You’re moving! You’re stressed! You’re hungry! Fast food restaurants are just up the road, sure. But is eating junk food in the middle of a move going to make you feel better? Probably not. Don’t give in. Just because you’re moving and have already packed the cooking supplies doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a healthy, well-balanced meal. Clean eating doesn’t have to be a hassle while moving. It just takes a little preparation.
The Power of Prepackaged Meal
Never underestimate the efficiency of a prepackaged meal — especially if you’re trying to eat healthier while on the go. Enter the prepackaged salad. It’s quick, convenient, and filled with nutrients to keep you going. Bistro Bowl Salads have a variety of high-protein toppings like meats and nuts to give you energy and keep you feeling full. Dole and Fresh Express also offer restaurant-worthy salad kits that are easy to prepare and taste delicious. Our favorite Dole salads are the Chopped Sesame Asian Salad Kit and the Chopped Sunflower Crunch Salad Kit. And be sure to check out the BBQ Ranch Salad Kit and Poppyseed Chopped Kit from Fresh Express for a healthy but delicious meal as well.
If prepackaged meals aren’t for you, here’s a recipe for a balsamic chicken breast salad that you can prepare ahead of time. Individualize your salad by adding toppings like fruit, nuts, and cheese.
Salads are a great way to get protein, cut down on bad carbs, and stay hydrated. If made with fresh ingredients, however, spoiling can be a risk.
Tips on how to keep salads fresh for longer:
- Use a salad spinner or pat your lettuce dry with paper towels.
- Place your freshly chopped lettuce in a bowl with a paper towel over top to soak up the moisture.
- Each time you get salad out of the container, mix it up, letting it breathe before you put it back in the fridge.
Sandwiches Can Be Healthy!
Sandwiches are a staple when traveling, but you’ve got to make them right to be healthy. Use wheat bread instead of white and opt for low-calorie condiments like hummus, pesto, guacamole, or honey mustard. For example, a grilled chicken sandwich on wheat bread with avocado or pesto is a healthy option packed with flavor. Also, here’s a great recipe for a hummus club. If you grill your sandwich, be sure to wrap it in a paper towel to absorb any moisture. Presto — sandwiches good to you and for you!
Bank on the Burritos
Sure, sandwiches are great. But let’s not forget about the almighty burrito. Contrary to popular belief, burritos can be healthy and convenient. An easy-to-make, healthy burrito is a win-win for a family on the move. SkinnyMs.com has a great list of healthy burrito options, including the skinny burrito in a jar, along with the spinach-and-bean-burrito wrap. If you want to forego the wrap completely, pre-make a bowl in a Tupperware container. This recipe for a 30-minute steak and quinoa burrito bowl makes one seriously delicious and surprisingly healthy meal.
Quick and Easy Breakfasts
Breakfast is too often forgotten in the chaos of moving, but it’s one of the most important meals to keep your energy up through the day. Get a jump on the morning by prepping meals the night before. Vegan oatmeal, for example, can be made at night and enjoyed in the morning. Veganosity has four different oatmeal flavors, and, once made, can be stored in the fridge for up to five days! How about a five-minute turmeric tofu scramble? It’s perfect for when you need to make something easy, quick, and healthy. Already on the move? These PB&J no-bake oatmeal bars are just what you need when all of the kitchen stuff is officially packed.
If you can’t prepare any meals ahead of time, here are some healthy prepackaged breakfast options:
- KIND Breakfast Bars are only 220 calories and have at least one full serving of whole grains. They’re packed with protein and come in delicious flavors, like peanut butter, honey oat, and maple-cinnamon protein.
- Siggi’s Skyr is only 100 calories with 14 grams of protein. It’s like Greek yogurt, except better. Made with skim milk, it’s fat-free already.
- Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries Cereal is 110 calories per cup and contains half your recommended iron intake. Trust us — if you’re moving, you’ll need it.
Rethink “Fast Food”
Worst case scenario, you hit the road, forgot to pack lunch, and you don’t want to wreck your diet. What are your options? If you stop at a fast food restaurant, they’re going to be limited, not to mention unhealthy. Why not stop at a health food or a grocery store and pick up a pre-made meal? Most grocery stores are just as close to the highway as fast food joints and only take a few more minutes of your time. Trust us — it’s worth it.
Moving is a chaotic time. At some point, with so much going on, you’ll likely forget to eat. We would say no sweat, but soldiering through can lead to eating larger portions later. Try eating smaller amounts throughout the day to keep your energy up. Avoid fried foods or sugar-filled snacks that’ll leave you feeling bloated and tired.
Are we telling you what you think we’re telling you? Yes — snack away. It’s possible to be a healthy snacker. Did you know:
- Prunes are full of antioxidants and fiber. They can help with weight management and constipation.
- Popcorn is a great high-fiber, low-calorie snack. If you buy pre-popped popcorn, look for a bag that has less than three ingredients with little to no added sugar.
- Almonds may be high in fat, but it’s mostly good fat, and they have tons of antioxidants, vitamin E, fiber, and protein.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, even annoyed, at the thought of preparing meals in the middle of a chaotic move. That’s why it’s best to think of eating smart as just one more tool you’ll use for as successful a move as possible. Your body will need the consistency and support of well-made, healthy meals during your move, and that only makes sense. Moving is hard on your mind and body, so you’ll need the right fuel, at the right time, in the right quantities. And with a little planning, that fuel can turn out pretty delicious.
Anything we missed? What are your favorite on-the-go healthy choices? Let us know in the comments!