Let’s start with Planning Ahead. This is a vital strategy on so many levels. It all boils down to two simple tactics:

  • Eat frequently (every 2-3 hours) to prevent out of control eating. (Plus it will give you a sense of control because you choose what to eat.)
  • Create a list, go grocery shopping, and bring food with you if you will be out for lengthy periods.

Here are some suggestions for healthy and easy meals and snacks:

Breakfast:

  • Oat Bran Cereal – it is lower in calories than rolled oats or quick-cooking oats (add frozen or fresh berries if desired)
  • Eggs – cook them any way you want (hard boiled are good for travel)
  • Protein drinks (try using a quality whey-based protein powder)
  • Frozen wheat-free waffles with nut butter
  • Almond butter with celery, carrots or apples
  • Sauteed veggies and eggs, greens, mushrooms, onions, cabbage, etc.
  • Leftover dinner for breakfast (protein and veggies)
  • Baked apple with nut butter in the middle
  • Toby’s Tofu Pate, Lite (carried by New Seasons, Whole Foods, and Fred Meyer Nutrition Centers)
  • Manna Bread (Carrot Raisin is my favorite)
  • Avocado with lemon, salt or plain

Snacks:

  • Veggies: go with what is in season
  • Raw: cucumbers, celery, carrots, red, yellow, orange peppers, sugar snap peas, lacinato kale, sprouts
  • Cooked: Krispy Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, beets
  • Dips with Veggies: hummus, guacamole, red pepper/eggplant dip, bruschetta (Trader Joe’s has some nice options), tapenades, Toby’s Tofu Pate, herbed cheese spread
  • Nori Seaweed (individually packaged at Trader Joe’s)
  • Canned salmon, tuna kippered snacks, sardines
  • Edamame
  • Turkey or Buffalo Jerky (again, Trader Joe’s)
  • Miso soup packets
  • Various nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Frozen medjol dates
  • frozen grapes
  • Pure Chocolate Walnut Brownie Bar (cut into tiny pieces to nibble)
  • See Breakfast ideas for more snack ideas

Lunch and Dinner:

  • Brothy soups with lots of veggies and protein
  • Big salads with added lean animal protein and/or beans (garbanzos, kidney, canellini)
  • Baked turkey breast, sliced and used in a variety of ways, in soups, salads, wraps, by itself
  • Use olive oil/balsamic dressings, top with roasted nuts
  • Sauteed or roasted veggies and protein (eggs, etc.)
  • Egg dishes with lots of veggies including shredded cabbage, zucchini, chopped tomato or salsa
  • Eggplant slices, peppers, or zucchini strips grilled on a George Foreman grill or broiled in the oven
  • Whole Roasted Cauliflower
  • Sandwich with brown rice tortilla, turkey bacon, lettuce and tomato
  • Tortilla wraps (low carb tortillas) with lots of veggies, avocado, tapenades or nut butters

Evening Snacks:

  • Liquids, non-caffeinated teas, hot water with lemon or lime, Good 4 U Hot Cocoa, miso soup packets
  • Eat protein if you’re hungry: small amount of poultry, fish, 10-20 nuts
  • If protein is unappealing, try celery, cucumbers, carrots, apples with a bit of nut butter or dip of your choice
  • Put yourself to bed – you may actually be tired rather than hungry!

Cravings:

  • Increase fiber and protein, exercise and sleep
  • Drink more water, hot or cold
  • Celery can stave off sugar cravings
  • Use the Hunger-Fullness Scale to assess whether you are actually physically hungry.

If you discover that you are not physically hungry, try distracting yourself. Do something else. Leave the place where the food is located. Offer yourself a reward, nap, stretch, play music, read, call a special friend,  or do something active – go for a walk, or complete a chore. Try negotiating with yourself… tell yourself “I will wait 10-20 minutes” before consuming whatever it is you are wanting. Drink liquids. Chew gum.

Remember that these suggestions take time and practice to incorporate into your lifestyle. Remind yourself, especially when you happen to choose food when you are not hungry, that your intentions are to meet your needs and in that moment, it was the best choice you could make. There is another opportunity awaiting… Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, let go and trust that your intentions to take better care of yourself will manifest into new behaviors!