Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, March 4, 2013

How To Eat on the Go

If you have been following me, you know that I am on a quest to live the good life.  Good living means slowing down and savoring the present, the little moments, the big moments and all that stuff in between.  With that said, it may sound a bit hypocritical that I am talking about eating on the go.  Didn't I recently tell you to slow it down and think about your food as you were eating it, instead of scarfing it down in a mad rush to get out the door and to your next to-do list item?  Um, well yes.  However, I realize that there are times and circumstances that do not allow for us to have that thoughtful meal.  Or do they?  Below are my tips and favorite ideas for eating on the go.

1. Plan and prepare in advance - Planning and preparation are required when eating on the go.  Realizing you won't have time for lunch as you are running out the door in the morning is a recipe for the fast food drive or skipping a meal - boo.  I plan my dinner meals a week in advance and my lunch meals a day ahead.  I do all of my shopping once a week and get all of the ingredients I will need for my meal plan.  This ensures that I can adapt to my daughter's sports practice that falls during the dinner hour (by preparing something earlier in the day) or pack something (the night before or that morning) to take with me during the hour-long commute to an appointment during the lunch hour.

2. Eat mindfully - You don't want all of work you went to in #1 to be over with in 30 seconds.  Take your food on the road, but savor it!  Take 10 minutes (ideally 20 to 30) to eat with all five senses.  At the very least, take 5 minutes to breathe before you eat your meal.  Express gratitude as you are eating it.  You can do this anywhere, any time.

3. Have the right supplies - My kitchen containers and Tupperware make it possible for me and my family to eat just about any meal on the go.  I love the compartment lunch boxes (e.g. bento boxes) and am a big fan of the Chinese take-out box (you can buy in bulk at Smart & Final).

As for food, meals on the go are some of my favorites because they are quick and easy to make, and fun to eat.

Wraps - Choose your favorite wrap (I like Ezekial) and fill with your favorite veggies and protein.  I like to use hummus, beans, chickpeas and sliced tofu.  I also will make a tempeh "chicken" salad or eggless tofu salad, spread it in a wrap with some veggies and roll it up for a delicious option.  Try a sheet of nori instead of a wheat wrap for an even healthier version.

Burritos - You can keep these simple or fancy it up.  My kids love theirs in a flour tortilla with refried beans, rice and cheese.

Sushi - Make extra rolls the night before for dinner and stow them away for tomorrow's lunch.  I like to keep a stash of soy sauce packets from when we order Chinese take-out to throw in with the rolls.  If you don't have time to make your own, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's sell delicious pre-made rolls in their refrigerated sections.

Salads - Make some pasta, toss in chopped veggies and drizzle with your favorite salad dressing.  Make a bean salad (or buy a canned one) or a lentil salad (Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's has my favorite), pack it in a Chinese take-out container and you are good to go.

Hummus and Veggies - Fill a container with a couple tablespoons of hummus and surround with a rainbow of your favorite veggies.  The fiber from the vegetables and protein from the hummus fills you up fast.

Eating on the go does not have to be stressful or tasteless.  Please share your favorite to-go meals in the comments section below.