Eating healthy can be a challenge when you are super busy or always on the-go. You find people who say they eat ‘whenever they can’ and some who eat ‘whatever is available’. Either way, eating food is very important to the health and survival of every living thing. So, you have to eat anyway why not plan for it? You either get foods to eat by preparing them yourself, purchasing them or getting a vendor to make foods for you.
I have outlined 6 ways that you can eat healthy on the go through the hustle and bustle of Africa:
- Plan Your Meals
Whether you cook your meals by yourself or you go to eateries, cafeteria and restaurants, you can plan your meals for the week or the month. Check out my Nigerian easy diversity meal plan.
If you stop by restaurants or go for street foods, you would have an idea of the kinds of foods that are available to you. Identify the healthy meal options in these places and agree that you would always seek out the healthier options. If the restaurant you frequent doesn’t cut it when it comes to delivering healthy meals to you, then it might be time to move to another with better options.
If you decide to get a caterer to make foods for you, you can specify exactly what you want. Make sure you consider your health as a priority in your food discussions.
- Prep Your Meals
If you fall into the category of people who cook for themselves, you can prep your meals ahead of time. Of course, the first step would be to purchase healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, less processed and unrefined foods etc). Once you stock up your pantry with healthy foods, that is what would be available to you. This is a way you can create an enabling environment for you to eat healthy foods.
Pre-cooking your meals (perhaps over the weekend) and freezing can save you the time that it would take to cook a meal afresh when you need to be moving or busy.
You can also go for easy-to-make breakfast and lunch recipes.
- Think Healthy To Hydrate
Hydration is an important part of eating healthy. It should however not be used to replace your meals. A quick guzzling of sugary fizzy drinks (soft drinks) on the go may solve your thirst and give you some quick burst of energy but you might pay for it later. Water is cheap, healthy and factoring health cost makes it a cheaper option. This is not so for sugary fizzy drinks.
Apart from water, there are other healthier drinks such as Zobo drink (with pineapple or dates as a sweetener), soy drinks, coffee, green tea, black tea, Juice (real fruit juice without added sugar), flavored water, and yoghurt that can help you on the go.
- Plan For Breakfast
Your breakfast does not have to be an elaborate meal and should not make you roll up your sleeves. There are easy and healthy breakfast options that you can choose from. Fruits, vegetables and proteins such as eggs are foods that you can easily rustle up or even eat as is (in the case of some fruits and vegetables). You don’t have to skip breakfast.
- Make Smart Choices At Meetings
If you are attending a meeting and you are having a buffet, make smart choices. Pick the good proteins like fish, lean beef, roasted chicken (instead of fried), vegetables and fruits and skip refined foods like croissants and pastries, sugar-containing foods and fruit drinks.
- Don’t Eat For Africa, Eat For Yourself
Portion size always matters when eating healthy. Piling up the carbs on the go can slow you down. Let your plate have a good portion of vegetables and other foods containing fibre and protein as well as your carbs. Always try to get at least one fruit a day if this has not been your practice.