Ask Amy: I am often on the road during the day and don’t have access to healthy food. I try to do my best at fast food places by eating chicken sandwiches and salads. Do you have any suggestions? – Janice, Nashville, TN.
Amy says: I am not a fan of fast food establishments, even if you are eating salads and chicken. Fast food is heavily processed and filled with preservatives. If you want to be a PCOS Diva and live a POCS lifestyle, it is going to require some planning. There is really no way around it. I often travel with a small cooler of PCOS friendly snacks so I am not desperate and find myself on autopilot to the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru window.
In past posts, I talk about how I am a huge fan of automating breakfast and lunch. I have the same few rotations for breakfast and almost always have leftovers from the night before (or month before – I’ll explain…) for lunch. Here is my secret to eating a PCOS friendly diet on the run… Jelly Jars and a Thermos.
As soon as I have dished out dinner for the family, I make sure that my lunch for the next day is ready to go. I fill a pint sized jelly jar with that evening’s entree. I find it is the perfect portion size to go. This works with all sorts of entrees – soups, stews, stirfries, casseroles, pasta dishes, cold salads, etc. I almost always make a double batch of soup or stew and freeze leftovers in multiple pint sized glass jars. Just make sure to leave a little room at the top for expansion. Slap a simple label with the date and name of what is in the jar and stockpile for days that you need reinforcements. I will even freeze some soup in quart size Ball or Kerr jars for emergency dinners – which means no more last minute pizza delivery. An added benefit of storing food in glass containers means that you don’t have to worry about BPA leaching into your food from disposable plastic.
In the morning I will dump the contents of the jar in a saucepan, heat it up, and if I am on the run, put it into my handy dandy wide mouthed thermos. It will stay hot for hours, and my thermos actually contains a spoon on top, so I don’t have to worry about utensils. If you are pulling from your emergency freezer reserves, simply defrost overnight in the fridge.
My typical breakfast is a smoothie. In 2 minutes, I can blend all the nutrients I need into a delicious smoothie and be on the road. It is even easier now that I have my PCOS Diva smoothie bundle which includes protein powder, greens and fiber powders. On the way out the door, I throw a protein bar in my bag in case I get stuck somewhere and cannot have lunch when I planned. Last second, desperate snacks can be a PCOS diet killer. At least with the bar, I know I am getting real food and nutrients that will fuel my body and make me feel great!
When your body is fueled by real food, rather than chemical-ized fast food and processed food, you will begin to notice that your moods are more stable, you will have more energy, and it will ultimately help to allow you to manage all of your PCOS symptoms better. It may seem like a lot of work to plan ahead, but you are worth it.