Staying Healthy is easier than you Think...
Think about how easy it is to grab a banana, orange or apple. Just wash, peel, and eat. These days, even fast food restaurants are offering salads and fruit on their menus. The produce section and deli at the grocery store offer a variety of grab and go options, and plenty of restaurants offer lots of fresh vegetables and fruit options. Here are some more ideas for fast, healthy meals and snacks.
Fast food at Home
Keep a variety of vegetables and fruit on hand, including fresh, frozen, canned and dried. That way you can always add an extra serving of fruits or vegetables to a meal or snack.
1.Keep a bowl of washed fruit on the counter or table. It's easier to choose fruit for a snack when it's in sight.
2.Keep a variety of washed and prepared vegetables in the refrigerator. This makes it easy to grab carrot sticks, pepper slices or cherry tomatoes to go with a packed lunch or to add crunch to dinner.
3.Keep a variety of fruits canned in juice in the cupboard. These make a quick dessert or they can be used to top cereal at breakfast.
4.Buy pre-cut vegetables, fruits and salad mixes to save preparation time. Stir fry mixes, baby carrots, snap peas and snow peas, broccoli and cauliflower, salad greens, coleslaw, spinach and fruits such as melons and apples are available in ready to serve packages. They can be eaten as is or added to soups, casseroles, stir fries or pasta sauces.
5.Add frozen vegetables to stir fries, soups or casseroles. Steam them quickly for a side dish. The preparation is already done.
6.To quickly cook vegetables and keep most of their nutrients, microwave, steam or stir fry.
1.Keep a selection of washed and prepared vegetables and fruit, canned and dried fruits on hand at home to grab and go! Canned and dried options can also be kept on hand at your desk or in your school locker, so they will always be available for lunch or snacks.
2.Carry vegetables and fruit with you in your car, purse or backpack so you'll always have a healthy option when you're hungry. Apples, pears, oranges, bananas, grapes, baby carrots, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes are easy to carry. So are raisins, dates and dried apricots.
Pick them up on the Way
1.At the grocery store, check the produce department for bags or containers of stir fry mix, baby carrots, snap peas, broccoli or cauliflower florets, salad greens, melon chunks or apple slices. These are often washed and ready to eat. Items such as plums, peaches, oranges, bananas, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes will need washing but are easy to eat out of hand. Pick up some low calorie salad dressing to use as a dip.
2.The deli departments in grocery stores usually have wide selections of ready to go vegetable and fruit salads, salsa, guacamole, or other low fat dips.
3.The grocery and bulk food section may have canned three bean salads, single servings of dried fruit, bottled water and 100% vegetable or fruit juices.
4.In the car, carry a kit with cutlery, napkins, wet wipes and a plate, bowl and glass to make eating on the go easier.
In the fast food lane
1.Most sandwich bars and submarine shops offer a variety of vegetables to add to your the sandwich or eat on the side. Ask if they can use less meat or cheese and add more vegetables. Go easy on the butter, mayonnaise and other high fat sauces.
2.At the burger stop, try one of the entree salads that many are offering. If you go for the burger, choose a salad or fruit salad side instead of fries. Have 100% fruit juice in place of pop or coffee. And say no to "suprer sizing" your meal. No one needs that much food all at once.
3.If pizza is your choice, order one with extra vegetables or build your own with your favorite vegetable toppings. Ask for a salad on the side.
At the Restaurants
1.Choose restaurants that feature seasonal vegetables and fruit. Many good restaurants pride themselves on their choice of fruits and veggies and their innovative ways of preparing them.
2.Choose a vegetable or fruit based appetizer.
3.If your entree doesn't come with veggies, order a side of vegetables or a salad to go with it. If it does come with vegetables you could choose to order a salad or side of vegetables anyway - an extra serving doesn't hurt.
4.Ethnic restaurants are often good choices for vegetables. Examples include Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Mexican.