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Following a special diet that avoids certain foods can be tough when you have a busy schedule and places to be! Life happens, but there are things you can do to make sure you stick to your diet and keep feeling your best.

Follow our tips below to make sure you’re prepared to follow your diet when on-the-go.

  1. Prep for the Week

Before the start of each week take some time to look at your schedule. Make note of any days or times where you may be rushed, hungry and tempted to just grab some drive-thru food while out!

Will you need to take breakfast along to your early meeting on Wednesday? Maybe you need to pack a snack for Thursday to keep you full when going straight from one activity to another.

Once you know which days might be tricky for you, set aside time to prepare some food. Even 15- 30 minutes is enough to help set yourself up for success.

So What Do I Prep?

Good pre-prep meals can be customized for a variety of diets, keep well in the fridge and provide balanced nutrition. Some ideas for easy-to prep-items are:

  • Smoothies
    • Gather your smoothie ingredients together in a bag in the freezer so all you have to do is add liquid and blend.
    • Make sure to include protein to keep you feeling full. Greek yogurt, silken tofu, nut butter, hemp hearts and protein powder are all good smoothie-friendly sources.
  • Frittata
    • This is a great for breakfast, lunch or snack and is just as good cold if you don’t have access to a microwave.
    • Customize yours with whatever veggies you enjoy that are allowed on your diet. Try also adding meat or cooked potatoes for a heartier meal.
    • Use a muffin tin to make mini frittatas!
  • Overnight oats
    • Oats are allowed on most elimination diets and the liquid can be switched up depending on your diet goals. Use non dairy milk if needed instead of regular milk or add yogurt if you’d like.
    • Add your favourite fruit and some nuts, nuts butter or seeds for a balanced meal.
  • Salads
    • Salads keep well when prepped ahead, as long as the dressing is kept to the side. Keep softer vegetables like sliced tomatoes separate too until it’s time to eat.
    • Make sure you include some sort of protein that works with your diet to keep you feeling full until your next meal. Chicken, fish, eggs and beans/chickpeas are all great options.
  1. Cook Extra

Preparing specific items ahead can take some time but cooking extra when you’re already in the kitchen is a no-brainer!

Next time you prepare a meal at home that fits your diet, double it so you have some to keep in the fridge or freezer. When you need a meal to take along with you, you’ll have something easy to grab without having to do any extra work.

  • Mixed dishes like soups stews, chili or curries freeze especially well.
  • Steer clear of dishes that contain white potatoes, as these tend to get grainy when frozen.
  • Make sure to date and label your containers so you don’t forget what’s in there.
  1. Pack Plenty of Snacks

If you’re unable to find a meal while out, snacks can help tide you over until you get home or can be combined together into a make-shift meal! Always bring a snack that fits your diet guidelines with you, just in case.

Keep a few pre-prepped snack options in your fridge that you can grab on your way out the door. Even something as simple as cutting a few veggies or portioning nuts into containers ahead of time can help when you’re in a rush.

What’s allowed on your diet may vary but some good portable snack options are:

  • apple or banana with nuts/nut butter
  • sliced veggies
  • boiled eggs
  • yogurt and berries
  • homemade granola bars or snack bites (recipe below)
  1. Know Your Eating Out Options

When you begin your elimination diet, start looking for restaurants in your area that have good options for you.

Check out menus and ingredient information online. Keeping a list of where you can go helps you make a decision quickly when you’re busy (or hangry!) without having to do a bunch of research in the moment.

  • Fast-service restaurants that focus on salads, bowls or smoothies are often great places to go because they allow you to customize items or have or “build your own” options.
  • Grocery stores are another, often overlooked, place to stop where there are a ton of quick, healthy options like salads or sushi.
  1. Ask for What You Need

So, what do you do if there are no obvious menu options that work? It can be scary to request something specific at a restaurant but typically people are happy to customize something for you if you ask nicely.

  • Consider calling ahead of time to ask your questions and make sure they have something that works for you. This can be less daunting than asking in person and gives the staff more time to find the answer for you.
  • Many sit-down restaurants don’t advertise simple items like plain chicken, rice or steamed vegetables but are happy to make these for you if you ask.
  • Restaurants may have completely different menus available with more meal options, especially when it comes to gluten free or dairy free diets. If this applies to you, ask if they have anything like this.

Now that you have 5 tips to get you started, how will you prep for sticking with your diet on-the-go?

Send us your comments with your favourite prep-able meal or snack or download the LyfeMD app for more delicious recipe ideas.

Super Simple Oat Bites

1 cup (250 mL) uncooked oats

¾ cup (188 mL) hemp hearts

1/3 cup (83 mL) maple syrup or honey

¾ cup (188 mL) nut butter

Warm the nut butter and maple syrup/honey together in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally until it begins to bubble. Remove from the heat then add the oats and hemp hearts. Stir to combine.

Chill the mixture for 15 minutes to help it firm up and then roll the mixture into 12-18 balls (depending on how big you’d like them). Place in a single layer on a plate or in a container and chill until firm.

The snack bites will keep in the fridge for up to a week or can be frozen for up to 3 months.