Do you regularly find yourself in between meetings and rushing to grab a quick bite in the five minutes that you have to spare before your next deadline?
Maybe you eat a sandwich on the go as you zoom from sales meetings to investor meetings? And what about trying to fit in a social life around running your business, trips to the gym and the other things you need to accomplish each day?
If this sounds familiar, the following will too.
Far too many of us find it easier to grab a bag of chips, pull into a drive-thru for a burger and fries, or keep the energy going with a chocolate fix, when we should be fueling our bodies with healthier fare.
However, the truth is that eating on the go when you are trying to manage your business (and social engagements) doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Just because you’re aiming to make every second count doesn’t mean that your diet should suffer.
Here’s how you can be booked, successful and eat well, all at the same time: make healthy eating habits a priority in the same way you plan success-oriented business habits.
1. Hydrate daily
We all like to emulate the city look, running around carrying a cup of coffee in one hand — smartphone in the other, but how good is that caffeine for you, really?
Instead, carry a bottle of water or unsweetened fruit juice (not one of those calorie-loaded sugary drinks). High energy drinks certainly will give you a boost, but it’s only temporary and as you come down from the sugar rush you are going to need something else to keep you going.
Keep a refillable bottle of water with you or have a 1 liter BPA-free bottle of natural spring water with you at all times, and make sure you drink at least half a liter a day.
2. Let your smartphone do the work
You have better things to do with your time than worry about when and where to shop for healthy food while on the go. Integrate meal prep into your weekly schedule and use apps like Hello Fresh to have the ingredients delivered to your home.
HelloFresh, for example, delivers portioned ingredients straight to your door, with the classic plan starting at $9.90 per meal, holistic nutritional information included.
If meal prep isn’t your thing, resist the temptation to grab a burger and milkshake; instead, visit healthy grocers for food items that are tasty but low in fat and high in protein. Make a conscious effort to not fall into the rut of eating only fast food all the time.
3. Be ‘fast food’ savvy
Speaking of fast food, the term “fast food” these days no longer automatically mean burgers and fries. Food trucks and cafés are valid takeaway options, and even fast food companies are learning the importance of offering healthy fare if they want to retain your business.
Always check out the range of healthy options when you walk into a fast food outlet. When perusing the menu, go for anything that is baked, grilled, steamed or raw.
Choose entrée sized salads with protein thrown in, or whole wheat bread if you’re having a deli sandwich. If you make the right selections, sandwiches can be just as healthy and they’re very portable.
Avoid the rich sugar laden desserts and donuts, and grab a tub of ready prepared and chopped fruit salad instead. Remember to ask for any salad dressing, sour cream or sauces on the side so that you can avoid (or at least minimize) those high fat, high sugar add-ons. If you want fries with your meal, then stick to medium portions.
4. Plan ahead
If you are grazing on the go, then carry healthy snacks and munchies with you in your bag. Consider items that will easily stay fresh and are transportable. Fruit is a good bet, either fresh or dried, and cereal bars or granola is also a good option.
If you spend most of the day in the car then consider buying an insulated bag, like this one, to keep all your snacks fresh and cool.
If you don’t have time to shop for snacks, consider online membership services like Naturebox, SnackNation, and Graze to have healthy, delicious snacks delivered right to your office. For most services you choose the snacks, plan and delivery frequency and they’ll deliver straight to your office.
5. Pack portable meals
Packed lunches can be put together with any number of handheld food items. Salads, lean ham or smoked fish, crunchy raw vegetables with low fat coleslaw dressing, roast chicken drumsticks or any number of dishes to suit your taste are very easy to make up in a handy lunchbox container.
For the colder months, soup in a thermos is just as quick to drink as a cup of coffee – and it’s a lot better for you. Handheld samosas or pot roast hand pies might be more to your preference, and if you can make them yourself, then you’ll have a better idea of what goes into the baking of them and you can avoid a lot of added salt and sugar.
Busy entrepreneurs with busy lives need to fuel their bodies, and just like how you wouldn’t put the wrong gas in your car because it could wreak havoc on your engine, you shouldn’t take the chance with your daily diet either. Eating well takes effort, but your body and mind will thank you for it.
This article has been edited.
Cheree Scott is the co-owner and director of Melbourne Property Stylists, a property styling company in Melbourne, Australia, with a down to earth, common sense approach. She loves having the ability to transform a stressful situation into a seamless, successful experience, and she certainly understands the importance of eating well in order to function at her best and keep her energy levels up. After 10 years in the industry, she still bounces out of bed every day!