Whether it’s grabbing a bite on the way to kid sports or eating between client meetings, good nutrition doesn’t have to be sacrificed during a hectic week. “We are never too busy for good nutrition,” said Laura Mills of KickStart Nutrition, which provides clients with easy 10-minute meal planning ideas. “We just have to make things simple for ourselves.”
Her top tip for keeping it simple? A protein and a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack whether you’re eating at home or at a restaurant. “It’s about keeping your body revved throughout the day,” she says.
It is advice she offers to clients participating in KickStart’s nutrition classes and weight loss challenges. The company also offers supplements and a place to grab a tea or smoothie. Fruit or veggies, she says, provide instant energy but only for an hour. Protein provides energy for two or three hours but takes the body up to an hour to process. The combo, she says, allows for instant and ongoing energy.
Evan Bosma, owner of Nutrishop, encourages his customers to simplify by cutting down the number of dishes they prepare each day. Instead, opt for that lean protein and a green, avoiding extra condiments and sauces.
“It cuts out so many calories you don’t need,” he says. Both agree stocking the pantry and fridge with the right ingredients for three meals and two snacks a day is crucial to success – just as crucial is choosing things you enjoy:
Breakfast: Create a healthy smoothie, choose a good protein base that doesn’t have a lot of sugar and then add in low-fat yogurt and fruits or vegetables to create a meal replacement shake.
-One cup of cottage cheese and a piece of fruit.
-Keep a stash of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge and grab two – combine with steel-cut oats (or instant when you’re in a pinch but track the sugars and don’t make it a regular habit).
-Grab a piece of Canadian bacon and piece of fruit or a slice of bread with a little peanut butter on it (peanut butter is high in calories so again, track and don’t make it an everyday fix).
-Scrambled eggs whites.
Snacks: Be sure to choose a protein and a fruit or vegetable – women should have at least 10 grams of protein per snack, men need 15-20 grams. Stockpile your favorite two or three fruits or vegetables, choose things you really like to eat and grab one as a snack.
-Tuna in a pouch.
-A protein bar
-A protein shake|
-Sugar snap peas
Lunches: Lettuce wrap with meat and cheese, throw in some tomatoes or extras for a kick.
-Purchase a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad or a frozen steamer bag of vegetables.
-If you’re feeling really lazy grab a can of meat and bean chili (watch the sodium).
-Grab some pre-cooked, grilled, cut up chicken from the refrigerator section and throw it in with lettuce or pair it with a curry sauce and vegetables.
-Fix a turkey or chicken wrap.
Though stocking the pantry at home with healthy foods may be a starting point, the best laid plans don’t have to end with a lunch invitation or a dinner out. Scour the menu ahead of time to avoid impulse choices:
-Start with a salad, it fills you up and provides fiber to trap some of the extra fats.
-Don’t drink your calories. If you choose to have a pop, beer or wine limit it to one, no refills.
-Choose lean proteins and vegetables.Avoid rice and breads.
-Choose options that are grilled or broiled, not fried.
-Choose from the light side of the menu.
-Ask the server for tips and suggestions.
-Reduce the condiments including ketchup, mustard, ranch or mayo.//
Check out these healthful dishes the next time you’re out to eat:
Chipotle – Order up a salad with beans, avoid the rice and sour cream.
Jimmy John’s – Order an Unwich, they replace the bread with lettuce.
Granite City Food & Brewery – Try the Mediterranean chicken; reduce the calories by eliminating the balsamic glaze. You can also try the Chop Salad with Grilled Chicken; reduce the calories by reducing or holding the vinaigrette.
Redstone American Grill– Rotisserie Chicken Chopped Salad.Classic Rotisserie Chicken with asparagus.