It happens to the best of us. No matter how prepared we are most days, stuff sometimes happens that we don’t expect and we’re left scrambling for something to eat, with very little time to eat it.
There are days when I’ve simply gotten immersed in a work project and I don’t want to lose the momentum. I finish feeling productive yet really hungry and short on time.
Some days, an issue arises with one of my kids. Maybe somebody calls me from school, sick and needing to come home. And then there are those mornings I’ve packed my food, only to forget to bring it with me when I rush out the door.
I don’t know about you, but I dislike spending money on take out food for a work day lunch. I also don’t appreciate the extra, unnecessary calories that come along with many of those options.
So today I’m sharing with you two of my favorite “mini meals” that are standard go to’s for when I’m caught without a meal, in a rush, and looking for something high in protein, moderate in calories, low in price, and super fast.
1. Hard boiled eggs and a Greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom
One of my regular stops for all things convenience (and coffee) is Cumberland Farms. They have some good snack options on hand. So does Stewart’s, as a matter of fact.
This particular day I opted for 2 hard boiled eggs with the stick of cheddar cheese. Normally I just buy the eggs, but you know. Cheese.
(Coincidentally, you can also buy a bag of hard boiled eggs at Walmart. If you have a refrigerator to store them in at work, go crazy. )
Along with the eggs, I bought a Greek yogurt with raspberry. When that’s sold out I settle for blueberry.
Whats that? There’s sugar in it? Umm, yes! That’s why I like it. A little sugar never hurt anybody. In fact, it’s one of the healthier ways I know to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Minus the cheese stick, the yogurt and 2 hard boiled eggs have 270 calories total and about 26 grams of protein. Add another 100 calories for the cheese stick.
2. Premier protein bar
Of all the protein bars I’ve found this is one of the best when it comes to the amount of protein you get for the amount of calories. 30 grams of protein and 290 calories. I buy these by the box at Hannaford but they also sell them individually.
I especially like the Chocolate Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Crunch flavors.
They happen to be Gluten free, if you need that sort of thing. For me, it’s not a selling point.
Be sure to read the label because only some of the flavors have the full 30 grams of protein. And that’s the point of eating a protein bar.
Most convenience stores also sell protein bars but I often find them to be more of the candy bar variety. High in calories and sugar yet low on protein. If I’m really desperate, I’ll try my best to select the one that offers the best ration of protein to calories. Or I’ll just buy my hard boiled eggs and yogurt instead.
You’ll notice I talk about protein a lot. A diet high in protein can be optimal because protein helps you to feel full longer, with less total calories consumed. It’s also a primary building block for muscle.
If you consume a diet high in protein you also want to be sure that you’re getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other fiber sources in your diet. In other words, roughage. That will help to keep you regular. And feeling full. And they’re super good for you.
My daily goal is 1 gram of protein per pound of my body weight. I weigh 125 pounds so I shoot for 125 grams of protein a day. Sometimes I get a little more and sometimes I get a little less, but I try to stay in that general range.
If you aren’t sure how to measure your protein intake, I recommend you look at the labels on the food you consume. Almost everything has a label that tells you the amount of calories per serving as well as how many grams of protein per serving.
It can take some practice if you aren’t used to tracking your protein intake, but like most things, it gets easier over time.
If you have any questions or great ideas of your own, please share them here. If you’d like to get more healthy, easy food ideas, be sure to get signed up for our newsletter !
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