Last week, I looked at some basic ways to eat healthy and green at the same time. This week, I’ll share some more specific ideas for meals and snacks thoughout the day.
On any given day, you can make the decision to eat healthy for your body and the environment. These are just a few ideas:
Don’t go to a fast food restaurant. It is a fast fix, but it’s not a good way to start the day. Most of the time, the food you get from a fast food joint isn’t good for you. On top of that, you are creating lots of trash — everything is wrapped in paper or plastic, right down to the straws and forks.
Instead of hitting up the drive thru at McDonald’s, schedule a little extra time in the morning grab breakfast at home. Some great options include cereal with pieces of fresh fruit in it or scrambled eggs with toast, fruit and juice.
If you go for juice, check to make sure it’s 100-percent fruit juice and not something fruit flavored with only a little bit of actual juice.
Green Tip: If you want muffins for breakfast, instead of buying prepackaged muffins that come in plastic packaging and probably have preservatives in them, make your own muffins.
You can help the environment by investing in reusable silicon muffin cups. Then you can use the cups as often as you would like and you don’t have to throw away paper ones every time you eat a muffin.
If you are in a rush in the mornings, you can make the muffins the night before and reheat them in the morning for a quick breakfast. You can even make a big batch, store them in the freezer and then pop one in the microwave before you leave in the morning.
When eating snacks, they shouldn’t be more than about 100 calories. Don’t worry — there are plenty of low-calorie snack options out there. If you happen to eat a snack with more than 100 calories, don’t stress out — it’s just a rule of thumb. One good snack option is popcorn, especially if it’s air-popped in a home popcorn machine so there are no paper bags to throw away when you’re done. There are fewer calories per serving than in regular microwave popcorn, too.
Green Tip: Instead of buying snacks that are individually wrapped, buy things in bulk and prepare your own smaller snacks.
When you buy food in bulk, there’s a much higher food-to-packaging ratio, making your purchase better for the environment because there’s less waste going into the garbage can.
For example, instead of buying peanut butter crackers that are pre-packaged into packs of four or six, buy a big box of crackers and make your own peanut butter crackers, which you can take with you in reusable zipper sandwich bags.
If you do buy in bulk and make snacks, remember to maintain portion control. Remember to count your calories and decide how much you are going to eat, make only that much and then put the rest away.
When you are in a rush in the morning, it’s hard enough to remember your breakfast and keys. Sometimes, the last thing you want to do is pack a lunch, too. That is why a lot of people grab fast food for lunch — it’s quick and easy. But it’s also not good for you. It’s best to avoid fast food for lunch, just like you shouldn’t eat it for breakfast. Even fast food salads are often surprisingly full on calories and empty on the kinds of veggies that actually count.