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Eating well on the run (Part 2 of 3)

After being inspired by eating tips from Naima Bigby Sullivan last week,  we turn this week to our second blog on how to eat well on the run, this time from Melissa Petitto, RD. We're intrigued that some of the approach is similar (and tasty!). What do you think? Melissa Petitto

Hi! My friend Jared Kaplan at Studio 26 recently presented a problem to me that is a very common one in NYC: figuring out healthy ways to eat while being constantly on the run.  We are all so busy in our day-to-day lives that nutrition can easily take a back seat. There is no miracle answer to this problem, but there are some key points to keep in mind to make this problem less intimidating and make you successful in maintaining your desired healthy eating plan.

1. Prepare ahead! This is the best piece of advice I can give you. If you have one or two days off a week, try and devote a few hours to making some easy dishes that you can pack as a quick lunch, have has an easy reheated dinner, or if you feel like getting creative, taking that one dish that you made and turning it into some alternative dishes. Also, make a few batches of a grain so that you can add them to your packed lunch or salad whenever you want. Make some quinoa or brown rice and think of all the possibilities you now have to spice up your salads and meals. Here's a great example of taking one dish and making a few different dishes with it:

Lemon Thyme Roasted Salmon YIELD: 4 SERVINGS


4 – 6 oz fillets                                                wild Alaskan salmon or Sockeye

2 Tablespoons                                                thyme, chopped

2 Tablespoons                                                lemon zest

1 each                                                            lemon, juiced

2 Tablespoons                                                olive oil

sea salt and pepper

METHOD OF PREPARATION:_________________________________________________________

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Place salmon fillets, skin side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and distribute the thyme and zest evenly over each fillet. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. 3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness of salmon and desired doneness.

This dish is an easy one to make when you have a day off, make extra and then with the leftovers create a new dish for the week. Here are some ideas:

  1. Mixed greens with any and all vegetables/grains/beans/nuts that you love (tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, carrots, celery, mushrooms, green beans, cooked quinoa, cooked couscous, almonds, pine nuts, etc.) topped with salmon and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice
  2. Break up the salmon and mix it with a little low fat mayonnaise, some Dijon mustard, sliced grapes, chopped celery and toasted almonds and sandwich between your favorite multi-grain bread with some lettuce and tomato for a delicious sandwich

2. Always have snacks packed! One of the worst things in NY is when you are starving, have nothing on hand, and stop by the local deli or fast food restaurant or market and all you see in front of you is junk. If you prepare ahead and always have a few snacks available for those starving moments, there is a never a problem with choosing poorly. It’s very important to remember to diversify your snack, try to include some protein and fiber in your snack to ensure you stay full and satisfied.  Here are some of my favorite snacks that are around 100 to 200 calories each.

  1. Raw almonds – ¼ cup
  2. Baby Carrots, Celery Sticks and Bell Pepper with Individual serving size of hummus
  3. Fruit and Nut Mix – dried cranberries, raw almonds, raw cashews, walnuts, dried dates, etc. – about 1/3 cup
  4. A Rice Cake with Natural Peanut Butter and Apple Slices
  5. Low Fat Graham Crackers with Natural Peanut Butter
  6. A medium apple with Natural Nut Butter-try almond or cashew to keep it interesting
  7. A medium pear or apple with a low fat Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese
  8. Whole Wheat Roll Up- Small Whole Wheat Tortilla with your favorite filling, you can try low fat cream cheese and low sodium turkey breast/tomato basil and part skim mozzarella/hummus, spinach and tomato
  9. Natural Popcorn, no salt or butter added – 2 cups

3. Set an alarm for meal times and try to adhere to it as closely as possible!   One of the hardest things about being a busy New Yorker is that we tend to skip meals because we are so caught up in work and hectic schedules. We must remember to always pause and take a few minutes to re-fuel and nourish our bodies. Skipping meals always ends in disaster, poor food choices, huge portions, and over eating.

These rules to remember are nothing new or out of the ordinary, but instead they are a reminder that eating healthily while on the run is all about being prepared and making good choices. Good luck! And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Yours truly,

Melissa Petitto, R.D.