Maintaining a healthy meals on the go diet isn’t always easy for traveling health professionals. Running from patient to patient, case to case, or one healthcare facility to the next can be exhausting, and sometimes the easy way out is also timely and tasty; a meal of fast-food. But all of those grease-laden, sodium-filled meals are taking a toll on your cardiovascular system, not to mention your waist band and overall health.
Don’t despair! If your job entails time spent traveling form lace to place, you can keep going strong and maintain a healthy, nutrient-packed diet. With a bit of pre-planning, a small, soft-side cooler, and creativity, your meals on the go can be every bit as tasty and satisfying as what’s offered at the next drive-through. Moreover, you’ll save money and not chance busting out of your clothes!
Ideas for Healthy Meals on the Go
Greek yogurt is a hands-down superfood. Packed with twice the protein and half the carbs of it’s healthy cousin, regular yogurt, fat-free greek yogurt wins the healthy contest. Use greek yogurt in a parfait for a fun change of pace. Plain greek yogurt, layered alternately with low fat granola and blueberries, peaches, or apples makes for tasty, nutrition-packed mini meals on the go to keep you fueled for the next appointment.
Another delicious, easy, and uber-healthy way to fuel up for a few hours is by enjoying overnight oats. This simple recipe was probably invented by a busy medical professional! All you do to make this tasty powerhouse of fiber and protein is combine 1/3 cup of plain yogurt, 1/2 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats, 2/3 cup of your choice of milk (plant-based, regular, sweetened or plain), 1 T. flax meal or chia seeds, and a scant 1/2 tsp of vanilla or almond flavoring. If you like, drizzle in some agave or real maple syrup. Put in portable container (a jar with a lid, or a plastic resealable container), store in your refrigerator overnight, for portable meals on the go.
Deli Meat Roll-Up
Take deli style chicken or turkey, or other lean meat, and layer on a healthy tortilla or sandwich wrap, or a large leaf of roaming lettuce. You can spread your wrap of choice with mustard, or low-fat mayo if you like. Add low-fat cheese slices, sprouts, shredded lettuce, thinly-sliced cucumbers or whatever you like. Roll up and wrap in wax paper for a delicious low calorie nosh.
For those who like salad filling in their sandwiches or wraps, but don’t want tuna or chicken, chickpeas make a protein-filled, meaty, healthy alternative. For enough chickpea salad for 3 sandwiches, drain and rinse one 15 oz can of chickpeas and pour into deep bowl. Mash with fork or potato masher. Add 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds, 1 T. dijon mustard, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Use spread as you would chicken or tuna salad, on a whole grain bun, topped with lettuce and tomato. You could also use in a wrap in place of meat (see above) or pack in a container over a bed of lettuce for a healthy alternative to bread.
For those who are content to nibble healthy food all day long, consider roasting some chickpeas for a low-fat tasty and crunchy alternative to nuts, or (gasp) chips. Take one 15 oz can of chick peas and drain, rinse and dry between paper towels. Spread chickpeas on parchment-lined pan (with sides-chickpeas like to roll!) and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to coat the peas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, or seasoning of your choice (smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, or blackened seasoning) and roast in 425° oven for 10-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool and enjoy!
Small Meals, All Day
Along with your roasted chickpeas, pack some mozzarella sticks, carrot sicks, celery, bell pepper slices, cucumber rounds and easy-to-eat fruits to help you stay fueled all day. Snack-size cups of unsweetened apple sauce, and even individual servings of hummus with pretzels are a convenient way to always have meals on the go, avoid the fast-food trap, and stay on the road to continued good health.
If you fail to plan ahead, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you have no other option than to swing into the nearest drive-thru, and if that’s the case, stay strong, my friend. All the popular chains now offer healthy alternatives. Order a veggie sandwich with everything but the burger or fried chicken patty. Get a side salad instead of french fries. Some chains offer fruit as a side as well. And most of all, stay well-hydrated with water so you’re less tempted by junk food.
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