Friday, September 18, 2009

On-the-run. Gotta eat. Must plan ahead.

"If we're not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn't settle for junk food."
~Sally Edwards

School is back in session, (has been for over a month now) which means planning for meals takes even more forethought on my part. Some days I leave the house at 5:20am and don't return until 9:30pm. That means all three meals (and two snacks) are eaten away from my pantry and refrigerator. Packing my own meals has saved me cash and calories!

First things first: Snack size ziploc bags are a must! They allow you just the right amount so you don't eat too much. Also, investing in a good insulated lunch bag is crucial. But of course, neither the snack bags nor the insulated lunch bag will do any good unless you prepare beforehand. As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I separate everything into individual servings. If it's not convenient, I won't take it because I always seem to be in a rush in the morning.

Here are some of my favorite things:

• Hors d'oeuvres. Whole-grain crackers with 3 tablespoons goat cheese; top with halved grape tomatoes and fresh basil. Or spread on spicy hummus and top with sliced black olives.

• Kirkland (Costco brand) Chocolate Weight-loss Shake. It's basically a generic Slim-fast. These shakes (when cold) are a delicious on-the-run breakfast!

• Snack bag of baby carrots and a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese.

• Mini Babybel cheese rounds. They're only .75 ounces and 70 calories. A great little dairy treat. Buy them in bulk at Costco. And who knew? They're made by Laughing Cow also.

• Mediterranean Meal. Open a whole-wheat pita and fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons hummus, fresh spinach leaves, sun dried tomatoes and 1 ounce string cheese or a .75 ounce Babybel mini.

• Small handful of almonds. Dry roasted with NO salt is my favorite. They're hard to find without salt. I buy mine from The Nutty Guys at the Salt Lake Farmer's Market. Maybe Whole Foods would have them, too.

• Tuna Cups. They are marvelous. Now, they're a little more expensive than buying regular tuna in a can in larger sizes, but they are so convenient and the perfect single size. The best part? They don't require draining of water and they're wet enough that you don't need to add mayo. Pop one open into a salad. Have one with some crackers.

• Celery sticks with peanut butter. I never thought I'd say this, but it's really yummy. I tried them once with raisins. You know, the whole ants on a log idea. I didn't love it. Leave the raisins out and I'm good.

• Fruit! Grapes or melon chunks. Dip into 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt (I like vanilla flavored). OR grapes with a Babybel mini or a Laughing Cow wedge. Seriously delish!

• And since I have a sweet tooth... Trail mix snack. I mix my own because store-bought kinds have so much salt in them. I mix roasted unsalted almonds, with raisins, and dark chocolate chips or M&Ms. Just a small amount in a snack bag can really hit the spot!

So there you have it. Do you have any favorite snacks or food ideas for an on-the-run lifestyle?

All photos from a Google search. Trail mix photo a la moi.


Kimberlee Koplin Mills St. Clair said...

I'm with you on all of that...except no raisins, ever...and hummus...oh, where would the world be without hummus. We blend our own and season with garlic and herbs...mix a weeks worth in the blender, add whatever floats your boat...I like garlic and herbs and yummy sun dried tomato. I can't do the spicy - but that's Jared's favorite. Blend and store in a ziplock container. Yum!

Kimberlee Koplin Mills St. Clair said...

Oh, and just so you know. My blog is acting all weird, I up date, but it doesn't show up on the Updated thing? Maybe because I went private? Not sure, but wanted you to know.

Anonymous said...

Any leftovers that can be eaten cold ar egreat in single-meal-sized containers. A good at-home snack or dessert is frozen grapefruit chunks with diet seven-up poured over it.