Video: Creating healthy, balanced meals anywhere

From conference lunches to food truck festivals, it’s possible to have fun AND be fit. Don’t be afraid to customize what you order to fit your dietary goals.

When you are attending an event that serves food – whether that’s a festival, a conference, or simply a gathering at a new restaurant – it can be hard to figure out how to continue your existing mealtime habits.

While it is a perfectly valid choice to go outside of the norm and indulge in some food you wouldn’t normally eat, sometimes we are attending events so frequently that it would be hard to maintain a habit if we kept making exceptions every single time we were out.

I’m on the road for the majority of September and the first half of October, and I know that I personally feel better if I can keep the types of food I am eating as consistent as possible. I’ve talked in previous videos about planning ahead with healthy snacks, but if I’m at an all-day event or need to eat real meals, I have a few techniques for sticking to my meal plans in nearly any situation:

Though there are very real concerns (such as allergies and food sensitivities) that may limit what you can consume in public settings, often times when it comes to accommodating food preferences it just takes a little bit of creativity.

The biggest takeaway here: don’t be afraid to customize! Because I limit my intake of grains and starchy carbs, I often ask for sandwiches or wraps served without the bread (I like to jokingly call it “a pile of meat and vegetables”). Don’t feel bad or embarrassed about asking for what you want! It is better to feel good about what you’re eating than it is to make exceptions simply for the sake of fitting in.

As more and more dietary preferences become mainstream, more and more food vendors and event planers will take these things into account in their menus. Many conferences will ask in advance if you have dietary needs (such as vegetarian, vegan, kosher, or gluten free), and lunches served buffet-style are becoming more common to allow for flexible eating without needed to commit to specific types of meals in advance.

In what ways do you like to customize your meals? Any other tips to share?

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