Nutrition Month – Eating Well When Not at Home
Boosting your energy
This year’s Nutrition Month campaign focuses on eating well away from home, whether at work or on the road. This article contains strategies for eating well to maximize energy, fine-tune concentration, and retain memory throughout your workday.
Here are four tips to help keep you at your optimal performance level throughout the day:
- Start with a balanced breakfast: for example a high fibre cereal with Greek yogurt and fruit.
- Avoid foods high in fat and/or refined sugars: This means avoiding treats such asmuffins, candies, chips, chocolate, cookies, and soft drinks. These foods will make you feel sluggish a short while after being consumed. After the sugar high comes the crash!
- Sip water all day long: Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue and a sense of irritation.
- Keep caffeinated drinks to a minimum: The maximum amount of caffeine recommended per day is 3 cups (24 oz) of brewed coffee. Consuming more than the maximum amount can have a dehydrating effect, masking fatigue and impairing concentration.
Here is an example of a grocery shopping list to help plan for healthy lunches
|Whole grain bread or pita|
Rye or multigrain nut bread
Whole grain crackers
Brown or wild rice
Whole wheat couscous
Canned tuna, salmon, sardines
Cheese with less than 20% M.F.
Beans (kidney, black beans, lentils)
Nuts, Seeds, Nut butter
|Green leafy vegetables, prewashed|
Carrots, grated or baby
Dried raisins or cranberries, no sugar added
Note: A balanced lunch should include a choice from each column – the equivalent of about half your plate in vegetables and a choice of a whole-grain starch and protein to make up the other half of your plate. Treat yourself to a choice of fresh fruit or fruit salad to finish on a sweet note.
Staying Healthy On the Road
Eating out is sometimes unavoidable, for example, in the case of a business lunch. However, frequent restaurant goers still hold the power to make healthy choices. When at a restaurant, keep these four tips in mind:
· Skip the starch portion of your main dish or substitute it with vegetables if you indulge in some bread as part of your meal;
· Choose foods that are baked, steamed, grilled or poached;
· Opt for 2 appetizers instead of a full 3-course meal as a lighter meal option;
· Listen to your satiety signals and remember that you don’t have to finish the plate! Ask for a doggie bag and save leftovers for later as a snack or another meal.
While you are away from the office setting, eating regularly might also be a challenge due to limited accessibility to healthy food choices. The following three portable snack ideas are examples of what you can either pack in advance or look for while you are out and about:
· 10-15 plain nuts + a choice of fruit
· String cheese + grape tomatoes or baby carrots
· 1 hard-boiled egg + whole grain crackers
The secret is the plan ahead and make healthy choices! For more healthy ideas, book an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians today.