This fall I got in to a “dangerous” hunger place. I had taught some classes, prepared my kids lunches, quickly drove them to school, flew to a meeting and then immediately ran to an appointment. I exited the appointment and found myself deep in North Raleigh starving. I am not familiar with North Raleigh. All that surrounded me were fast food options. Immediately I thought, “I could go grab something quick just this one time.” You canfind some clean fast food options but they are more the exception and not the rule. And quite honestly, I was not sure once I got to the counter that I would make the best choice…because I was SO famished. Would I actually choose the salad with no dressing and a baked potato? On a normal day under normal conditions yes, but I was in a bit of a “frantic” food place. I would not be home for another hour due to traffic. I NEEDED to get back home asap because I had to pick up my kids from school. I took a deep breath and began to drive. I sucked down the last of my water that I had in my bottle and then said a prayer to have the will power to stay out of the drive thru and just get home. 20 minutes in to the drive I passed a grocery store and was able to quickly stop and grab something clean and then hop back in the car. When I got home I was able to fully appreciate my long overdue lunch. It was a close call though, and it was a tough decision. Earlier in my journey I am certain I would not have made the same choice.
To help avoid the CRAZY BAD HUNGER place I compiled a few tips that help me and my family to stay prepared:
· Pack a lunch or (several) snacks the night before or in the morning
Even if you work from home this will help to not “think” and have healthy options and portions at your fingertips!
· Chop your veggies over the weekend.
Keep bags of carrots, snap peas, peppers, broccoli, and other quick veggies ready to go for easy prep throughout the week.
· Keep a basket in the car
I have two. One for my children with tons of snacks for them and their water bottles. Another one for me with my favorite lara bars, apples, almonds, and walnuts…individually packaged and ready to go to create ease and convenience.
· Prep meals on the weekend.
That way you will have a few “go to” items, some clean soups, muffins or granola bars. We even freeze our “lentil burgers” (you could do the same with turkey burgers) so that we can pull them out throughout the week. This helps to avoid panic on a full evening, knowing that you will at least have something to pull out for the evening!
· Have a weekly plan.
You don’t have to adhere to it perfectly. You may wake up and not be in the mood for spaghetti squash that day. But at least have an idea…especially on full nights, you will have something you can throw in the crockpot or something that you can pull from the freezer. Preparation and planning are KEY to staying clean.
· Be High Maintenance.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a microwave and fridge when you travel. When you go to a restaurant ask for exactly what you want, how you want it prepared, etc. Even at a drive thru or coffee shop, “have it your way”.
· Stay fueled throughout the day!
Keep snacks on hand in a cooler, at your desk, in your purse, car, fridge and cabinets. That means frequenting the grocery store to stay stocked.
It is important to keep your metabolism burning throughout the day and it is important to not get to the crazy bad hunger place…hopefully a few of these tips will help along the journey!