In our high-paced, modern society we are constantly seeking out new and efficient ways to improve how we operate and accomplish the endless tasks on our to-do lists. Everywhere you look, there are short-cuts being offered and life “hacks” being devised as a way to maximize efficiency. Just look at all of the things a smart phone can do!
The fact is, we do our best to CRAM as much into our relatively short days as possible and have consequently created a society that condones this way of living. You might even say that we are in a state of constant “emergency” leading us to reach for the most convenient options because of finite time and energy, regardless of what the outcome may be.
This convenient way of living has lead to the development of numerous fast food chains, quick stop convenience stores, vending machines and Starbucks on nearly every corner. We are often at the mercy of these options because their speed and efficiency is unmatched to what it would take to prepare a home cooked meal. Let’s face it, they didn’t name fast food, slow food for very obvious reasons! We need quick and efficient options if we are to go to work, beat traffic and get the kids to soccer practice and get home to let the dog out before bedtime.
So what happens when this fast paced lifestyle catches up with us? If, perhaps, the morning vanilla latte and pastry is no longer serving us and is now slowly accumulating on our bellies and thighs. Or, that afternoon bag of Cheetos is actually taking away from our productivity because the refined carbs and toxic preservatives spike our blood sugar, leading us to crash 30 minutes later.
While you will not die of eating these convenience foods once and a while, the accumulation of eating these day after day, year after year has real consequences that add up to unwanted pounds, chronic disease, depression and depleted energy. It’s something that more and more of us are becoming aware of but we just are not sure how to fix it.
This is why I suggest creating a Real Food Emergency pack to keep in your car, your office or any other place you regularly find yourself without healthy options. In fact, making more than one real food emergency kit to stash away in multiple places is a great way to ensure you are never left without good choices.
These ideas are just a basic way to get you started, but they all are lower in sugar and higher in quality proteins and fats that will leave you satisfied longer.
Step one: Choose your Fuel
Food items that last forever (or at least a long while):
- Nuts and Seeds (unsalted)
- Nut butters (almond, pecan, macadamia nut are awesome – I love these packs from Justin’s Nut Butter)
- Jerky (bison, grass-fed beef or turkey – Krave is a great brand with minimal ingredients and can be found at Costco)
- Flax or seed crackers like Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Roasted red peppers packed in olive oil
- Sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
- Canned salmon, sardines or tuna
- Whole or raw food bars (LARABAR, Epic Bars, Probars, and Raw Revolution are a few good ones)
- Brown rice cakes
Easy-to-prepare for on-the-run:
- Hard-boiled eggs (preferably cage-free, organic)
- Cut up veggies like carrots, peppers, celery and cucumbers
- Whole pieces of fruit like oranges, apples, pears and bananas
- Hummus packs
In the office fridge:
- Kefir and organic yogurt
- Sauerkraut and kimchi
- Carbonated water like club soda or Pellegrino
- Guacamole packs
For the sweet tooth:
- Dark Chocolate (75% or higher) (for an extra boost try this one with maca powder)
- Dried figs and dates
- Dark Chocolate almond packs
Step 2: Put it in a bag or box and put it where it needs to go!
Some of the items on the list might sound costly, but I can assure you that if you total the number of dollars spent at Starbucks each year you would find that most of these options are not only feasible, but might actually save you some cash in the long run! Utilizing online stores like Thrive Market, Amazon.com and Costco are a great way to make these items more affordable.
Preparation is KEY to making these options available and convenient for you. Dedicate a portion of your shopping list to this “food emergency” kit so that you never forget to make it a priority.
What other things might you put in your food emergency kit? Please comment below.
In Health & Vitality,