Friday, October 1, 2010

Eating Healthy On-The-Go

Sometimes we just have time to grab protein bars, cereal bars, bags of chips, trail mix, and many other junk foods if we are eating on the go.

We want to grab healthful snacks that are keeping us full and not adding excess calories to our diets.

Tips for eating healthy on-the-go:
  • Prepackaged foods: Make sure you are buying foods that contain only 1 serving per container.
    • Fiber 1 bars (~150 calories each) are great because they contain 9 grams of fiber which will help keep you full. They are usually less calories than protein bars.
    • 100 calorie packs
    • String cheese and yogurt
    • vegetables and dip (may contain full-fat dressing, double check before purchasing these items)

  • "Snack Sacks": Use your weekends to pack 7 snacks into bags that you can keep in your fridge and grab when you are running out the door.
  • Snacks should be balanced: Include a protein or fat free dairy option, a whole grain (no more than 100 calories per serving), and a fruit or vegetable.
    • Protein/ Dairy Examples: fat free yogurt or string cheese, cottage cheese, 1 ounce of deli meat, powdered peanut butter.
    • Whole Grain Examples: 1 serving of special K whole grain crackers (19 crackers are 90 calories), 1/2 serving of cheerios or other cereal, or 60 calorie mama lupe wraps. If you like to eat grains that have more than 100 calories per serving just use 1/2 of the normal serving size.
    •  Fruits and veggies that travel well include celery, baby carrots, apples, plumbs, pears, etc.

  • Items that will help you with portion control for these snacks include 1/2 cup sized Tupperware, plastic Ziploc bags, brown paper bags, and a kitchen scale.

  • If you usually pair certain foods, keep them in a bag together so you don't have to remember to grab multiple food items for your snack. For example if you usually like crackers and cheese or fruit and yogurt, put them both in the same paper bag and store them together in the fridge.

Snacking Guidelines:
  • Keep snacks to 200 calories or less
  • Balanced snacks that contain protein and whole grains will help keep you full and satisfied until your next meal.  

Examples of balanced snacks include:

  • Powdered peanut butter on celery (store in plastic bag)
  • Yogurt with fresh fruit (keep together in brown bag)
  • 60 calorie wraps with 1 ounce of meat with yogurt or fruit.
  • Preportion cottage cheese into 1/2cup Tupperware, add frozen berries to Tupperware if desired.  

Meals on the go:
  • Protein shakes (follow guidelines)
  • Frozen dinners as lean cuisines and smart ones can be brought to work and microwaved there. For breakfast, Smart Ones and Jimmy Dean Delights are good options to bring to work or microwave at home before you walk out the door.
  • Guilt Free Banana Oatmeal cookies can be made ahead of time and are great for breakfast

 Products that may have fooled you:
  • Be aware of trail mix: usually comes with more than 1 serving per package (vending machine packages are usually 3 servings per small bag). They are high in calories and are not a recommended snack option.
    • It may be a better idea to make your own trail mix.

  • Many protein bars: A lot of times protein bars are high in fat and sugar. They are designed for body builders and not average Americans who are trying to maintain or lose weight. Protein bars can be used as meal replacements, not as snacks.

  • Lunchables- are high in sodium, low in protein, and high in simple carbs (they provide little fiber).

What do you snack on?

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