Food

Are You a City Dweller Struggling to Eat Healthy? Read This

Do the right thing: it surely is easier said than done, especially when it comes to eating healthy while living a busy city life.

As a healthy food-conscious Chicago resident, I find it really difficult to do the right thing with my good food habits when I’m moving around in the city that is well-known for its deep-dish delicious pizza. 🍕

Okay, I admit, I allow the tasks of my busy days to blind me, and I forget to prepare my bottle of lemon water, cups of unsweetened applesauce, or thermos of homemade vegetable miso soup. And then in slow traffic jams, my hindsight becomes 20/20 vision as I find myself staring hungrily at the billboards for mouthwatering Chipotle veggie burritos... Ugh! I'm not the only one though, right?

We all know it takes just a few extra minutes to cut fresh produce and maybe an hour or so to make a healthy home-cooked meal from scratch. Some people are not able (or not willing) to find time for meal prep when their smartphone calendars constantly tell them it can wait: an impromptu #business meeting or the Starbucks sign convinces them a venti mocha with an extra shot of expresso will suffice.

Fast food joints, microwave ovens, and over-processed packaged food have created instant food options for the fast-paced lifestyle, and they are not actually helping.

So how do you prepare meals to take with you and stop succumbing to the convenience of fast food that dominates our food system? Is it possible to eat in sustainable and healthy ways when constantly on the move?

Yes!

Why is it so important?

Don’t compromise good eating for a busy day! Taking care of the temple is crucial: the body needs nutritious food to function properly throughout the day, especially busy days. Being short on time doesn’t mean your body needs to be short on nutrition, so make sure to have enough fuel to accomplish those tasks.

Denying yourself food while running here and there can cause burn out and compromising the well-being of your bodily functions. Don’t neglect, show respect — your body will thank you for it in the long run.

Here are some tips for eating well when you're on the move:

  • Bring your water bottle everywhere you go to stay hydrated throughout the day. Your body is made up of about 75% water, so keep your cells afloat to stay physically and mentally well.
  • Pack ahead. Put snacks of dried fruit and nuts in your purse or bag the night before a day of travel. You never know what unforeseen events can delay that meal you crave all day!
  • Make your smartphone work for you as a healthy food tool. Download apps for ideas or meal planning to make quick snacks and dishes to eat while out and about. Just search for "healthy food" and "meal prep" in the app directory.
  • Have water and non-perishable healthy snacks readily available in your car or traveling bag at all times.
  • Try eating all the colors of the rainbow in fruits, small salads or even smoothies (not in a bag of Skittles candy, lol). This allows you to get all the nutrients, antioxidants, and necessary vitamins.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle! Eat sustainably for you and the earth too. Carry your snacks and beverages in reusable containers to avoid packaging and waste going into the landfill. We only have one body to live in and we only have one Earth to live on.

Healthy snacks and recipes for the busy

So let’s apply some of the tips to eating healthy for you movers and shakers. Mix and match ingredients to create sustainable snacks and meals for the on the go life. Fun!

Salad in a jar

My other article How to Nail a Vegan Diet When You’re a College Student has a nice salad in a jar recipe for a collegiate lifestyle that can also be eaten on-the-go.

In this order, put some of your favorite salad dressing, leafy greens, shredded carrot, spoonfuls of avocado, a squeeze of lemon, any kind of beans, and sunflower seeds in a jar. Throw in some tofu and olive oil. Shake, mix, and eat when you have time to eat in between events of your day.

Peanut butter (or almond butter) and fruit sandwich

A peanut butter fruit sandwich is a good high-protein meal to take anywhere.

You're going to need:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of peanut butter (cashew or almond butter if you prefer)
  • 2 slices of your favorite bread
  • Slices of apple, banana, strawberries

Spread the peanut butter on the bread then top the slices with the fruit(s) of your choice. Combine the bread, butter, and fruit together, put it in a reusable sandwich container, and take it on the road!

Herbal tea

Mint, ginger, raspberry, or any tea is good to have any time of day. Prepare tea in a to-go thermos or bring tea bags/tea tongs with you and just grab some hot water to steep in. Drink and go.

Final thoughts

Eating well on the go is possible with time and consideration. Whether you’re a soccer mom, a busy working gal/guy, or just get caught up in the hustle and bustle of convenience, be sure to try to eat well while on the move.

Are you getting all the vegetables antioxidant-filled colors of the rainbow into your diet while living the fast-paced life? Those of you who do eat sustainably, what are some ways you practice healthy eating on the go?

Feel free to share in the comments!


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About Jacqueline Smith

Jacqueline is a guest writer at NatureHub. She writes about her experience and knowledge about sustainable urban gardening, permaculture, homesteading, and food forests.
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