Reader’s Request: Eat Clean On-the-Go

Thanks to a reader’s request, I’ve got some great tips to help you eat clean on-the-go below. One of those tips: Leftovers!

I love leftovers for many reasons, mostly because 99% of the time I can throw them in a skillet, add a couple of eggs

= breakfast.

Salmon leftovers with egg

For dinner last night, I used this beautiful wild salmon:

Wild salmon

(I always ask the butcher for 4 servings worth. For us, that makes two perfect servings)

Honey lavender-ified it:

Honey Lavender Salmon

Since there was a little bit left from dinner, I figured it would be perfect scrambled this morning, along with a few veggies and goat cheese. Hit the spot.

Dessert while watching the Olympics:

apple dessert and tea

(Chopped apple microwaved for 2 minutes with butter, cinnamon and almond butter)

Eat Clean On-the-Go

I recently got an email asking me about planning eats for the day when you’re away from home morning til night. I have some tips on how to eat clean on-the-go, but I have a feeling that some of you are very familiar with frantic schedules–please share your awesome tips in the comments!

Tips to Eat Clean On-the-Go

Here’s a snippet from the email:

I got a new job where I am on a 9/80 schedule, so basically for 2 weeks I work M-F  9.5 hour days and then get one extra day off every other week. I love it, but with drive time, I am away from home 9:10am-7:15 pm. Do you have any suggestions or ideas on what foods I can bring to work? I love eating healthy, and I eat mini meals throughout the day, but I have a feeling this can be difficult with being gone for so long. We have a fridge/freezer/microwave at work. I find protein to be the most difficult to figure out, especially for snacks.

I work part-time now, but when I used to work full-time and in my college days, I was away from home for long stretches at a time, often from dark until dark. It definitely can put a damper on healthy eating plans. I had to figure out a method fast or I was racing through a drive-through on the way to the dance studio or stuck at my desk at work determining how appetizing my pencil would be (exaggerating, but you know).  

Salad and fruit food prep to eat clean on-the-go

Tips for a Day of Clean Eats

– Don’t forget the protein. High-protein snacks can be stashed in the refrigerator to keep you full longer, and are easy grab-and-go options, like pre-grilled chicken breasts

Chicken breast food prep to eat clean on-the-go

(I’ll often get a huge pack of organic chicken and ask the Pilot to grill it Sunday afternoon. Perfect for lunches, snacks or dinner stir fries)

Steamed eggs, amazeballs, deli meat, yogurts, hummus and veggies, homemade burgers or veggie burgers (freeze), protein powder in a shaker to add milk/water to.

-Leftovers for lunch. Make a huge batch of dinner, so you can easier put some in a to-go container for the next day. 

-The slow cooker is your friend. Start dinner before you go to bed at night, or before leaving for work in the morning. Nothing better than driving into the garage, opening the door and being able to smell the delicious meal that’s waiting for you.

-Plan, prep and make ahead. This is a huge one for me, even with my schedule now as I have to take a lot of food to work. On Sundays, in addition to the grilled chicken, I’ll make a huge batch of quinoa and lentils, steamed eggs, hummus, trail mix, and/or amazeballs to have as easy snacks. Other options: bars, guacamole or hummus packs.

Every night before bed, I’ll make Liv’s am bottle so it’s ready to go in the fridge (whether it’s a work day the next day or not, just makes life easier!) and will prep most of my lunch and snacks so that I don’t have to worry about making them in the am.

amazeballs food prep to eat clean on-the-go

Great options to make on Sunday, freeze and have ready for the week: quiche, lasagna, soups/chilis, pizza, burritos.

-You can also make and freeze breakfast goodies and meals. My favorites are these muffins, and protein pancakes also freeze well. Breakfast cookies are perfect make-ahead breakfasts, too, and you can take baked breakfast cookies to-go.

-Produce! Fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds make for awesome snacks, and require hardly, if any, prep time (wash and eat!).

Fruit food prep to eat clean on-the-go

-Microwaveable healthy options are out there, too. For convenience sake, many health stores have fantastic microwave options for lunch and dinner. I try to minimize these because they’re wicked expensive ($8 for a veggie burger? I’ll make my own, thanks), but in a pinch, they’re easy to grab-and-go. 

Do you have any other tips to share? What’s your favorite on-the-go or make-ahead meal? To those of you who are away from home most of the day, how do you stay motivated and organized to eat clean?

Hope you have a happy almost-Friday!


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  1. Lisa @ Fresh Spinach on August 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

    My lunch bag at work could easily double as a picnic for 3…
    Coworkers always ask for snacks because they know I’m packing tons of yummy, healthy eats.

  2. Tara on August 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Fave on the go meal is throwing a bunch of random stuff over brown rice and calling it stir fry. My fave on the go snack is Kashi bars.

    (side question: My doctor recommended the South Beach diet for me… I understand the fundamentals but would love to ask you a few questions about it. Can I email you?)

  3. Annette @ FitnessPerks on August 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I love these tips! I too do the big batches of lentils/beans/chicken to help out for the week. I also really love making raw protein balls with lots of almonds & whey powder.

    I really like hard-boiled eggs too 🙂

  4. kim@hungryhealthygirl on August 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Great tips! I always prepare my lunch and snacks the night before, so in the morning all I have to do is grab and go. My go-to lunch is salads and for snack I eat fruit, yogurt or cottage cheese.

  5. Lisa on August 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I always try to make Sunday my prep day as well, for both myself and my boyfriend. We take a half hour or so, go to the kitchen and assemble 5 lunches for each of us for the week. Makes things so much easier to have meals prepared ahead of time. As for snacks, we each have a few go-tos – for me it’s greek yogurts, laughing cow cheese, carrots and hummus and larabars.

  6. Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner on August 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Some of my favorite on-the-go foods are soynuts, nut butter+fruit, nut butter+veggies, hummus+veggies, nuts, slow-cooker meals, homemade protein bars, overnight oats, etc. 😀

  7. Yang Bai on August 7, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I am a full time student now, and thank you so much to share thouse tips which is very helpful. For most of time I buy Lunch at school, but most of them are not so health and not worth it. I am not perfre to take leftover by another day of school because there is some research study point out leftover cause cancer. I don’t know it’s ture or not, however, I really stop to eat leftover. I always try my best to eat a big breakfast like bread, serious and milk. More protein, and sugar will suport my daily studying. At lunch time, I bought chicken sala at casco which is pretty healthy and delicious. At dinner, I always eat chicken, steack, ot Simon. I am not kind of person spend a lot of time to think about what should I eat. Most of time I eat the same things day by day. However, I am pretty happy about it.

  8. Kelly on August 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I keep a lunch bag with raw carrots, almonds, some protein granola bars, a couple water bottles, and a fruit cup or piece of fresh fruit in it at all time. The problem I have is working 10-12 hour days 5 days a week. So that means leaving 5 AM and coming home 5 or 7 PM to make supper for 4 kids and a husband that arrives home about the same time when he is not on the road working for the week, tossing a load in the washer, wash a few dishes, and trying to get some sleep. Then fit in 4-H and two of the kids in sports at different schools. I NEED MORE, and having stuff prepared ahead is essential or I am just eating my almonds and carrots or gazing at the vending machine. I am trying to find ideas that I can make on days off and freeze for an easy grab and go and maybe microwave at work. I have a problem though with eating poorly and to much in the evenings, being tired I have slipped into a habit of making quick and easy things the kids like (example: chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese). But I am working on it, I also have a problem with gluten I have to watch how much I eat so complicate matters more. I am learning though and know how much better I feel and how much more energy I have when I eat better.

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