Living a busy life plus eating well everyday is not an easy feat. Whether it’s running out the door late for work, trying to squeeze in a midday workout, or just survive a traffic jam, there are usually obstacles to achieving nutritional success.
Some of us end up buying unhealthy food on the go, while some of us may end up skipping meals, leaving us ravenous later on (and more likely to overeat and store fat). While there is no causational link, research shows people who eat every 2 to 3 hours have quicker metabolisms and lower body fat, than people who eat 2 or 3 meals a day.1
Fortunately, there are convenient tools to help us prepare for diet and nutrition success at home before the chaos sets in. Some of these health-supporting products have been around for a while, like plastic containers, but others like the Bluapple are a little newer on the scene.
Portable coolers and plastic containers have both been around for years, but they are probably your best friends when it comes to eating healthfully on the fly during a busy workweek. However, it requires some conscious planning ahead to reap the benefits from using them.
Personally, I prefer to eat big, wholesome salads on my lunch breaks almost every day. To prepare my salad and make sure it’s still fresh when I eat it, I start the night before. I simply fill my plastic container with lettuce, carrots, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and any other veggies I happen to have in my fridge that day. In separate containers, I store a protein, like marinated tofu, sliced turkey breast or cottage cheese, and I like to add a sweet potato, and/or hummus in a separate container. It is easiest for me to leave my dressing at my office, so I know it will always be there when I’m ready to chow down. Otherwise, just store your dressing in another small plastic container and you’re good to go. You can also by specialized plastic containers that come in one piece, with separate sections to store different foods. Plastic container sets are priced between about $15 and $40.
The portable coolers come in most handy when you do not have a refrigerator to place store food in at the workplace or when, your job requires you to drive around in your car a lot during the day. Decent portable coolers usually range from about $10 to $40, depending on size.
Instead of going back and forth to the grocery store to make sure your produce stays fresh, the BluApple food preserver can save time and eventually money.
When an organic apple can cost $1.50, it is not hard to believe an average American family of four throws out as much as $600 worth of rotten produce every year, according to the USDA.
In essence, the BluApple preserves and lengthens the edible life of produce for up to three times the normal length. It simply sits with the rest of your fruits and veggies in the refrigerator, produce bowl, or container, and absorbs ethylene gas, which comes naturally from produce. If the gas builds up wherever the food is stored, the ripening process speeds up. In other words, the BluApple slows down the process. The BluApple starter kit is priced at $18 and includes two apples and a 12-month refill kit.
The oil mister can help if you are focused on getting leaner (See: Body Change vs. Maintenance), when you’re on the run, and also when cooking meals at home. Oil misters range from about $10 to $25.
Salad dressing, even olive oil (which is a healthy fat), can be the one part of your salad that can transform it from a low calorie meal into a meal that is high calorie. Same thing goes for other foods- meats, eggs, and veggies. Cooking them in too much olive oil can add tons of extra calories.
The mister is convenient because it makes it easy to control the amount of oil poured into a pan or on top of a salad. It can also make it very easy to season dishes, by adding ingredients like onion, chili or garlic to the oil. Even though olive oil is healthy, compared to vegetable oil and canola oil, it still has about 120 calories in just one tablespoon. If you want to cut down on the calories in a quick way, the mister will do the trick.
In general, olive oil is healthy for the heart and even benefits the joins, skin and digestion. And, it makes food taste delicious.
It can be hard to get in the recommended 6 to 8 servings of fruits and/or veggies we need everyday to achieve and maintain optimal nutrition, and juicers can help in reaching that goal. They allow pre-digestion, or the immediate absorption of all of the nutrients from produce. Plus, juicing provides versatility in vegetables because they help people to enjoy more veggies they may not typically like to eat whole.
However, vegetable and fruit juices do not typically provide any fat or protein alone, therefore, it is important to drink the juice as part of a meal. And juices are also perfect for on-the-go snacks. Try packing a veggie or fruit- packed juice for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
Home juicers range vastly in price, from about $100 to $500.
Blenders are another great tool to help sneak in all the fruits and veggies we need. They can also work as meal replacements, by adding ingredients, like yogurt, nut butter, and protein powders to smoothies. Meal-replacement smoothies are ideal for anyone who virtually has no time to sit down and eat a full meal during the day or after a workout. Portable blenders are a dream-come-true during busy weeks, and they usually cost around $100.
At home, blenders can come in handy at any meal. They can be used to blend soups, make sauces, beat egg whites, puree fruit, make salad dressings, and even grind coffee beans. They can also come in handy for chopping nuts to toss in a salad or a piecrust.
These are some products available to help us maintain a healthy diet in the midst of an energetic – and sometimes messy – life.
When we’re busy and/or in a rush, it’s easy to lose sight of our nutrition knowledge and go for something less healthy than if we thought ahead at home.
These five healthy products will make clean, nutritious eating more realistic for you, even on the busiest of days. Let us know if you try one that you enjoy!