Grab 'n Go 09/17/2010
Being a working mom, meals are questionable at best during the work/school week.  It's one thing to pack my son's lunch, (let's face it, my husband or sitter can do that too) but another for me to get my own food together!  Most days I'm eating breakfast on the train or in my car, lunch is either a meeting or at my desk while I type (ok - occasionally I meet friends too...) and dinner is back on the train or late at night once I get home.  It's a hard way to balance meals, watch your weight (and feel slightly human!)

Since healthy food has long been so essential to me, well-before I even knew what a vegan was, I have tried to find great, quick, grab-and-go items that pack a good punch, keep my blood sugar level, and avoid too much guilt.

I've been seeing a nutritionist for some time, and she reminded me how essential it is to have some form of protein at every meal to promote lean muscle mass.  Here's how I try to fit it all in without a bag of baked lays becoming the meal of choice ~

Breakfast may be the easiest on the run (though in restaurants it's usually a nightmare...) I grab a large decaf coffee (I'm not a fan of caffeine except in green tea) with soy milk (protein) and a bar of some kind - Raw Revolution organic live food bars are my new favorites, but the Kind Bars at Starbucks (the ones without added sugars) are also tasty and I love the crunch...raw nuts or seeds and a banana are the best.  If you're fine with gluten, grab a whole wheat or pumpernickel bagel and add some NYC there are great varieties in many of the bagel stores like sun-dried tomato and scallion or veggie.

For lunch I often have salad with avocado, beans (protein) and lots of fresh veggies with a little olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar.  When I don't have the time, I pack small baggies of baby carrots and sliced cucumber and celery with hummus (there's your protein ~ and there are so many great varieties you won't get bored.)  Add a crisp apple for something sweet.  I love dried fruit, it's easy to store and lasts a long time, but the calories add up and the sugar content is far higher than the real, fresh deal so if you choose to eat it and you're weight conscious, keep it to a minimum.

For a quick dinner to sustain you for a little while you're driving home, grab a vegetable/fruit juice, or if it's not your thing, pack some rice cakes and some nut butter (peanut, almond cashew...they even make sunflower butter and they all have some protein).  If you're on the run or, even better, at a table, vegetable sushi (cucumber and avocado or oshinko or mushroom) and seaweed salads are also great because not only are they healthy and filling, they're pre-packed in containers and don't need to be refrigerated if you're eating soon.  Some sushi places have inari - a sweet bean curd, sometimes wrapped around rice.  It's another great way to sneak in that extra protein at the end of the day.  Soups are perfect, like a hearty vegetable and bean chili, minestrone or pasta fagioli.  There are also some soy "chicken" patties that I highly recommend (but pack a little ketchup or mustard to go with them.)

If you have other tips I'd love to hear them!

Veg and the City