Tips on Quick Healthy Meals and Snacks on the Go

About the Author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan, one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)

Tips on quick healthy meals and snacks on the go!
Tips on quick healthy meals and snacks on the go! | Source

We are past the days of farming where our mothers and grandmothers were in the kitchen all day shucking corn, peeling potatoes, and roasting chicken all day long. Though some of you may remember the good ole' days of grandma rolling dough and making your favorite cookies or pies, those days are long gone for others. We now live in an industrialized society. Most parents are working - not just "Dad." Many opportunities for kids are taking place, unlike twenty years ago. We are running from work to soccer practice to dance recitals to swim meets to baseball games... and so much more! If life hasn't gotten a hold of you, you are one of the lucky ones!

With the hustle and bustle of life, you may find that trying to live a healthy lifestyle is difficult. Fast food is convenient. Dining out provides relief as you don't have to be in the kitchen "working" after a long hard day. Besides, it's sometimes even more economical to eat out. Everyone loves the dollar menu!

Then the dreaded health topic comes up. You just had your annual physical, and the scale wasn't playing nice. Nor was your physician! In fact, your doctor may tell you that your lab results are not good and the only way you'll be able to change it for the positive is to live a healthy lifestyle. But, how can you do that when you're running from morning to bedtime?

Though you may not be a gourmet chef, healthy eating habits don't have to be difficult. In fact, you just need to know what to eat. Dining out can be dangerous to your waist and health, but knowing what foods to choose when eating out will help you. Additionally, you may find that a little preparation can help you as well. Follow along for some tips on quick healthy meals and snacks on the go.

5 Healthy Eating Habits

First thing, you need to know what "healthy eating" is. With aggressive advertisement, many mixed messages are are thrown your way just to get your business. You must be careful! Following is a short list of healthy eating habits that are followed by most renowned nutrition experts in the world:

  1. Eat smaller meals every 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Make sure you're eating protein with every meal. Women should be getting one serving (20 to 30 grams), and men should be getting two servings (40 to 60 grams). One serving is approximately the size of your palm.
  3. Veggie up! To feed your body the proper energy, you will need the nutrients from vegetables. Try to get five to 10 servings in per day. One serving is approximately 1/2 cup cooked or one cup raw. If you measure this out, it's not much!
  4. Hold your starchy carbs! If you have body fat to lose, then you need to put down the pastas, breads, rice, and potatoes. However, if you've just had a strenuous workout, you may have a mix of carb sources that include starches, veggies, and fruit.
  5. Spread your essential fats throughout your day. Include fish oil, olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed or flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, and avocados in your diet.

Healthy Eating Out

As discussed earlier, eating out is a great convenience and relief as it saves you from cooking. Whether occupation, travel, or kids' sports have made dining out your preference, making healthy food choices will help you live a healthier lifestyle. Let's discuss custom meal and compliant restaurant choices.

Choosing Custom Meals

Most restaurants design their menus based on typical customer expectations. They provide carbohydrate-heavy, sauce-laden, and no-vegetable entrees. Don't be trapped with these mouth-watering dishes! Instead, choose meals that are compliant with the five healthy eating habits discussed earlier. Many restaurants will even go out of their way to serve you, but you have to be bold and just ask. Improve your meals:

  • Ask for extra protein.
  • Ask to exchange starchy carbohydrates with vegetables.
  • Ask to bring the salad dressing out separately.
  • Ask to hold the salt.
  • Ask to hold the bread.

Choose Compliant Restaurants

If you eat out regularly in a particular town or city, choose four restaurants that you know are compliant to your healthy eating habits. Pick two fast food joints, one medium priced restaurant, and one fine dining restaurant. For instance, Wendy's makes a couple of tasty grilled chicken salads and a chili that you can eat while on the go. Kentucky Fried Chicken even offers a food allergies and sensitivities guide. TGI Fridays can be your medium priced restaurant. Their menus are even marked with a supplemental gluten sensitivity selection menu and an allergen menu with easy-to-read icons to identify foods that contain wheat, soy, peanuts, shellfish, and other allergens. They will go out of their way to satisfy you. A higher priced restaurant may be chosen for those special events or dates.

Prepping meats ahead of time helps when you're in a rush.
Prepping meats ahead of time helps when you're in a rush. | Source

Quick Salad Recipes by Abby

Broccoli Salad

Blend all ingredients and allow to chill before serving.

  • 1 head fresh broccoli, chopped into bite-size
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup EVOO mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Stevia in the Raw or granulated Splenda

Cucumber, Tomato & Onion Salad

Mix all ingredients. Chill before serving, or let stand for at least 10 minutes.

  • 2-3 large cucumbers, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh chopped -or- 1 Tbs. dried parsley
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. EVOO
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

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Food Preparation

Have you ever woke up late and rushed off to work without showering, much less eating breakfast? What about skipping lunch because you were just too busy with work? Or, you may have even skipped dinner because you were running late for your son's baseball game. Nonetheless, all of these scenarios present a unique nutritional challenge. However, the way you respond to these challenges will determine your results. If you truly want to transform your life into a healthy one, you will need to plan for the unplanned. This will require having meals and snacks prepared in advance. The following strategies may give you some ideas on how you can be better prepared for the "just in cases."

The "Sunday" Ritual

Though it doesn't have to be Sunday, set aside three hours of one day per week for food preparation. This should be enough time to write out your menu, shop, and prepare your meals for the week.

The Breakfast Ritual

Instead of planning out all your meals for the week as suggested for the "Sunday" ritual, you may prefer to do a little food preparation each day. That's what the breakfast ritual is for. Since you'll be preparing breakfast anyway, also prepare the rest of your meals for the day while your breakfast is cooking. Pack your lunch and dinner. Even if you plan to go to TGI Fridays with the boss for lunch and expect to be home for dinner, having your lunch and dinner packed in a cooler helps you be prepared for the "unexpected." If your schedule goes as planned, it's okay. You still have meals for another time. However, they are there in case you need them.

Pre-Cooking Meats

Another great way for you to save time in the kitchen is to pre-cook all your meats for the week. Grilling is the perfect cooking technique for this as you can prepare a batch of several meats (i.e., steaks, burgers, chicken breasts, turkey sausage) and cook them all at the same time. Then just refrigerate until needed. Once you do need them, re-heating them in a skillet or microwave is a snap.

Pre-Chopping Vegetables and Fruits

Though it's always better to eat your vegetables soon after chopping them, it's not always convenient for the busy lifestyle. Instead of skipping your veggies, chop up your weekly vegetables twice per week. You can chop half of your veggies after doing your weekly shopping. Then chop the rest halfway through the week. Store each vegetable separately in zip-lock freezer bags. This will cut down on your food preparation time significantly. All of it will be ready for you whether you want a salad, vegetable omelet, or stir-fry. You may do the same with fruits as well. The ones that do well are strawberries, pineapples, oranges, nectarines, mangos, and peaches.

Liquid Nutrition

A "Super Shake" is best when cold and creamy, but it's sometimes difficult to accomplish this while away from home. However, you can effectively make one with a few strategies:

  1. Invest in a small portable and handheld blender, or "Nutribullet," for home and work.
  2. Pre-blend shakes at home and store them in your portable cooler or refrigerator at work.
  3. Pre-chop all dried ingredients such as oats, flaxseed, or walnuts. Store them in zip-lock bags. When you're on the run, just add the dried ingredients to a shaker bottle and add your wet ingredients. Shake and drink!

Get Abby's Book Today!

One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan
One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan | Source

Conclusion

Do you feel more confident in eating healthy while on the go now? As you can see, quick healthy meals and healthy snacks on the go don't have to be difficult. Memorize the five easy healthy eating habits, and they will help you as you make selections while dining out or eating at home.

Also, abiding by the five healthy eating habits doesn't mean that you can't have a "treat" every so often. However, sticking to the healthy habits 80 to 90 percent of the time will help you build a healthier body. You may even lose a few unwanted pounds! With that being said, the mindset of most who eat out believe that dining out is a treat. If you dine out often, it would be wise to plan which day you will schedule your treat day.

Tell Us What You Think

You're reading "Tips on Quick Healthy Meals and Snacks on the Go" by Abby Campbell. Please leave a comment and tell us what you think below. Then share the article with your family and friends. You may even share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (buttons to your right).

Helping those who desire it!
Helping those who desire it! | Source

About the author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.

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23 comments

Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

These are great tips, and I like the little recipes. I love broccoli salad!

I always like to prepare some food ahead of time, especially for breakfast and lunch on workdays.

Have a wonderful day, and thanks for sharing this with us.

~ Kathryn


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Good introduction, Abby, and I do remember grandma rolling dough. Loved eating the extras. :) Great tips of course. You are wearing on me; I am eating healthier and you are part of the reason. :)


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Kathryn. Thanks for commenting. Isn't broccoli salad the bomb? I love it so much! I think I could eat it every single day! LOL.


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

LOL, Bill. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I so miss being in the kitchen with my grandmother. She passed about 8 years ago. She lived in an old, old farm house on a farm with chickens, horses, etc. It was like the "olden" days. My kids will never know what it was like back in those days now. In any event, I'm glad I'm wearing on you. I like to see my readers get healthier. ;)


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

i love healthy meals


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Me too, peachpurple! :-)


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Abby,

What an excellent insight into healthy food tips for on the go. Loved the restaurant info for the different eating out venues that are offering healthy options and sensitive to gluten free diets, allergies and low fat. Your quick salads are great and I must give them a whirl. our book by the way looks fab and is on the agenda as soon as I have some spare cash!

Thanks for a really interesting read from start to finish, you are the guru!

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared and pinned!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up and interesting. Your #1 recommendation is contradicted by Byron J. Richardsons's book and website on the Leptin Diet. Based on studies of hormones and body systems, he advices 3 meals and no snacking. Why for you is his argument not convincing?


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Suzie. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Let me know how you like the salads. :-)


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Mr. Leekley. Thanks for commenting. I have not read Byron's book, but I advise eating smaller meals every 3-4 hours also based on studies regarding hormones and body systems. I have over 300 references listed in my book on why eating by my suggestions will help regulate hormones, sugar levels, leptin, and keep body fat stores low. I don't know what studies Byron's theories are based upon, but I'm also a researcher and have based my suggestions on all research outcomes reported in major scientific/medical journals. I will have to check out Byron and see what I think. :-)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 years ago from California

Greetings Abby-

I love this hub. It is full of wonderful information and recipes and insight on how we are all different and what we should do to take off those extra unwanted pounds, but more importantly, to live a full healthy life. I love your layout and the way you presented this information as well. Great hub and well done!---Voted up and shared!

----Lisa


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Your instruction are very clear and your ideas are very practical. Thank you!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

H0w helpful. I am drooling over these. Thanks for promoting good health!


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 3 years ago from Fontana

Oh no Abby! Olive Garden is my favorite place because of the bread. I'm trying to find out what EVOO is. I don't eat mayo.


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Good morning, Lisa. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate you! :-)


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Thank you, Ms. Dora. I appreciate your comment. It gives me motivation to continue! :-)


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Rebecca. LOL on the drool. I'm here aiming to please. Thank you for commenting! :-)


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Ms. Diane. I love Olive Garden. It's definitely a treat when I go, and I also love their bread... and salads... and chicken marsala... and desserts... LOL. I usually don't write acronyms without first spelling it out first, so I apologize if I didn't do this with this particular hub. EVOO is "extra virgin olive oil." EVOO mayo is much better than regular as it contains the better fats. I hope that helps. :-) Thank you for commenting, and have a wonderful day! :-)


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Great and very informative hub. I enjoyed reading it. Now I know what EVOO is. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Stephen. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner... just noticed your message here as I was scrolling down. I first got into fitness nutrition which caters to just about anyone who is healthy conscious. I later got into sports nutrition as I had to do something for my CECs (continuing education credits). The courses are very similar, but sports does cater to athletes, including bodybuilders. I got into nutrition because I loved the topic and had debilitating illnesses when I was in young adulthood. Why are you thinking about getting into it?


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Thelma. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. I'm also glad you enjoyed my hub. I see you are from Germany and the Philippines. How awesome to be associated with so many cultures! My mother is from South Korea, and I traveled quite a bit as a kid... loved learning about different cultures. Have a wonderful day! :-)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Hello Abby and I hope you received my private message to you.

I haven't been eating too well lately because of the stress in my life and the fact that I live alone.

But your world class article here has brought me back to life and will be bookmarked in virtual memory and onto my refrigerator too.

No one does it quite like you my dear Abby of awesome and that's why you rock all of our worlds at Hubpages - will see you on FB with a link and a post of your life affirming work here - 11:39pm


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina Author

Hi Colin. I'm so, so, so glad to hear from you. I was worried, but that's what friends do. I just checked my emails and I did not receive anything. Is there a place where I can check private messages on HP? I have never received one before so I will check around and see. I'm really sorry about the stress and not eating well. You must take care of yourself, my friend. I don't want you getting sick and withering away. Remember that Tiffy and Gabriel need you too. I am keeping you in my special prayers right now. XXX

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