I get asked this one a lot. And even though I’m pretty exclusive to the music industry, I think this topic is very applicable to everyone. Here’s one of the most common questions I have been asked.
“Mike, what do I do when I’m out running errands all day and didn’t pack a lunch?”
(Prefer to watch a video on this topic? Click here to see my “Between Two Aisles” interview and grocery shopping trip with singer-songwriter, and alternative health professional, Kirby Criddle)
Well, great question. I’ve found the most luck in always keeping “car snacks” nearby. Kale chips, protein powder, homemade protein bars or bites… etc. But oftentimes we are flat out exhausted and all we can do is choose a grocery store, restaurant or -shudder- fast food joint. Before I continue, I want to reinforce that as long as this is not a regular occurrence (3-5 times/week) you need not to stress about what options are the best.
That said, I’m here to weigh out the options and help you make healthier choices when you are faced with the nutritional dilemma of “This Over That” when you’re out and about or on the road and away from meal prep.
So what should I eat?
Here’s a general guideline to follow:
- Choose greens and lots of colours over starchy foods
- Here’s why – you stand a better chance of the food being as close to fresh and real the more a like produce it is. Go for the salad option over a steak, big guy. Sacrifice looking like “that guy”. Otherwise, “that guy” will slowly grow into “those guys” – catch my drift? You’ll need to worry about buying a new, bigger suit, which is more expensive. So save the coin, save the calories, save the trip to the doctor for high blood pressure. Eat greens.
- Ask for dressing or sauces on the side
- Okay, so you have your salad. Now what? Always try to ask for dressings on the side so you can add a little bit. Restaurants are notorious for dumping the sauces and salad dressings on. Avoid that. Some healthy choices are just basic vinaigrettes and one of my favourite combos is apple cider vinegar with a bit of olive oil. Ask for that next time for a citrus punch to your summer business lunch salad meal! Same goes for any meal you decide to order that has a sauce. Get it on the side… add it at your own conservative pace.
- Ask for the gluten-free/reduced calorie/healthy choice menu
- If you ask for healthy options, you’ll be surprised at how many of your favourite spots have a total menu dedicated to lifestyle choices. You have to imagine with the amount of people that are either celiac or gluten or lactose intolerant, all food serving establishments have to accommodate these folks or they’ll run out of business. Check it out next time you’re out for lunch or dinner.
So where should I eat?
Here are a few of my favourite healthy choice spots around Calgary. Check them out next time you’re thinking about making some better decisions with your meals.
The Coup – Pronounced “the coo”, this spot on 17th is a vegetarian/vegan hotspot with amazing service, trendy decor and a bunch of amazing meals. They also do a meal share type thing with many of their dishes so feel good about supporting these beauties.
Original Joe’s – with various spots all over town, OJ’s has a nice list of local grub and healthier-than-usual pub fare. Check out the north location up by Northland Mall for some great service, great selection and patio action. Hell, you’ll probably find me sitting writing articles too if you’re lucky. This is one of my go-to’s because it’s so close to Team Schwartz HQ
OEB – Nominated top 100 places to eat in Canada in 2016. Nuff said. Check out this local and organic focused spot for your next brunch. Get there early though, it’s packed.
Remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. Stay sweet, folks.
ps. Remember to share if you dig it and comment below if you have any further insight on how to make some healthier choices or if you have a favourite healthy-isa spot in your city!