Top o’ the ‘marnin’ to ya!
This post is dedicated to Cherie who sounded the battle horn and let me know she wanted to hear. Thanks again for the participation and hopefully you get a chance to take some helpful tips away from this post before you get started with your day!
I Got A Story To Tell
Back when I was in college, I had what could be considered the holy grail of on campus jobs – circulation assistant. This is just a fancy way of saying that when you wanted to check out tomes of sacred knowledge and wisdom from the library, you had to come see this guy first. Not only did this position allow me to meet some pretty cool people, but it gave me time to catch up on some pretty epic reading, one of my favorites being You Are Going To Prison, which made sure that I never went.
Another perk was that we had a fridge in the back.
This was around the time that I started gobbling up everything that I could relating to nutrition and fitness, and one of the first dogmatic principles spoken down from the heavens is that you must eat every 2-3 hours or else you are forever banished to the land-o-fatness**. Clearly this scared me to death at this point in my life, so I suited up. I cooked up my chicken breast. I steamed up my veggies. Forget bagging up my protein, I brought the whole damn tub! While we’re at it, why the hell should I use a shaker bottle to make them when I can annoy everyone and BRING THE ENTIRE BLENDER TO WORK?!
It hurts me to say it folks, but I was that dude.
If you saw me walking around campus during those bleak days, you would’ve thought that I was going to war with my huge bag filled to the brim with food rations, electronic gadgets and clanking bottles of ridiculousness. All for a 4 hour shift.
Right Idea, Wrong Application
I will say this about those days: I was pretty lean only because having all those meals handy kept me from walking over to the student union and snatching ice cream pops and french fries right out the mouths of hungry children and scarfing them down with reckless abandon, but I went about the process all wrong and made it a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
Tip #1 – Prepare a one or two I.S.H. meals
Preparing meals in advance can go a long way towards keeping you out of the gas station food isle lurking for inglorious foodstuff. I call these my “in case stuff happens” meals. If you know you’re going to be away from home base for a significant amount of time, it would be silly (and more expensive) to venture into the world and just leave your food choices to chance.
This is one of the most practical and easily implementable tips you’ll find, but many don’t like to do it because it takes planning in advance. Do you remember (hopefully) long ago when your parents used to ask if you had to go to the bathroom before you all left the house? Of course the answer was no, until 10 minutes later you were screaming for them to pull over before you drowned everyone in the car. It’s kinda like that, because you’ll be pissed at yourself for not taking the time to prep some meals after you find yourself eating the same crappy meals day in and day out instead of solving the issue before it became a problem.
Most work places these days have a fridge that you can store your most perishable food in, so make sure to take advantage of this. If this isn’t the case, you could also buy one of those precious lunch boxes that can hold an ice pack inside and keep your meats and such cool. I recommend going for the Sailor Moon lunch box.
Tip #2 – When in doubt, go for protein.
It’s hard to go wrong with this recommendation. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient around town and will help keep hunger at bay longer than the other macronutrients (in isolation, of course). Every Sunday I’m away from home for a good 12 hours, so I like to cook up some burgers and veggies and take them to work with me and crush them about halfway through my shift to keep myselfsatisfied for the next 6 hours or so.
Tip #3 – Shake it up
I love protein shakes like Donald Trump loves money. When I know I’m going to be on the go for awhile, they are the road dawgs of my tummy satisfaction, plus they’re pretty simple to make. Here is a good guide to go by in terms of getting the most bang for your buck:
Base liquid – Water or milk. (the less water, the thicker the shake. You can add ice too to sass it up).
Protein – Casein or Casein/Whey blend. (the more scoops, the more protein you will have and the thicker it’ll be).
Fruit – Blueberries, Strawberries, Bananas, Apples, etc. Pretty much whatever fruits fit your taste desires.
Extras – Veggies, nuts, olive oil (yeah, I’ve gone the olive oil route before – fun times).
I like to drop a good 2-3 scoops and 1lb of strawberries and blueberries. All the protein plus the carbs and fiber from the fruit help stave off hunger and sidestep the problem that most liquid nutrition runs into – it runs right through you with not much long term satiation.
Tip #4 – Fend for yourself
I like this one because once you do it and are successful, it takes all of the excuses out of not being able to eat right while on the move. Today you’re not packing a single item in your lunch box, because you’re living off the fat of the land, baby! Simply leave the house in the morning and plan to find all of your meals outside of it, doing the best that you can with the options available to you.
When you set out on this mission, your mind will automatically begin to search for options that satisfy your objectives, which are as follows:
– Contains mostly protein.
– Is minimally processed.
– Has some fiber in it.
– Grew out of the ground or something growing from the ground.
– Some dude in a lab didn’t make it.
Surely there are foods out there that meet these requirements. Cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store? Check. Slightly bruised banana on the counter at the gas station next to the honey buns? Check. Baked Potatoe from Wendy’s? Check.
I’m not part of the food gestapo, so I realize that some other food is gonna make its way into your mouth – and that’s completely fine. The goal here is to make the bulk of your intake fit meet the above requirements and not to sweat the small stuff. Some Cinnabon sticks won’t kill you, but I might if you don’t let me have a bite.
Heh. Just kidding.
But seriously, can I have a bite?
** – Please note the sarcasm in this sentence. You do NOT need to eat every 2-3 hours to achieve your body composition goals.
What strategies do you all use to eat well while going about your daily business? Did I leave out something that you’ve found useful and would like to share? Leave a comment in the comment section and I’ll see you there!
Photo Credit: ElDave