I love getting ideas from you guys when it comes to creating recipes, new workouts, blog posts, etc. so when I noticed a lot of our girls in our private GOOD // SWEAT facebook group are in school or work jobs that require them to be out of the house, I thought this post could be helpful! First of all, so many of you are killing it at your 9-5 work schedule, studying for exams, fitting in workouts and prepping healthy meals. It’s A LOT to manage — I know because I’ve been there. I used to work crazy shifts at the hospital during my dietetic internship. Long days, a long commute, and very few breaks forced me into planning ahead so that I still had access to healthy snacks and lunches to keep me going. I packed my lunch everyday (if you scroll back on my Instagram far enough, you’ll see lol) and I can honestly say that because I spent just a little bit of time prepping ahead, it saved me when it came to keeping me fueled and awake throughout the day. I didn’t allow my busy schedule at the time let my nutrition slip, which I know a lot of us can do!
I work from home these days so no more prepping for being out of the house 10+ hours, but I still prep and snack on so many of the same things that I did back in the day. Here to share a few because I only ever want to help you guys out — you’re seriously my inspo!
Ok a few general tips to kick this off:
- BALANCED snacks/ meals are where it’s at when you don’t have many opportunities to eat. Look towards high protein, healthy fats, and a good amount of fiber. This is clean fuel that will keep you full and focused.
- Quality tupperware/ storage goes a long way. A good thermos that can keep your smoothie cold or your soup hot until lunch is a game changer! I prefer glass tupperware to easily warm up leftovers. Make sure you find a brand that doesn’t leak (I have these glass tupps and we love them). And last but not least, various sizes so you don’t have to waste precious backpack/ bag space.
- Time. Though it can be a drag, spending time prepping on Sunday nights, or each night before bed is the key to making healthy food work. Even though you may rather watch tv, take 20-30 minutes each night to prep your meals for the following day. Better yet, catch up on your favorite show while you prep or put together your snacks! If you’re making decisions at 6:30 am, they’ll probably be what’s easiest and not what is healthiest or ideal. Worse yet, if you happen to be running late and don’t pack anything, you’re left with ordering out, cafeteria/cafe food, or vending machines.
- A water bottle. You need a water bottle that YOU like! Find a water bottle with your ideal top — whether it’s a cap, a straw (me), a sipping lid — and bring it with you literally everywhere. Throughout the day you can swap between plain water, tea, sparkling water etc to keep things interesting while staying hydrated. Hydration is so important for so many reasons and I know for busy people it can be the first thing to go!
Here is my ultimate list of snacks & lunches for my busy gals on the go:
We’re talking snacks that are 2 minutes or less to eat, travel well, no refrigeration required (but nice if available!), and yummy. These small bites will get you through!!!
Bliss balls. Throw a few in a stasher bag and take them with you. Bliss balls make a great snack because they taste like a treat, but they’re loaded with healthy fats and protein to keep you full in between meals. Plus, you can eat them in like… 2 bites. Try my most recent recipe, pumpkin spice bliss balls or the classic all-time favorite chocolate peanut butter bliss balls.
Bars. We almost always have these peanut butter protein bars on hand because they basically taste like a candy bar or similar to a Perfect Bar! Perfect to take on-the-go, or just sneak a bite to hold you over through meetings or until your next meal. Another classic are raw AB&J bars — if you haven’t made these yet, you must!
Snack mix. I like making my own mix of dried fruit and nuts, because store-bought options are usually made with inflammatory oils and added sugar. Grab a variety of raw or dry roasted nuts, I love almonds, cashews, brazil nuts and macadamia nuts, and your fav dried fruit (quick check for added sugar), my fav is dried mango. Mix it up at the beginning of the week and bring a bigger tub of it with you to keep at your desk, or pack single portions in a small bag or tupperware container daily. Great to snack on throughout the day!
Fruit. Fruit is great because it’s quick energy and full of micronutrients. Bananas, apples, and oranges travel the best because of their peels, but I love fresh grapes and berries the most! A small container works great and if you have access to a fridge, stick them in! There’s something about chilled fruit that is amazing.
Veggies. If vegetables weren’t on the list, would I even be a dietitian? Obviously some of the best foods we can eat as far as nutritional value — but also, so easy. Peel a few carrots (or buy baby carrots), a few stalks of celery, sliced cucumber– Persian are the best, baby bell peppers and sugar snap peas can all be packed up together for a midday crunch. Add some hummus and you’ve just added some protein and fiber for more substance!
Hard-boiled eggs. Eggs are one of my favorite (and quickest) complete proteins you can grab and take anywhere with you. Keep some salt & pepper at your desk or pick up the Vital Proteins pre-hard boiled egg packs with s + p already packed and ready for you. I also love slicing them in half and topping with some Siete hot sauce. Game changer.
Meals can be trickier than snacks, often requiring more prep and assembly, can be a pain to store and travel with, and will almost always require refrigeration and a microwave. Don’t worry — I’ve got you!
Smoothies. This is where a GOOD thermos or tumbler comes into play. You can blend everything the night before, pour into your thermos, store in the fridge, and it will still be cold by breakfast OR lunch the next day. This is a great option for busy people because you can sip on it as you work. I have lots of smoothie recipes that you can rotate through too. My favorite at the moment is PB&J, but also love a good snickerdoodle, Peachy Green from my Sugar Detox ebook and my classic Glow-to smoothie.
Chia Pudding. This recipe is a great base to prep in advance, for days at a time! Make a big batch at the beginning of the week, and pack up a portion for each day. Keep things interesting by changing your toppings/ flavors every day — berries are always great, nuts and seeds, maybe cinnamon, cacao nibs, my paleo granola, or even matcha powder!
Sandwiches. Make this 2-ingredient jam (Instagram Reel here) and enjoy a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich on quality bread (I love Base Culture. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free). Or make a famous RGE loaded sammy (minus the egg of course!). Try making this Avocado Egg-Salad as a sandwich, or bring crackers to dip.
Salad. I’m telling you, it doesn’t have to be boring! One great tip that I always used was to store your salad upside down — add the heavier ingredients first, so any protein, vegetables, fruit, or nuts/seeds, then any toppings like cheese or herbs, then your greens. That way the greens don’t get crushed or soggy under the weight of the rest of the salad. Store your dressing separately and then combine and shake it up! Make my RGE Cobb for the week (sans dressing until you’re ready to eat), or get crazy and make some crispy chicken nuggets to throw into your salad of choice. Delish!
Guys.. I might be the only one here, but I love leftovers for lunch. It takes a bit longer as you need to warm it up, but sometimes a good hot meal is enough to turn your day around or restore your energy levels to keep you movin’. Here are some of my recipes that make the best leftovers:
What are some of your favorite snacks and meals to take on the go, or eat at your desk? I’m always learning from you guys, so comment below! 🙂