We are all guilty of running in to a well-loved fast food restaurant in between meetings claiming we didn’t have time for anything else. However, we have all also suffered the lethargic aftermath of doing so. What then, is the convenient and healthy alternative that we can all abide by? London Offices’ very own nutritionist Alex Williamson shares his methods for staying healthy whilst on the go.
What is your favourite quick fix meal to take with you when you’re out and about?
An apple and a handful of nuts are the perfect snack and easy to transport/eat on the go. I would rather a full meal sat down however when you’re out and about you have to think of practicality!
Do you have a staple ingredient for healthy meals on the go?
I wouldn’t say there is a staple ingredient, I like to mix things up to save it getting too boring and also giving me the opportunity to try new places. I will always have in my bag a couple of protein bars, fruit, nuts and beef jerky as snacks.
Do you find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet when you’re on the go?
Actually, I find it much easier than when I’m sat in the office. I tend to find that when you are on the move your cravings are a lot less than when sat in the office. There are so many healthy fast food places all over London with really tasty meals it’s hard to find an excuse not to eat healthy.
What do you drink mostly to accompany your healthy meals?
A lot of my days tend to start very early, I will usually fit in the gym ahead of my working day therefore a couple of coffees are always involved. The only other drink I have is water.
How regularly/many meals do you eat on a busy day in London? Is it more or less than usual?
It will depend who I am meeting throughout the day. In the ideal world I would eat 5-6 small meals throughout the whole day however I appreciate this is not always possible. As a minimum I will look to have a good breakfast before setting out, a lunch sat down and an evening meal sat down once I am at home. Between these meals I would ideally look to snack 2-3 times on the go.
What have you found are the best healthy snacks to eat in a hurry?
If I am taking snacks with me from home it will be an apple and nuts. They require no preparation and can be eaten on the move for a good balance of nutrients; my preference is almonds.
If I’m out and eating at a restaurant, salmon sashimi from Itsu is a favourite of mine or if I am having a morning snack it’ll be Itsu’s twist on Eggs Benedict (in a pot).
Are there any healthy eating restaurants/cafes you like to visit when in London?
Itsu and Leon are probably the two most popular however it is very easy to get no change back from a £10 note. A more cost effective option is a packet of ready cooked chicken and a pot of salad from the likes of a Tesco Express which exist on almost every other street in London; this is a good light meal for a couple of pounds. The only macro nutrient missing is fat therefore make sure you add some healthy fats to another meal i.e. nuts.
What types of foods are best to keep up energy levels on a busy day?
A good breakfast of complex carbs and protein will be the key foundation. The complex carbs will slowly release energy over the coming hours and protein aid in keeping you feeling full. Oats with a scoop of protein powder is my preferred choice.
What can the effects of skipping meals be when you’re constantly on the go?
Missing a meal isn’t the end of world and circumstances may not you allow you to eat as often as you would like; staying hydrated is a higher priority. If I miss a meal I tend to make my next meals slightly larger to make up for the missing nutrients. You may find from missing a meal your cravings are higher than usual, resist the urge and get back on track as soon as possible.
Do you think productivity is increased when you eat healthily compared to when eating unhealthy meals?
100%. Energy levels and brain focus are much more noticeable when eating healthily and there are numerous studies to back this up. We have all been there when you are slumped in your chair struggling to focus after the Friday takeaway in the office!
You must treat yourself occasionally when out, what would your cheat meal be?
I love a steak; I will usually order this if on a sit down business lunch. If I am on the move between meetings I am a big fan of a burrito. Both of these still have the foundations of a balanced meal however not quite as “clean” as the usual. I often find I walk 5-10 miles a day when on the move in London so a little peppercorn sauce isn’t going to hurt!
Good for productivity, energy levels and the waistband! That quick burger or that chocolate bar which has previously screamed at you from the shop doorway doesn’t sound as appealing now, right? We’re sure you’ll be filling your bag with plenty of nuts and protein bars in no time.