Saturday, August 1, 2009

Managing Meals Away From Home

5:33 AM by dody ·
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your nutrition plan needs to be thoroughly integrated into your lifestyle if you're going to make progress. In order to manage, you need to either a) bring food along with you; b) rely on restaurant meals of some sort; or c) both.
Packing food with you isn't di cult, if you have the right supplies. Invest in
an assortment of single-serving, reusable containers, a wide-mouth ther-
mos, blue ice packs, resealable storage bags (various sizes), shaker bottles,
and a soft-sided insulated cooler or large lunch bag. Having these items on
hand means you can take your diet with you to your job - you don't need to
rely on kitchen facilities, or the o ce refrigerator/microwave.

As for what to bring...well, you're limited only by your imagination and the
amount of time you have available to eat. If you've cooked ahead of time,
then there will always be some ready-to-eat meat in the fridge - leftover
boneless chicken breasts, lean roast beef, or a turkey breast. Sliced cold
meats can be eaten plain or put into a sandwich (pita sandwiches or wraps
w/lo-carb tortillas are good variations). Add variety to sandwiches with
di erent condiments: choose from an array of gourmet mustards or more
exotic items like wasabi, pesto, and satay sauces. Leftover meat can also be
chopped up and used to create salads - these take only seconds to scoop
into a container for munching later on.

Side dishes that are easy to prepare (or buy) ahead and store well include:
tabouli, hummus, potato/pasta salads, marinated vegetable salads, various
(reduced fat) cheeses, cottage cheese, yogurt, pre-cut veggies/dip, grape
tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, fresh or dried fruit, seasoned tuna packs, nuts/
seeds, peanut/nut butters, baked tortilla chips, whole grain crackers/crisp-
breads.

If you have access to a microwave, various other entrees (such as leftover
soups, stews, or casseroles) can be packed along. You can also pre-assem-
ble a "rice bowl" (use pre-cooked brown rice, pre-cut fresh or frozen veg-

gies, diced pre-cooked meat - add a dash of soy sauce and toasted sesame
seeds or other seasonings), then simply heat and eat.

If you don’t have time for full meals, you can “graze” on snacks throughout
the day: make some of the protein bars from the recipe section ahead of
time for packing along. Other snack/quick foods might include InStone
“high protein” pudding and Ostrim sticks - which are portable and non-per-
ishable. Ditto fruit and nuts. Or bring an MRP packet and a shaker bottle
along. Push comes to shove, a commercial protein bar can also be used.

Restaurant meals can be both easier - and harder - to deal with. On the
one hand, there’s no preparation involved; on the other, it’s sometimes dif-
cult to eat according to your nutrition plan. You can’t weigh or measure
anything, so it’s harder to estimate what you’re eating - or overeating. If
you eat out only sporadically, the occasional restaurant meal is no big deal.
On the other hand, if you eat out on a regular basis, surplus calories that
aren’t compensated for by reductions in other meals/snacks could result in
fat gains.
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