During my pregnancy with Jolie, I nannied full-time. It was really important to me to be putting good things in my body (you know, “eating for two” and all that), so I was constantly on the lookout for convenient, make-ahead snacks and meals that I could pack, bring with me, and eat throughout the day.
(By the way, I’m still eating these things on the regs even though I’m not pregnant and don’t work a full-time job … you know, other than motherhood. The truth is, convenience is KEY to living a healthy lifestyle. I try to make a few of these things ahead of time so that during the week, I can grab ‘n go as needed).
Here are just a few things to think about if you’re a full-time worker making efforts to improve your health:
- Meal-prepping will save you TONS of time and money. Spend an hour each Sunday (and it probably won’t take you that long) putting together snacks and meals for your week, and you can just FLY through your week like a rainbow unicorn riding a pink sparkly cloud. Seriously, nothing feels better than being like OH CRAP I’M RUNNING LATE and then being like DOESN’T EVEN MATTER BECAUSE I CAN GRAB A JAR SALAD AND STILL BE THE BAWSSSSSSS, HOLLER!
- Snack. But instead of grabbing a slice of leftover cake from Sandra-what’s-her-face’s lame office birthday party, keep some of these snacks in the office fridge or your desk drawer. Eating every 2-3 hours will keep your blood sugar from dropping too low, preventing that midmorning or afternoon “shlump.”
- Drink. Water. Drink. Water. DRINK. WATER. Weigh yourself. Divide that number by two. The number you get is how many fluid ounces of water you should be drinking daily, at the MINIMUM. Try tracking your water with one of these nifty water bottles.
Without any further ado, here are some of my favorite make-ahead, grab ‘n go foods:
The Jar Salad
I don’t care who you are. I don’t care if you’re the president of the United States, or if you’re Liam Neeson’s nookie partner, or if you’re that old lady that kept giving me weird looks at brunch today: IF YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING WITH A FULL-TIME JOB, YOU SHOULD BE EATING JAR SALADS.
And I don’t want to hear the excuse:
I don’t like salad.
Here’s the thing. If you “don’t like salad,” 1. we can probably never be friends, and 2. you might not have a really good idea of what exactly constitutes a salad.
The wonderful, beautiful, amazing, stupendous, glorious thing about salads is this: You. Can. Put. Anything. In. Them.
It’s. Literally. Just. A. Bunch. Of. Stuff. Thrown. Together. With. Some. Sort. Of. Dressing.
Like, technically, I could chop up a bunch of ham, slap on some grated cheese, and call it a salad. That’s the truth. Obviously I wouldn’t do that because I’m not some kind of MONSTER, but you get the point.
If you’re sitting there thinking “Wow, she’s really passionate about salads, like, to a creepy extent,” or maybe “But… what even IS a jar salad?” then please have a look-see at this here diagram (not made by me):
It’s basically magic, because your salad won’t get soggy until you’re ready to eat it – at which time you simply shake and eat!
GET CREATIVE! Try adding brown rice. Quinoa. Fruit. Nuts. Beans. Leftovers. BBQ! Ugh, now I’m hungry. On to our next food:
Have you noticed that most of these foods involve Mason Jars? If you don’t have any, just come to my house and borrow some. I have altogether TOO MANY.
Overnight Oats (sometimes called Refrigerator Oatmeal) are
splendid because, much like the Jar Salad, you can mix ‘n match any way you like.
I follow this recipe from The Yummy Life, one of my favorite food blogs. If you’re too lazy to click, here’s the basis of the recipe:
No-Cook Overnight Oats:
1/4 cup uncooked Old Fashioned Oats
1/3 cup milk of choice (skim, soy, almond)
1/4 cup low fat or fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Chia seeds (don’t know what these are? ask me)
1-2 teaspoons honey or PURE maple syrup
1/4 cup fruit of choice, chopped
Method: Simply throw everything into a 1-cup mason jar or tupperware, shake, and let sit overnight! The oats and chia seeds will soak up the extra liquid, resulting in a creamy, cool, delicious treat.
You can really play with this recipe – I love banana with cinnamon and toasted almonds, blueberry with flaxseed, and dark chocolate chips with cocoa powder for a healthy dessert!
If you don’t have any chia seeds and don’t want to buy a huge bag before trying them, shoot me a text, email (kelsie@homebodymama), or Facebook message me and I am MORE than happy to give you some of my stash! A little goes a long way with these powerful little seeds.
So, yeah, maybe this is cheating because this technically isn’t a recipe, but I’ll save you a little time and provide something that’s TRULY grab ‘n go, no prep required.
These bars are my. absolute. favorite.
I used to be really into Quest Bars, but I didn’t ever love the taste. I then switched to Larabars, but they just don’t have enough protein to keep me full (plus they’re really high in fruit sugar, which leaves me crashing an hour later).
Then, at Walmart (of all places), I came across these babies:
They’re delicious, they’re packed with Omega-3s, and here’s the nutrition label for my favorite flavor (Lemon Chia Crisp):
INGREDIENTS: Grass-Fed Whey Protein (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate), Chicory Root Fiber, Gluten-Free Oats, Organic White Chocolate (Organic Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Milk Powder, Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla), Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Sunflower Oil, Almonds, Responsibly-Caught Fish Oil (Anchovy, Sardine, Tilapia), Almond Butter, Chia Seeds, Natural Flavors, Lemon Extract, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin, Tapioca Starch, Monk Fruit Extract.
Only 5 grams of sugar! (That’s about 1 sugar cube, which isn’t bad for a protein bar). And 7 grams of fiber to boot! But the winner-winner-chicken-dinner is the 14 grams of protein it contains. THAT’s what’ll keep you nice and full and happy throughout the entire afternoon. 🙂
Do you want to know the BEST thing about these bars, though?
The founder, Trevor Ross, created these bars to honor his sister who he lost to breast cancer. AND, he created an awesome business model that donates Oatmega bars to families in need all throughout the country. Their motto is “Heart first. Business second. Nutrition shared.”
Lemme tell ya, the only thing that feels better than eating something healthy and nourishing, is knowing that you’re giving back to a wonderful company AND your own community in the process.
These bars fun for about $6 for a box of 4, which might sound a little pricey, but they really do keep you full for 2-3 hours! Considering all the protein, fiber, and healthy fats you’re eating, I truly do think it’s worth the price.
Well, folks, that’s all I have for today.
What’s your favorite snack or lunch to bring to work? Comment below!
Happy eating, friends!