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By Natalie…

Strawberry-Salad-3-by-Gluten-Free-Cat

We’ve all been there.  Don’t know what to eat when there’s nothing to eat –wanting to eat whatever you can get your hands on before you eat your arm, H-U-N-G R-Y!   Maybe it’s because you were stuck in a meeting all day or played taxi driver for the kiddos or got home too late and couldn’t grocery shop.   Whatever the situation, I know eating right can be a challenge sometimes.  Key is to be prepared for all situations at all times.  It’s so important to have your mind in the game before you get up to bat.  Start thinking about what you’ll eat before you get to the restaurant, have your work fridge stocked with good food, pack up your desk, brief case, car, purse, house with these goodies below and you’ll hit a home run, every time!

1) Buy already cut and washed fresh veggies: Most grocery stores have a wide variety of veggies like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fresh Market, Kroger and Publix.  Choices could include cut up peppers, onions, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and the list goes on and on.

2) Low sodium lean deli meats: When you’re in a pinch, deli meats will do the trick.  For those of you watching processed foods or trying to cut back on your sodium intake, just don’t eat this for every meal.   Opt for lean choices such as turkey or chicken.

3) Buy pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts: Almost every grocery store offers this now. There are 20 or more grams of protein per serving and just add to salads, stir-frys (like your precut washed veggies mentioned above) or even mix with scrambled eggs/egg whites for an omelet.

4) Drink a protein shake:  North Point Fitness offers great choices of protein powders and one scoop offers about 24g protein. Post workout mix a scoop with unsweetened milk of choice and a cup of berries — throw in a Vitamix or Magic Bullet and you’ll feel like a super hero .  Buy the single servings to take with you or put a scoop or two in a baggy and mix in with a water bottle anywhere, anytime (i.e., in the car, air port, staff meeting).

5) Cook eggs on the weekend:  Put a few hard-boiled eggs in a baggy to take with you — each egg provides about 6g protein.  Have one or two as a snack with nuts or small fruit. If you don’t have time to boil the eggs, you can buy them already cooked at most grocery stores these days.

6) Have one really big salad every day: My fave these days is the big bag of Power Greens you can get at most grocery stores or the Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Kit from Costco… Add any colorful veggies you like along with a lean protein for a complete meal.  Sometimes I’ll have this for two meals 🙂

7) Get a high-quality blender: You can get a refurbished Vitamix (just over $300) or Magic Bullet/Ninja blender for less than $100. They can chop, blend, mince or shred anything–protein pancake batter, the most ice-y protein shake, frozen fruit, etc. Well worth your money spent!

8) Get frozen veggies or fruit: Frozen veggies/fruit are just that–they have been picked during peak season and frozen. No preservatives, extra ingredients, etc. Use these for stir-fry, quick dinner sides and so on.  Can’t get any easier than that!

9) Order take-out salads: This is a great option for those of you that dine a lot but watch out for high calorie add-ons and modify as necessary (i.e. dried fruit, croutons, fried potatoes).  Add grilled fish, chicken or lean meat for a complete meal.

10) Know what to order at restaurants:  Choose a healthy salad as mentioned above or choose grilled lean protein and double up on your veggies servings (skip the high calorie potatoes or fries and bread).

11) Salad bars at Whole Foods or other grocery stores: The best thing about salad bars  someone else
has to do the dirty work for you (cutting, washing, etc) and you get to enjoy the goods!

12) Add some bacon:   If you have time, cook some yourserf or buy the already fully cooked kind.  Add a little to salads, omelets or your stir-fry which to give you lots of flavor.

13) Use easy grab and go snacks like raw nuts, jerky and fruit: Grab snacks that take absolutely no preparation, like raw nuts, apples, pears, berries, etc and jerky.

14) Make healthy treats:. Make these on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week to keep you on track and to help with those sweet cravings!  Try this pudding, or this granola, or these chips or this milkshake.  Yummy!