Eating Structurally in an Unstructured Lifestyle

What do you do when your nutritional willpower doesn’t coincide with the demands of your chosen profession?

Proverbs 19:20, “Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.”

eating in the carSome of the toughest eating challenges I encountered was when I was employed in the public relations field. There were times when I’d sit down for lunch and an unexpected phone call or guest took precedence. Or I was driving to meetings and ran into traffic delays.  I was leading an unstructured work schedule. No normal 9-5 lifestyle! I enjoyed the diversity but it was tough to remain healthy, eat right and stay disciplined.  Sometimes circumstances intruded and I found myself wolfing down a fast food burger on the run or became susceptible to tempting foods such as donuts or cookies in an office lobby.

I’m not discussing a willfully, undisciplined life.  I’m speaking of employees whose jobs are modified each day. Those which might have you eating on the run if you’re lucky – skipping meals if  you’re not!  Major examples of these positions are; Realtors, police officers, firemen, medical doctors, nurses, repairmen or delivery positions which might find one running behind schedule due to an emergency or traffic. In other words I’m speaking of any position which doesn’t run on a typical time clock.  Any emergency, phone call or unexpected surprise means disruption in routine.

Do you catch yourself skipping meals for the sake of the business?  Don’t!  No one is indispensable – don’t allow a job to destroy your health!  Eating in the car? Just too dangerous!  Grabbing a candy bar to get you through?  Empty calories = cranky employee.  All of these  situations are normal and could happen. So what do you do if that’s typically your way of life?  You can’t quit your job, that’s not an option in this economy.

The secret to overcoming the challenge of an unstructured eating lifestyle is to anticipate that it could happen. Be prepared: Always carry a small snack for unexpected interruptions, such as:

  • a thermos for hot soups or cold drinks
  • a small cooler which can be filled with ice and used in emergencies
  • a box of raisins or dried fruit for quick energy
  • homemade trail mix
  • peanut butter in a small container to spread on whole wheat crackers or celery sticks
  • a bag of pretzels
  • good quality protein bar
  • walnuts or low-sodium nuts
  • pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • an apple, banana, berries or other fresh fruit
  • If you’re near a fridge, stock it with grapes, carrot sticks, Laughing Cow cheese or an extra yogurt you can grab on the run.

Develop your own ideas!  You’re not powerless simply due to circumstances!  Check out the many wonderful WordPress food blogs with great snack and lunch recipe suggestions. I urge those who would like to add a link to do so.  Don’t become a victim, overpower challenging obstacles!

Proverbs 8:14, “Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power”

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6 thoughts on “Eating Structurally in an Unstructured Lifestyle

  1. I love your ideas 😀 My husband has an unpredictable schedule so, I always send him healthy foods he has something he can eat quick or on the go. 😀

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  2. Love this post! It is very true…I always have to have a healthy snack with me, esp. when I have super busy days otherwise I just don’t think to stop and eat! Thanks for your wonderful ideas, as always, Ellie!

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    • Thanks, what a lovely compliment! When I worked in public relations, once my weight got down to 101 lbs because in that field one works 50+ hours a week – that’s why today I harp on “thin isn’t always healthy” and “Eat for nutrients!”

      Both Cindy (above) and Samantha have great “on the run” snack and lunch ideas! Please click on their names to get to their site and pick up some great tips! (These amazing women both work with food more than I do)

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    • Good question Future,

      Since I’m not a great fan of protein bars to begin with- they usually taste like candy, dirt or are so expensive you must mortgage your home to afford them, I’m just a tiny bit prejudiced.

      However, they are convenient to many and I can give you guidelines when you purchase them: Look for those that have at least 15 grams of protein, no hidden chemical fillers, or high amounts of sugar (4 grams= a teaspoon) like high fructose corn syrup or sucrose. (So that let’s out anything bought at Walmart most likely) My suggestion is to search health food stores and read labels. Find some perhaps that contain natural peanut butter and dark chocolate (I can’t remember the names) and of course eat moderately in emergencies.

      I usually bring my own banana bread, peanut butter on graham crackers or a hard boiled egg in place of one. If anyone has a suggestion for my friend please add it anytime! Thanks for asking and I hope this helped you a little.

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