Everyone has some last minute crisis that derails their careful plans. You wake up thinking “Today is the day I stick to my healthy diet!”. But WHAM! Something happens and you’re running from sunup to sundown.
It’s hard enough to choose healthy foods when you’re sitting at home. It’s even harder when you’re hungry, tired and sitting in your car. It’s very easy to give into temptation and go through drive thru.
Just this once…
Except it’s never one time. It becomes a habit. Maybe it’s hard the first time, but becomes much easier over time. Just like every other bad vice.
If you’re ready to stop making excuses and start making better snacking choices, here are three easy steps that anyone can do.
Choose a Few of Your Favorite Snacks
How many times have you been ravenous on the road but had no idea what you really wanted to snack on? The first step towards healthy snacking is choosing a few of your favorite snacks and learning how to prepare them. Choose 3-5 go-to snacks that are easy to grab and go, and that are simple to make.
I’ve never met a hummus I didn’t like, so it’s my favorite on the go snack.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
This particular snack is super healthy and fits most diet restrictions, including:
- 200 calories or less
- At least 5g protein
- Less than 10g sugar
- Less than 5g sugar
- Dairy free
- Nut free
A Few Quick Preparations
Remember the old saying “Fail to plan? Plan to fail.”
That’s why it’s so hard to eat healthy snacks when you’re out running to soccer practice, taking the dog to the vet, going to important meetings, or even trying to get laundry done. So never choose a snack that is difficult to prepare or is hard to bring with you on the road.
Fortunately, there are a ton of products out there to help you make snacking in your car very easy. One of my favorites comes from Might Nest. It’s a reusable beeswax cloth that can be used to wrap up almost anything that’s not meat.
Courtesy of MightyNest
You can also go to any department or grocery store and stock up on small containers. You can even keep fruits and veggies cool or hot foods hot. All you need is a small travel cooler and voila! Handy snack at the perfect temperature!
Make a Backup Plan
So you know what your favorite snack is and you bought delightful new containers to store them in. You have a plan! You’re not going to run into any problems this time! Except, there will always be days when all your finely-tuned plans will fail. And that’s okay because you’re going to make a backup plan.
Maybe your only option is a gas station. Try something off this list of 19 Fast, Healthy Convenience Store Snacks from LiveStrong, including pistachios, mozzarella sticks, and yogurt. Many also offer fresh fruit and seasonal options.
Photo by Mike Dorner on Unsplash
And if you really get desperate, you can choose one of the meals on The Healthiest Orders At Every Major Fast-food Chain. For example, Taco Bell offers a Fresco line of items including two Fresco Soft Tacos with shredded chicken:
- 280 calories
- 7g of fat
- 39% daily value of sodium
Plus, you can find details on menu items from most fast food restaurants, including Mcdonalds, online. The idea is to take a few minutes to create a backup plan just in case you're starving and you think your only choice is a Big Mac. When in fact, a grilled chicken salad is a much better choice.
Never Wait Until You’re Starving to Figure this Out
Trying to make healthy decisions are almost impossible when you’re starving. You get irrational, cranky and just don’t care anymore. Never wait until you’re ready to eat an entire box of donuts to figure this out.
Instead, take a few minutes and make a plan. Choose a few healthy snacks, buy travel containers and research the healthiest options at fast food restaurants. Things that you know you will be your best choice when you’ll be on the road all day.
Maybe your plan won’t be perfect and maybe you’ll make some slips. But that’s much better than pretending just this once will really be the only time you’ll choose a Super Sized meal because you’re starving.