When you are busy focused on building a business the last thing you are worrying about is eating healthy. As a business owner, you have plenty on your plate. There are always new issues, challenges and tasks being thrown your way.
It’s more convenient to grab something on the go, or opt for fast food in the middle of a busy day. But, what many don’t realize is that when you eat healthy it’s not only better for you physically, but your mental focus can improve as well. Fueling your body with healthy options can give you more energy and eliminate mental fog.
We polled several successful business owners and leaders, and asked them to provide one simple and easy meal or snack alternative that was healthier than a McDonald’s value meal or other “convenient” options. Here are some suggestions to consider reaching for throughout the day.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away — isn’t that what they say? There are actually a lot of reasons to reach for an apple when you are hungry over something like a candy bar or a bag of chips. The nutritional profile is much healthier, there is no fat or artificial additives and they actually can help promote healthy digestion.
The calorie count is very low as well and an apple will make you feel full and satisfied. A little bag of chips might be loaded with fat and have 400 calories, only to leave you hungry for more, which can trigger binge eating.” – Paul Kelly, 247 CCTV Security Ltd
2. “Healthy” Protein Bar
“Protein bars are highly popular, and you can find them everywhere now, no there really isn’t an excuse for not eating one of these instead of a burger and fries. But just because something is labeled as a protein bar doesn’t mean it’s truly healthy.
A lot of the supplement companies are trying to make the best tasting protein bar, and in doing so they add in more sugars, fats, carbs and artificial flavors. These make them on par with unhealthy candy bars like Snickers and Milky Ways. Make sure you look for ones with a good amount of protein and low sugar, fat and carbs.” – Chad Gaynier of Clarity Clinic
3. Prepped High Protein Meal
“You need to have real food in your diet, and a lot of people try to get by on protein bars and protein shakes, but you need real protein sources, veggies, greens and healthy carbs. You can make sure you get this if you take the time to make meals in advance. Cooking the night before isn’t always possible, so carve out some time and make meals for 7-10 days at a time and freeze them.
Something like grilled chicken breast, green veggies and
brown rice can be prepped and frozen easily, and you simply grab one and throw
it in your bag each day as you leave the house. It couldn’t be any easier. It’s
a great way to help get into a healthy routine.” – Tad Thomas, Managing Partner
of Thomas Law
4. Sugar Free Jell-O
“There are two reasons I keep sugar free Jell-O cups around while working. If I am starving and need to eat something I will have one and it will hold me over, and it’s only 10 calories. No sugar. No fat. It’s a great snack that will crave not only hunger, but also any sugar or candy craving you might have.
If you are used to eating junk food these are great to use as a way to limit or reduce the junk food you consume. Sugar is addictive, so you may not always be able to eliminate it entirely right away. This is a great alternative that can help you ease off the junk food choices.” – Chris Moberg, President of Slumber Search
5. Protein Shake
“Protein shakes can be a great meal replacement option that is also very convenient. It takes a few seconds to make one and you can drink them on the go or at your desk even. The trick is to find one that is healthy and has very limited sugars, fat and carb counts. The unhealthy ones defeat the purpose.
If you get sick of drinking shakes switch it up by mixed with almond milk instead of water, or make protein pancakes or protein muffins with it. You can get creative to keep it interesting. The same thing over and over becomes stale and you are more apt to cheat. Also, make sure to switch between several flavors. Drinking a vanilla shake every day will drive you crazy.” – Ignacio Soria, CEO of Cann & Co.
6. Green Smoothie
“One of the largest deficiencies when it comes to nutrients is greens. Most people simply don’t eat enough veggies to take in the most beneficial amount. While supplements are a good alternative, nothing replaces the actual food source. It’s not always possible or convenient to eat all of the veggies you would need to consume daily, so a smoothie is a great option.
Having a green smoothie in the morning for breakfast or
after the gym is a great way to get them all in and kick start your healthy
eating for the day. You can either cut up your own veggies and juice them or
buy smoothie packages you just add water and ice to.” – Hyung Park, President
of Abraham Lincoln University
7. Mixed Nuts
“Some people shy away from nuts as a snack because they see that they have a high fat content, but it’s important to know that nuts like almonds, for example, contain healthy fat. You have to incorporate some fat into your diet, and this is a great way.
They are a good snack that will keep you occupied for a bit
eating them and will curb hunger. Go for ones that do not have extra seasoning
or salt. You want to avoid all of the extra sodium. That will just make you retain
more water and make you look and feel bloated.” – Christopher Kerr, VP
Marketing at Earnhardt
8. Greek Yogurt
“There was a major Greek yogurt craze a while ago and that led to several new companies launching and most of the major traditional yogurt companies creating lines of the healthier options. Now, there are many that have zero fat and zero sugars.
There are more options than just the standard ‘Plain’ that was once all that was available, and they are a good substitute especially if you are someone that likes ice cream. You can almost trick yourself into thinking it’s more of a treat than it really is.” – Pat Skinner of AnswerFirst
9. Kale Chips
“Chips are a favorite snack among many people. They are convenient and they are a good addition. The trouble is that they add a lot more than you want, including cars, fat and other unhealthy ingredients. Kale chips might not sound appealing, but they actually don’t taste as bad as they sound.
Kale is very healthy, and you will find that most Kale chips are baked so there is no added oil. They have the ‘crisp’ that makes them have the texture and feel of a chip, but minus all of the bad stuff. You can get individual bags and keep them at your desk for emergency snack situations.” – Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics
10. Cucumber Slices
“Cucumbers are made up of a lot of water, making them very refreshing. Not only are they very low on calories, but they are low in sugar and carbs, have almost no fat and their calories are low. There are a lot of health benefits, and if you slice or cube them up it makes a nice crunchy snack.
You can also team them up with lunch or dinner to give you a side, rather than reaching for chips or fries, or another carb heavy option. Avoid dips, because that cancels out the benefits. If you can’t eat them plain for some reason try hitting them with a very small amount of Himalayan pink salt.” – Michael Herron, Law Offices of Michael R. Herron