I have worked with a lot of busy professionals in my roles as a manager of a corporate wellness program and as a registered dietitian. I have coached presidents and vice presidents of companies and business consultants who spend a good majority of their week on a plane. I have worked with managers who spend the majority of their day going from meeting to meeting with no breaks. When these clients come to me, they are usually looking to be in their best health so they can keep up with the demands of their roles, not only professionally, but personally.
One of my foundational nutrition principles I share with them is to eat consistently. In eating every 3 - 4 hours during the day, it supplies their brain and muscle with the fuel it needs to function optimally. It boosts their metabolism. It controls their cravings. It gives them the ability to think clearly, react calmly, and make good decisions throughout their full day. These qualities are essential for people in business leadership.
Yet, I am usually met with the ultimate challenge of all busy professionals: time. “How in the world do I have time to eat every couple of hours when I am traveling and/or in back to back meetings all day?” I get it. Time is a limited resource.
Do you find time is also a challenge for you? It could be you are one of those busy professionals always on the go. Or you may be a full time mom with no time to eat a meal between feeding the baby, picking up the toddler from pre-K, and dropping off the older child at soccer practice. Maybe you are a working a full time job and going to school part time with little time to think about anything, but surviving each day.
To make it simple, below is a list of quick, easy, grab-and-go snacks that you can eat on a plane, in between meetings, or as you are taxing your kids around town:
1. 23 almonds - the perfect combo of fat, fiber, and protein to keep you satisfied until your next meal.
*Quick tip: Buy a large bag from Costco or Sam’s Club and divide in Ziploc snack bags for easy grab-n-go quantity control
3. 2 oz singles of hummus with celery sticks - throw a to go single serving of hummus and a snack bag of celery sticks in your carry on or purse to eat in between your meals. With 150 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber, it is a perfect snack for keeping your brain sharp and energy level up.
*Bonus: You can find these single serving snack packs in many airport markets and gas stations for those long travel days.
4. A packet of Justin’s Nut Butter to top an apple or banana- nothing beats a little nut butter on top of a piece of fruit - a healthful alternative to the Biscoff cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth.
*Quick tip: Buy at most local grocery stores in the natural section, Whole Foods, Target, or on Amazon.
5. ½ cup of trail mix - a sweet and salty mix satisfies both cravings and supplies your body with sustainable energy (through a mixture of a little sugar, fiber, protein, and healthful fats) for those long travel days where you may/may not have a chance to eat 3 square meals.
6. 6 ounces of Greek yogurt - loaded with protein and fiber, yogurt is not only a healthful quick snack, but a healthful quick breakfast for those mornings when you don’t have time to sit down to eat a warm bowl of oatmeal.
*Bonus: most airport newsstands or coffee shops have yogurt in their fridge to grab for a quick snack on the plane. I have also seen many gas stations carry yogurt, which can help you avoid the temptation of stopping for fast food french fries when you are needing a quick pick-me-up.
7. A tall, vanilla, nonfat, no whip latte from Starbucks - containing 150 calories and 9 grams of protein, this treat can make those long travel days more enjoyable (physically and emotionally).
8. Beina All Natural Roasted Chickpeas - eat half the bag for only 120 calories and 5 grams of protein to tie you over on your plane flight home.