Try these tips from a nutrionist about eating healthily on the go.
I work fairly long, haphazard hours, and am often running around London unsure when I will eat my next meal. I have had to work out a strategy to make sure I can sustain myself on the move. London and other major cities have an incredible variety of vegan possibilities but don’t expect to save money if you buy food out – it’s always more expensive, vegan or otherwise.
And yet carrying food around with me is often difficult, so I want to focus on those days when you don’t have food with you…
If you are doing Veganuary, then I would urge you to try places that really cater to vegans. The Happy Cow, Vegman and VeganXpress apps and websites are very useful for helping you find places that serve and stock the kind of foods you will want to try.
Veganuary provides an eating out guide to help you look up what options you have in food chains, although it is worth asking when you get to the store about new additions. Most chains now offer great breakfast options, such as acai bowls or porridge made with water or soy milk. Pret do a good variety of vegan-friendly breakfasts but do not cater for the gluten-free vegan at all.
In London, Pod (my favourite) does a mean bean and avocado rice dish – just make sure that you ask for it without the dollop of yogurt. Crush do some great salad pots. Any Mexican place such as Benito’s Hat or Chilango will be able to fill a burrito with vegetables, rice, guacamole and beans. If in doubt, ask about the ingredients. I recommend asking about vegan options in the chains where they limited choice, as change will happen if the demand is there.
Here are a few of my easy vegan hacks:
- Greens are very high in protein, particularly peas, spinach and asparagus.
- Sprinkle seeds on everything! I like a blend of chia, hemp, flax, sesame and sunflower seeds.
- Eat quinoa if you need a grain base or have lentils and beans as a proportion of your dish as these are high in protein.
- Roasted vegetables travel well in Tupperware.
- Eat fermented soy such as tempeh or natto with stir fries or scrambled silken tofu.
- Use your food thermos.
- Always pair carbohydrates (e.g. fruit snacks) with protein (e.g. nuts or legumes) or fat (e.g. avocado, vegetable oil) to keep your blood sugar balanced and avoid those energy slumps.
- Marinate and season your vegetables with spices, herbs and gorgeous infused oils to keep your taste buds happy.
From a nutrition perspective, vegan does not always equal healthy. As always, moderation is the key. A lot of people worry too much about not eating enough protein when they should be focusing on increasing their fresh fruit and veg intake (to up to 50% of your plate).
Eat properly in the morning to avoid making poor food choices later. Make sure your breakfast is a mighty feast – I eat milled buckwheat, sprouted oats and seeds. My post-workout smoothie always contains a ton of greens, coconut water, half an avocado or banana and pea, brown rice or hemp protein (Pulsin’ make great ones) so that by the time I get home and when it gets to dinner time, I can eat light.
With thanks to Carolina Brooks for contributing the blog to Pulsin’ – www.anthrobotanica.com
Carolina is a registered nutritionist, naturopath, herbalist & functional medicine practitioner practising in London.
PAGE UPDATED JULY 2020