING A BOTTLE We always forget water when we go out, and my kids are always thirsty for water. I find buying water so annoying when I have already payed expensive water rates and for a water filter cartridge at home. Drinking water also helps keep your metabolism nice and high, aiding weight loss to a small degree.
To go one step further, you could squeeze your own juice, or prepare a home-made smoothie. If you make it green, prepare for comments! My husband took one to work once, on his own request. His friend said “What is THAT?” So of course, instead of saying- “it’s this amazing smoothie, it’s got green leaves in,in but it tastes fruity and delicious. I love it!”…he answered almost apologetically, “My wife made it for me.” She answered: “Mate…whatever you’ve done…TELL HER YOU’RE SORRY!” 🙂
A Thermos is also great for taking warm soups or stews, with a piece of wholegrain bread wrapped in foil- what a lovely lunch!
SUPERMARKETS are almost everywhere now, and are a godsend to the lover of good wholesome food who may not want a pasty or a sandwich. Some supermarkets do a build-your-own salad bar, and all of them have pre-made ones with plastic forks in. If you plan to buy a salad and you prefer a home-made dressing, then make yourself up one beforehand at home.
HEALTH FOOD STORES have a bit of everything, not all of it healthy…but you are more likely to find some alternative energy bars with little or no sugar than in a regular store.
HALF AND HALF You can always bring things from home to adapt/supplement what you are going to buy. If you plan to grab a take-away jacket potato but you want a crunchy, raw filling, bring a salad from home. Or if you plan to grab a soup, you could bring some wholegrain bread from home, as this is one of the things that tend to be hard to find out and about. If you plan to buy a salad, you could bring some home-made dressing, and know exactly what’s in it. I love creamy cashew ones (with dill, a la ranch, or simple extra virgin olive oil and balsamic, for example) (Bring a fork!) Take some veggie sticks, and buy a pot of hummous out and about.
ASK This is a little trickier, and it depends on where you are, but you can always ask if you can switch things up a bit on the menu. Once I was out and even though it wasn’t listed exactly like this, I asked if she would mind getting me a plain jacket potato and a large raw salad, and she was more than happy to work out a price for me. Of course if she wasn’t willing or able to, I would have been flexible, but I really wanted that and I thought it was worth an ask. I brought my own dressing 🙂
SWEET TREATS If one of your particular aims is to avoid sugar, be aware that when you are most likely to crave it is when you are out, about, and hungry. It’s just the rules- it’s how it works. Bringing an alternative for those craving moments is always a great idea. This pre-supposes you have developed a list of “alternatives” that work for you. Planning is the name of the game!
That’s all for now. Enjoy your day!