Home > Diet and Nutrition, Health and Fitness, Martial Arts > Healthy choices when you’re on the go and need to stay fueled

Healthy choices when you’re on the go and need to stay fueled

Fruit ‘n Yogurt – delicious!

Breakfast Woes

This morning I unexpectedly had to come into work early, so I did not have my usual breakfast at home. One bad habit of mine is driving by the local gas station and stopping in for a breakfast taco. Sounds weird, right? Believe it or not, the local Stripes convenience stores have staff who make hot, fresh, made to order breakfast tacos that are delicious. But, they’re not exactly diet-friendly, for so many reasons.

My usual go to breakfast includes the following:

  • 1 large egg + 7 egg whites, scrambled and topped with a little bit of shredded cheese and picante sauce (my favorite is Pace Extra Mild)
  • 1 packet plain Quaker oatmeal, with sweetener

The above nets about 350 calories, 8 grams of fat and 35 grams of protein. Sure, there are carbs (about 20 grams, for those counting), but if you work out more than 90 minutes a day, you need some to keep your energy levels up. I watch my carb intake, but I’m not overly concerned about it for the most part. When I was keeping a much stricter eye on them, I was having issues with my energy levels when I’d get to martial arts classes later in the day. Once I eased up on the strict carb intake, I had more energy to burn.

That’s just what works for me though; your energy needs may be different from mine.

So, back to the problem I had… what choices can I pick up that won’t throw me off the rest of the day? We talked about tacos, which aren’t really an option. There’s other restaurants around like Burger King, Subway, and Jack in the Box. Who had the best healthy choice this morning?

Believe it or not, it was McDonald’s.

Their new Egg White Delight consists of a whole grain English muffin, egg whites, white cheddar cheese, and the usual Canadian bacon. Total damage: 250 calories, 7 grams of fat, 18 g of protein, and 32 grams of carbs. The hash browns are loaded with the bad stuff, so what’s an alternative side?

Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait (without granola) to the rescue!

At 120 calories, 4 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of Fat, and 24 grams of carbs, it’s the perfect sweet treat to satisfy.

A decent healthy breakfast at 370 calories is a great way to start the day.

Protein Bars and Shakes

I do strength training throughout the week, both in class and out. It’s important for women especially to build good muscle. I know a lot of females shy away from it because they don’t want to bulk up. The fact of the matter is, unless you’re eating 5000 calories a day and power lifting constantly, you will not bulk up.

The old argument that I’ve heard thousands of times is a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. If you look at strictly what a pound is, then yes it does. A pound of something is a pound of something is a pound of something. However, a pound of muscle is way more dense than a pound of fat and takes up much less room. So take two women who weigh about 160 lbs and are about the same height. One of them strength trains and has put on muscle, and the other does not. Guess which one looks leaner and more toned?

To stave off the soreness that can happen with strength training, I’ve been increasing my protein intake in the foods that I eat. I also partake in protein bars and shakes in between meals to supplement my diet and keep me from dying of the hunger.

You have to be careful with bars and shakes. Some of them are considered meal replacements. Sure they have 20 g of protein, but are also a staggering 370 calories a pop!

The downside to bars and shakes is that they can get a bit pricy, but unfortunately in this country, it’s cheaper to eat bad things than good.

Two options that I recommend:

Quest Protein bars (I like the Chocolate Brownie one):

Quest Bars nutritional information

Pretty decent for 170 calories, 6 grams of fat and 1 gram of sugar, yeah?

And then there’s the EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control line of protein shakes:

These particular shakes are great because they top out at 110 calories (depending on flavor), 3 grams of carbs, and 17 grams of protein. And they taste great. My favorite is the Rich Dark Chocolate. Plus, they’re pretty inexpensive, relatively speaking. A pack of 4 will run you a little under 5 bucks at Wal Mart. I make sure to drink one of these at maximum a half hour after training to help the muscles recuperate and limit soreness.

So there you have it; my little spiel on nutrition. As always, I’m still on the journey to health and swole, but I can definitely say that I’ve been seeing great results with adopting a healthier eating style and having a great fitness program. Martial arts + Yoga/Pilates + strength training keeps me working hard and constantly challenged and motivated.

The hardest part to all this is finding your personal combination of fitness and nutrition so you can stick with it. It’s entirely doable, but it all depends on you.

Happy training!

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