Fitness Minutes: (2,900)
4/20/12 5:53 P
I'm working hard at always being prepared, but apples, bananas, almonds and walnuts are things I carry with me. I also take at least one serving of yogurt to work - putting some sliced strawberries and breaking up a few walnuts in there makes it seem like a treat.
Fitness Minutes: (25,394)
1,030 4/20/12 2:52 P
Pack breakfast and lunch the evening before is my only real rule.
Other than that, I try to always have eggs, refried beans and a lot of pre cleaned and cut veg in the house, so that I can cook and eat something in 15 minutes if I am absolutely dying when I come home from work. I made a big batch of pico de gallo at the beginning of the week and dump it on absolutely everything--eggs, salad, a chicken breast, a wrap. It is a veg and a sauce all in one. I probably eat 3-4 cups of it a week.
I try to keep certain staples always stocked in my kitchen so I can make easy "go to" meals if I am in a hurry. I keep a notebook in my kitchen and jot down recipes when I make them if they are easy and good. I can then refer to my notebook if I need a quick idea. If you are eating out a lot that makes it tough because I always think eating out is a "treat" lol. Best to you on your continued journey to health and fitness.
Y'all have some wonderful suggestions. One of my biggest struggles is that we eat out alot. I have started downloading the nutritional information PDFs to my iPad, so I have them with me if we make a last minute decision to eat out. Then I can peruse it before I order so it's an informed choice.
4/20/12 11:51 A
I never never never run out of apples and bananas. Prepackaged, healthy, and I always have at least one or both in the car with me. If I need a snack, I'm ready. I do keep around Special K or Fiber One 90-calorie bars, and sometimes I go to one of those. But apples & bananas are my secret weapon.
Fitness Minutes: (21,962)
4/20/12 11:09 A
I don't actually actually make sure that I'm *always* prepared--I'm working on getting the planning to be more consistent and automatic. Things seems to work best when I plan out all my meals a week in advance, and do the shopping for the entire week in one go. (Doesn't always keep us in produce for the whole week, but less goes bad this way.) Spontaneity really doesn't work well for me as part of a healthy lifestyle, lol.
Fitness Minutes: (84,167)
4/20/12 10:50 A
Loved those ideas, Russell! I used to always use 2-3 eggs when making an omelet for myself, but yesterday I used only one for the very first time. My plate was just as full as usual because I put in loads of chopped up mushrooms, a little onion, and a few other vegetable leftovers. With a little hot sauce, it was a nice meal.
Make sure you have snacks divided into single servings for work. It's great to have a can of almonds, but if it isn't measured in 1-2 servings for a snack, you will be in a rush, and just pick something up later( not good ). I freeze water, and pull out five 20 oz bottles for each day, They melt slowly in the fridge, and it makes it so I drink 100 ozs a day. Also I split all meats up into 1 meals servings, and freeze them.I just pop open the Ziploc, and drop it in the pan, and cook. If you buy large beef chunks, or chicken breast, dicing it before hand is a good idea. That way if it is 80% thawed in the fridge, you aren't debating cutting half-frozen meat, or ordering a pizza. Dicing vegetables for omelettes is a great help too.
I think of every meal, and ask, can I do some of these steps before time to cook the meal. My goal is 20-30 minutes to cook. That way if I am hungry, I know I'll be eating in 1/2 an hour.
4/20/12 5:50 A
Educating myself - you can have cut fruit, pack a lunch, take water, think ahead. The truth is you are not always prepared so you need to know how to select the best option available. You also need to feel comfortable that you selected the best option and not give up. Educate yourself as much as possible on each situation, make your best decision and move forward.
Fitness Minutes: (2,711)
4/19/12 9:52 P
I am still learning how to do this. What I have done lately is start buying plenty of meal replacements that I can take with me. Now if I can remember to eat them before I get really hungry than I will be a winner.
"Always" is hard. Life happens and you can't plan for everything. Planning certainly helps though. Pack lunches. If you know you get hungry at X times make sure you've packed enoug snacks to cover you for all of those times. If yu know you're going to be late getting home some night for dinner, make sure to pack an extra easy snack so you don't end up stopping for fast food or such.
Make things as easy for yourself as possible. If it doesn't take much effort to stay on the path you want, you'll be less likely to deviate.
4/19/12 4:34 P
Planning ahead is your friend. When you know you're gonna be on the go, you've got to plan ahead. Pack snacks if you need to, pack a sandwich or a piece of fruit.
My husband & I go shopping about once a week, which I think helps us to not overpurchase and have food go to waste. I typically get apples, pears & bananas each trip and will just buy for the week. For veggies, we do frozen veggies that you can cook in the microwave or on the stove top. We're big fans of our George Foreman too, since you can grill a chicken breast or turkey burger on it in 4-5 minutes & the veggies only take 5-6 minutes; there's a typical meal in our house.
4/19/12 1:08 P
I almost always eat the same thing for lunch and breakfast during the week while at work. On Sunday I prepare 5 serving of steel cut oatmeal and a pot of Beans and escarole soup. I bring the containers to work on Monday morning and store them in the refrigerator for the week. Every day I know exactly what I am going to have for Breakfast and Lunch. I have only lost 1.4 lbs since I started this journey on Monday 4/16 but I read in several places that by eating the same thing for two out of your three meals each day you know how many calories you can afford to eat during dinner. I also plan to keep 100 calorie packets of almonds in my desk drawer in case I need something small. It's a better option than hitting the vending machine.
Fitness Minutes: (84,167)
4/19/12 8:17 A
I always have a carton of individual serve nutrition drinks (e.g. Muscle Milk) when I go to the gym because we often do errands after the workouts. When I travel, I carry a pre-measured serving of almonds because they stay fresh easily and are satisfying pick-me-ups. I only use the nutrition drinks for emergencies when I cannot get home for a cheaper meal, though. I also keep a freezer full of low calorie frozen meals for days when I am tired or busy so I cannot use those situations as an excuse to binge. I am spending more money now than I did pre-weight loss endeavor, but it is worth it to me.
Fitness Minutes: (29,945)
4/19/12 7:52 A
Always have frozen veggies & fruit, canned beans, canned tomatoes and pastas. These items stay good for long periods, so even if you can't run out to the store, you can throw something together that's healthy.
Planning ahead is key. Though I must say, prepare as I might, some days, I just want some pizza. The important thing for me has been learning to allow myself something special and not feel guilty about it. Self-acceptance, part of the joy of yoga :)
We hit the Whole Foods Co-op at the beginning of the month. Then, we hit the local store. Like many of you, we stock up on beans, rices, veggies and fruits. This not only helps with the meals, but it is helping the budget as well. We also refill all our spices at this time.
Plan ahead. I have menus for a week and I shop on payday and stock up. Like many of you I have staple veggies and fruit that I keep on hand and I pack my lunch the night before.
4/18/12 9:07 P
Fruits and veggies are definitely a staple. I tend to buy a plastic clamshell container of Campari tomatoes, a large bag of hearts of romaine, hothouse cucumbers in packs of three and celery bunches from Costco. That will usually last me about 1-2 weeks.
I tend to keep a ready supply of Pure Protein bars, TLC Kashi bars, OsTrim snack sticks, fruit snacks (like those made from pureed fruit and juice...no high fructose corn syrup), pistachios, almonds (or at least slivers), and the like. I buy pre-shelled, hardboiled eggs for a quick and easy breakfast option at home with a piece of fruit (often an apple, half a banana, half a grapefruit, etc). I travel a good deal for work and when I am on the road, running through airports, it isn't always easy to eat a healthful meal...so I grab a protein bar or something from my bag...and oftentimes will grab a piece of fruit at the hotel...and definitely for breakfast!
As for at home and shopping, I guess I am fortunate to have a single life...I know precisely what is available to eat at any given time...and if I am out of something, that's an excuse to walk to the nearest grocery with an insulated shopping bag (about 3 miles, roundtrip)...unless it involves one of my all-time fave easy, super-low-calorie snacks...dill pickles. When bought by the gallon jar, that's some serious weight to tote home! Trips to the grocery are quick and easy.
Let's be real: Sometimes you're not. It's about making the best of every situation.
Once in awhile, I'll be on a road trip and need to grab food. Well, there's not a healthy option at every rest area, so you're stuck with McDonald's. What's important is not that you never ever ever ever eat there (which is ideal, but hey...), but that you know your limits and what's healthy, and act accordingly. So, instead of getting the largest possible Big Mac value meal (complete with more fries than you should eat in a month and a soda large enough to drown a groundhog), grab a grilled chicken sandwich with a side-salad and only use half the dressing--and they do serve water in those cups, too... :-)
I try to keep a mental inventory of the food we have in the house. If a time crunch happens, I can just throw a few things together for a quick, healthy meal. It also helps to have a few go-to foods for snacks, lunches, and breakfasts. I don't know what I'd do without V-8, triscuits, cottage cheese, and boca burgers.
For me it's planning meals 1 day out and preparing my lunch the night before. I am too rushed in the am to do anything extra.
Fitness Minutes: (68,042)
7,980 4/18/12 11:05 A
I always have a wekl-stocked pantry. It's full of whole wheat pastas, brown rice, and canned tomatoes, and beans. You can always throw together a quick meal rather than ordering take out.
I also carry healthy snacks with me in my purse, and a water bottle goes with me when I know I'll be out of the house for awhile.
4/18/12 10:27 A
I always have carrots and lettuce in my fridge. I have healthy granola bars that I take to work and yogurt. I have also been making homemade cookies and when I get the urge for sweets I have 1 cookie. I just freeze them and throw 1 in a baggie. Out of sight out of mind. I take my lunch to work and sometimes I don't exactly get a break to eat and that's what granola bars and carrots are for. I also cook on saturdays and freeze what I make into individual servings. Pack it frozen in my lunch box and it thaws in time to eat and helps yogurt stay cold as well.
Plan to run errands or do your outings before or after your meals at home. If you're out and about all day, stop at a grocery store salad bar or check out restaurant menus online in advance - just about every place has at least ONE healthy item. Just because you're faced with stopping at McDonalds doesn't mean you have to order a cheeseburger. They're the biggest buyers of fresh apples in the world - and fresh lettuce and tomatoes: order a salad. May not be organic, and I hardly ever go to fast food places (they're the worst ways to spend money, and too tempting) but the original question question had to do with how to be prepared without carrying bags and coolers.
4/18/12 10:13 A
I make sure there are bags of mixed vegetables in the freezer: whenever I have to cook or snack I can eat off the rainbow!
Fitness Minutes: (3,157)
847 4/18/12 9:46 A
I eat practically the same breakfast everyday. That way, even if the rest of my day goes wonky, I know I've had a nutritious and balanced start.
4/18/12 9:18 A
All my food is ready the night before- if I have to do in the AM and I run behind, there is a big risk I will grab poor choices. Then, when I get to work, I am less tempted by the donuts, etc, because I have an easy alternative with me. I also lay out all my clothes- right down to the pantihose and jewelry. Any morning aggravation can be turned into an excuse to veer off track, be it food or working out.
Make sure you plan the week out, what recipes you might want and what fruit you'll be taking with your breakfast, what fruits and vegetable your feeling for your packed lunches. Is it a salad week or a carrot stick, apple slices and fresh salsa kinda feeling?
Then plan your days. Every morning after I exercise and shower - I pack my breakfast, lunch and any snacks for the day. I put them all in my tracker and know how many calories I have for dinner. Usually by the end of the day, my mind has wandered enough that I'm already planning dinner!
I'm single and live alone, it's taken time- but I finally really know how much of what I can buy each week - it just takes planning and practice!
Fitness Minutes: (858)
3 4/18/12 8:40 A
Although its not as good as fresh, I always keep frozen fruit and vegetables on hand. I usually leave the house around 6am and don't get home until after 10pm so its hard to not eat out sometimes. With frozen stuff I can put some in a container (while its still frozen) and then put it in a cooler in my car. Usually by the time I get hungry it is thawed enough to eat but hasn't been sitting there long enough to go bad.
4/18/12 8:19 A
I try to cut myself off at 7pm, and make sure that everything that I eat after then is either a fruit or veggie. That way, I try to reduce the "mindless snacking" and eating that I used to do so frequently!
Fitness Minutes: (13,575)
871 4/18/12 8:10 A
I prep the night before for the next day...getting lunches made and having an idea of what to wear. I also try to remember that I need to breath. When I get stressed things will fall apart so a deep breath can help add time
4/18/12 7:59 A
By failing once at something and learning from it. As mentioned below, taking time to map and plan food, exercise, work, loved ones, etc. Having routines. Having a helpful partner, that can give advice on how to prepare for situations from a different perspective.
Fitness Minutes: (8,572)
498 4/18/12 1:32 A
None of us are robot, however saying that, time spent planning, and preparing are well spent. As boring as it can be, sticking with a routine, and sticking to a routine of eating certain foods, makes life very simplified. Keeping to a routine with nutrition and exercise then becomes as much a part of daily life as showering and dressing.
Fitness Minutes: (25,694)
1,102 4/18/12 12:58 A
Little routines keep me prepared mostly. A shopping list on refrigerator, filled in as we run out of things, regular items (butter, milk) delivered x 2 a week, bags ready to pack in car. Shopping same day of week, market day. Group shopping items needed to planned excursions nearby. I try to tie everything in within a 5 km radius of home so I can run with the dog to buy dogfood for example...
I am so prepared. I keep cut up carrots and cucumbers in the fridge. I also keep cut up cantaloupe and strawberries in there as well. I make chicken salad with cucumbers, chopped almonds, raisins, garlic powder and fat free mayo. I also make apple salad with raisins, chopped celery, nuts, garlic powder and fat free mayo. I just recently found coleslaw mix with broccoli in it which I love. I some times use meal replacement bars when I am on the go. I have also been making a breakfast dessert I so do love. I layer fat free cottage cheese with cut up strawberries and top that with homemade granola and a small amount of melted dark chocolate.............yum I love that.........!
Fitness Minutes: (4,209)
180 4/18/12 12:17 A
Man plans and God laughs ... I have a bag of dried blueberries and cherries in my car, but I'm not always prepared. When xxx hits the fan, I try to be strong and make a healthy choice. Life happens, and it's up to us to roll with it. Think about it ... would you really want a life where you could control everything? Personally, I take a surprise (good or bad) anytime :)
Fitness Minutes: (44,440)
2,719 4/17/12 11:35 P
Tons of fruit and veggies; nuts, raisins, all the staples; what we have really changed is we don't keep a bunch of chocolate bars anymore or candy. I did splurge on some candied ginger for a once in awhile treat. V8 at lunch if I'm not having a lot of veggies; eggs, cottage cheese, plain yogurt and frozen fruit. Sorbet instead of icecream.
I like to make sure to always have lots of bananas and berries, but when they start to get too ripe, I'll cut them up and stick them in ziploc backs to keep in the freezer (for smoothies!!!). Apples last a while, so I like to keep those around (in the fridge).
One of the drawers in my office desk holds healthy snacks--trail mix, granola bars, single servings of nuts, whole wheat crackers, etc.
Fitness Minutes: (55,828)
4/17/12 12:48 P
I'm a college student and I only go grocery shopping once a month so planning ahead is a must for me. At home I cook all of my lunches at the beginning of the week and take the same thing so all i have to do is grab the container and go. I also pre-make breakfast sometimes or just have a smoothie. I'm always on the go, I leave my house at 9 and most days don't get back til 9. Food is way overpriced and not that healthy on campus so I have no choice but to carry a lunch box of healthy snacks. My staples are nuts, carrots, apples, and string cheese. I also made a protein peanut butter cooke and that keeps me alive on long days like today. When I'm just out and about, like on a Saturday when I'm not sure how long I'll be gone, I throw at least an apple and almonds in my bag just in case.
Fitness Minutes: (230,398)
2,243 4/17/12 12:23 P
Keep fruits & veggies in the house & don't buy junk food. Simple. And forget restaurants & drive-thru's...you can't lose weight or stay healthy eating high-fat crap other people prepare.
Don't make life harder than it has to be..........
I have a multi-pronged approach to meal preparation.
First, I keep a pantry. There is always plenty of pasta and grains stashed, and I make sure my freezer is stocked with frozen veggies. I also try to keep a little bit of smoked sausage and canned protein, but I try not to plan for using them. Powdered milk is a pantry godsend. (There is also frozen meat if I remember to defrost it.) We bake our own bread for a number of reasons, and the ingredients store better than the finished product anyway.
The second approach is to keep an eye on the things that need to be eaten and plan meals around them. If you screwed up a little and can't eat them, get them preserved. Fruits that are going weird I boil into syrup. The vegetable soup thing is good. Potatoes don't seem to freeze well, but the ones I buried in the garden will explode with more free potatoes if our luck holds.
The third approach is to have a flexible grocery day. When I'm disciplined, I don't go to the store until I have nothing in the fridge that will perish soon. When I'm undisciplined, it is simply that we've run out of so many things that I should go get more instead of making do. Even then, I keep in mind how many perishables we have available, and give myself permission to make a separate trip later just to replace those oddballs.
4/17/12 11:41 A
I always have a massive supply of produce on hand. Vegetables are the main staple in every meal we eat. I agree with the others, you should really plan your meals. I plan at least three dinners a week-usually Tues, Wed, Thurs, since Mondays are hectic and Fridays we don't have to stress since it is the weekend! For my lunches, I either prepare ingredients for a massive salad and make salads all week at work, or prepare a big batch of soup. If you are making chicken one night, make a couple extra breasts to cut up. Or take 15 minutes and chop up your veggies to throw on a salad when you are ready. You could just make one big salad with everything mixed it, but it tends to get a little soggy after a few days. I did recently see on Pinterest salads in mason jars that are layered to avoid the soggy factor. A stir fry is an excellent option to use up those veggies or definitely soups! Or, buy a spiralizer, and make "noodles" out of carrots and zuchinni for a fun, healthy alternative! For fruit, we keep berries frozen and then usually have apples, bananas, and whatever is on sale/in season on hand. And again, just make a point to eat it! I HATE throwing out food so I make sure that it doesn't have to happen. As far as convienent snacks, I keep almonds in my car and usually have a quality protein bar stashed in my purse. Hard boiled eggs are another awesome option since they are so easy to make and will last about a week.
4/17/12 11:32 A
I always have apples and eggs on hand. And more recently, tofu - it goes well with anything and everything!
As for amounts, I've learned my lesson - don't buy too much lettuce! I'm pretty much the only who eats fruits and veggies in our household so buying in bulk is a no-go. I do my shopping in organic markets so that I can control how much I buy (as opposed to buying my freggies packed in the supermarket). I also plan out my menu weekly so I know what and how much of each to buy. Really helps!
For eating on the run: scour your convenience store chains. Spend some of your free time getting to know what they have and note the healthiest options. Our 7-11s here have finally started selling fruit slices and hardboiled eggs and salads... so no matter what time of day it is or wherever I am, I know there's something I can eat at 7-11!
4/17/12 11:22 A
Oh my gosh I'm glad I came to this post. Everyone of you mentioned planning and that is where I'm weakest. We try to always have grapes, apples, bananas, carrotts, cucumber, greek yogurt, whole wheat bread. These are good for grab and go (as long as things that need cleaned and cut get cleaned and cut immediately when we get home from the store). But I definitely need to plan better. I recently bought wheat germ and rolled oats for one recipe and didn't really plan out other recipes that could use the same items. Duh!
4/17/12 11:08 A
Food I always have: nuts (almonds, peanuts, and walnuts) seeds (sunflower and pumpkin) dried beans and lentils quinoa whole wheat pasta rice nut butters (peanut and almond) wraps/tortillas garlic onions potatoes fruit - usually some combination of grapes, strawberries, oranges, pineapple, apples, pears, mangoes, etc vegetables - combination of broccoli, string beans, zucchini, green bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, squash chocolate dried fruit (raisins and cherries)
Instead of randomly buying fruits and vegetables plan out your meals. This way you won't end up with a ton of extra stuff that goes bad. Also, buy enough fruit and vegetables for 2-4 days and then make another trip to the grocery store.
I eat almost all my meals at home or at work so I don't find it necessary to carry around food everywhere with me (other than to work). I bring my breakfast and lunch with me to work, both of which fit in my purse.
Fitness Minutes: (63,497)
10,962 4/17/12 11:04 A
I always have various berries washed and ready to go in the fridge for snacks. My family of three goes through a ton of produce! I always keep apples, bananas and pears in the fridge to grab before we head out the door. Zucchini, broccoli, beets, and butternut squash are always in my fridge. It is hard to suggest how much to buy, because it all depends on the meals you are planning. Every week I plan out my dinners and buy just enough fresh produce to make those meals. Then I always keep my freezer stocked with frozen spinach, corn, peas, kale, brussel sprouts and collard greens.
Fit & Fresh containers are a great compact way to pack things that need to be kept cool on the go. They have built in ice packs. Not too expensive, I bought one of every type of container they make!
4/17/12 10:45 A
First, only you can determine how much is 'too much' for you and your family. However, there are lots of things you can do to ensure the food you've spent hard-earned money on isn't being thrown out.
Be sure to *eat* it. This sounds silly, but actually making a conscious effort to include fruits and vegetables in every meal, or at least large amounts in one or two meals, can greatly reduce the amount being tossed out.
That means planning your meals around the vegetables, rather than the meat or grains. Find veggie heavy recipes and then decide what to prepare with them.
But let's assume you're already doing that, and still are ending up with veggies going bad in the fridge. Make vegetables soup!
The best way to use up veggies that are just starting to go a little soft or wilt is to put them in soup, because you'll never know! Get a nice slow cooker and go through the fridge once a week and pull out everything that's starting to go. Even if it isn't turning bad, just stuff you know you won't get to before it does. Chop it up and toss it in a pot with some water, brow rice or barley, lentils and some tomato sauce. When the soup is done, you can store it in the fridge for a lot longer than the raw veggies and you won't be tossing them out!
If you know right up front you won't be able to eat all of a certain vegetable, blanch and freeze some vegetable mixes that you can grab and throw in whatever you're making for dinner.
For fruits it's a little trickier, so it's probably best to eat those first. There are options for some, like making applesauce or apple butter, or making smoothie mixes and freezing them, but it's probably just easier to make sure you eat the fruit before it goes off.
As far as what I buy, my shopping cart tends to be at least half full (if not more) of fresh produce. Onions, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, baby spinach, celery, carrots, avocado, tomato, oranges, garlic, jalapeno, etc. Then I just make sure and eat it! It's not always a perfect equation and I do end up making soup rather often, but then I just eat the soup before buying a lot more veggies, so either way I end up with enough without a lot of waste.
I'm afraid I don't have much advice for when you're on the run, I have a pretty set schedule so I don't have to rely on quick snacks. However, that's a great time to fill up on your fruits like oranges, bananas or apples - they travel well for a day (if it isn't too hot) and don't need to be kept in a cooler. Home-made granola bars are another quick grab idea, or hard boiled eggs.
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