Let’s face it – you’re constantly on the go. Between business travel, conferences and client meetings, it’s difficult to make health-conscious food choices.
We asked registered dietitian Mary Bamford, owner of Essence Nutrition and Counseling and member of Dietitians of Canada, to discuss planning meals around busy business situations.
The long business flight. “It’s very easy to get dehydrated on a flight,” says Bamford. Women should drink lots of fluids (nine cups per day) like water, tea, coffee or milk. Paired with fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains should satisfy hunger without that nasty bloated feeling.
The business road trip. “If you’re going to be sitting for a long time, keep it light.” Lots of fruits and vegetables and a lean protein like milk, yogurt or an egg will give you energy without making you feel tired.
Arriving after a long flight/drive. Don’t rush to the nearest McDonalds, but choose a low-sugar granola or a meal replacement bar. Or, pack a wholesome trail mix of dried fruit, nuts and whole grains – similar to what you’d pack for your child’s lunch. This provides essential nutrients until you can resume a normal eating routine.
Back to back client meetings. Redefine fast food. “If you don’t have enough time to sit and enjoy a proper meal, it might as well be packed with nutrition.” Salmon or a chickpea salad (along with plenty of fluids) will keep you awake and attentive.
Attending a business conference. “Eat light – because you don’t want to feel gassy or full.” Light meals also promote good posture. Crisp vegetables like cucumber, carrots, parsley and carrots will not only sustain you but help keep your breath fresh.
Before a business presentation. Forget sugar highs, you need brain food. Food packed with protein like tuna, soy nuts and milk paired with some fresh vegetables will keep you alert.
Working late or overtime. “When you’re working late or overtime, take a snack at dinner time.” Crackers, low fat cheese, a latte or cappuccino will instantly give you the energy you need to finish that project. Just remember to eat a proper dinner when you get home.
Business lunch or dinner. “Pick things that make you look professional while you’re eating them.” Opt for grilled, baked or steamed seafood and vegetables rather than a sloppy salad.