(BPT) - Life is busy and it can be challenging to make sure you — and your family — are getting the nutrition you need to stay energized and nourished all day long. Fortunately, registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S. Quest partner, RDN, former lead dietitian at Cleveland Clinic and founder and president of KAK Consulting, LLC., shares her tried-and-true tips to help prioritize nutrition, no matter how busy life gets.
“I’m always on the go — whether flying to a conference, heading to the gym, picking my kids up at school or running errands around town,” says Kirkpatrick. “To keep my energy up, my food must be easy to take on the go, but most importantly, must also contribute to better health.”
Kirkpatrick shares her recommendations for keeping nutritious snacks on hand when out and about, based on her own experience as both a mother and busy professional.
1. Best on-the-road snacks
Kirkpatrick preps a “car grab bag” that’s always ready to grab and go. “My car grab bag has to satisfy both me and my kids as they’re often clamoring for a snack the second they get in the car.”
She recommends stocking your car grab bag with kid-friendly and appealing snacks like whole grain pretzels, cheese sticks and apple slices.
2. Travel snacks for any trip
Whether you’re flying or just running around town to meetings, it’s easy to feel drained of energy. Grabbing a snack that’s delicious, easy to carry around and energy-boosting — without jeopardizing your wellness goals — is a must.
“I turn to an old favorite with a new formulation that’s better, softer and yummieeeer than when they first blasted into the market: Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars. I’ve been traveling with these bars for over ten years, and they never disappoint,” says Kirkpatrick. “Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars are a good source of protein, with 4 net carbs and 1 gram of sugar, providing a steady source of energy throughout the day.”
Need a smaller version to tuck in your purse or travel bag? The mini versions provide the perfect quick pick-me-up in between outings.
3. Post-workout recharge
After a workout, it’s essential to refuel your body with the right foods.
“I love grabbing low-fat Greek yogurt with blueberries to help build muscle and replenish energy levels,” says Kirkpatrick. “Whey protein helps with muscle mass, and blueberries allow me to achieve one of the six colors I aim to consume in my diet daily.”
4. Quick snacks any time you need them
Kirkpatrick recommends keeping nutritious snacks in your everyday bag to help keep you energized and feeling good throughout your busy day.
“When leaving the house, I never know if I’ll be gone two hours or ten, so I need snacks that can keep me going for either,” Kirkpatrick explains. “A bag of homemade trail mix is my go-to, with mixed nuts and goji berries. Since trail mix can often be high in sugar, I love to throw in some Quest mini Peanut Butter Cups as an alternative sweet treat that supports my nutritional goals. I also keep a baggie of carrot sticks handy as both are great options to grab right out of my purse!”
Regardless of what your busy schedule looks like, stay energized and satisfied by planning ahead with these easy snack options.