The hunger pains, the fast food cravings, the anxious digging through your bag for a forgotten bag of almonds. If it hasn’t happened to you already, it eventually will. A clean eating emergency can happen to anyone, at any time – so you need to be prepared. In all seriousness though, sometimes even the best laid plans go asunder and you are stuck with less-than-perfect food options. Maybe you forgot your meals at home or ended up being out of the house longer than planned. Whatever the situation, you are hungry and you don’t have any clean food with you. What do you do?
Whatever you do, don’t throw your hands up in the air and figure since you can’t eat clean you may as well go to McDonalds and get a Big Mac. That’s like saying since you are already 15 minutes late for work because of traffic you may as well just turn around and go home. Just do your best with what you have available to you. You always have options.
Option #1 – Have an emergency stash. This is easier for the ladies as we already like to carry a small department store in our suitcase sized purses. A small baggie of nuts and dried fruits or protein powder can serve as a quick little snack to tide you over until your next real meal.
Option #2 – Find a grocery store. Most grocery stores now have pre chopped veggies and fruit, as well as pre made salads with lean protein (skip the sugar filled dressing and toss out the deep-fried croutons). Often you can even find pre peeled hard-boiled eggs and in a best case scenario many larger stores now have pay-by-weight salad bars!
Option #3 – Fast food restaurants. Avoid bread as even “whole wheat” options at fast food joints won’t be clean. Go for a salad with grilled chicken. Ask for an extra grilled chicken breast if you are extra hungry. Ask that your food be prepared without any oils. Again, avoid the salad dressing and other toppings like croutons and cheese.
Option #4 – Pick and choose the best you can. This is the option you will employ if you are stuck for choices and someone else is providing the food for you. Just because your company is providing a lasagna lunch with caesar salad and garlic bread and you have no other option because you forgot your lunch and you can’t go elsewhere doesn’t mean you need to take a huge slice of lasagna and go for seconds on the garlic bread. Try to fill up on what you know is good. Hopefully there will be an undressed salad option, but if it’s predressed just try your best to scrape away as much as you can. Pick away a little of the cheese to bring down the fat content of the lasagna and get as much of the protein as you can. I would avoid the bread altogether. Drink water.
Although it’s always best to be prepared and you will definitely see better results if you make all of your own food, nobody is perfect and we will all face situations where less-than-perfect eating is necessary. We still need to eat and one not-so-great meal won’t derail all of your progress. However, if these “emergency” situations start becoming more common for you, it may be time to try a different strategy.
This article was researched and written by Follow @DaraCoxPT
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