Monday, August 12, 2013

{Guest Post} Eating Clean with an Unpredictable Schedule

Happy Monday!

I apologize for being a little MIA this past week - rough one, but we're back on track now :)

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you probably know that I'm a big fan of being gluten-free {mostly}. I feel my best when I'm 90+% gluten and dairy-free, but that's me and I realize that may not be everyone. I also realize that we're all busy in varying degrees with various things and eating clean sometimes falls to the bottom of our priority list. I believe that you can do anything with determination, discipline and preparation. I can't help in the determination and discipline department, but I'll do my best to help with preparation!

I've asked Elle from The Clean Project to share her tips on eating clean despite a crazy schedule.

Hi, Hello Stripes readers! I’m Elle from The Clean Project and I’m excited to be sharing with y’all today. Big thanks to Niki for having me!

I originally shared this on my page and Niki asked me to share it with y’all too. I work a little bit of a crazy, unpredictable schedule and don’t get home until 1am, so sometimes its really hard to keep eating clean. These are the things I use to stay on track even when I have to eat out of a lunchbox all the time. Of course, these tips also work if you’re just really busy in general or always on the go.

Embrace leftovers

We usually make one or two things on the weekend and divide them into individual serving containers so that there’s always a filling “main dish” to grab and go.

Some of my favorites:


Bean burritos

Mini hamburgers or Crockpot cheeseburgers

Mini meatloaves + mashed potatoes

Crockpot lasagna (I use this recipe, but substitute part-skim ricotta for cottage cheese and use whole
wheat lasagna noodles)

Make and Pack Snacks/Mini-meals

I don’t have a formal lunch break, so sometimes its eat what you can, when you can. I usually pack a handful of mini meals, supplemented by snacks. This also keeps me full throughout the day.

Some of my favorites:

Pretzels or crackers + goat cheese
Baby carrots or sliced bell peppers
Homemade pita chips + garlic hummus
Larabars (LOVE the peanut butter cookie flavor)
Apples + peanut butter
Quesadilla triangles + salsa
Half sandwiches (Niki: When I was a server, I would pack a half of an almond butter and banana or honey sandwich, EVERY day)
String cheese
Tuna packets (I happen to like it straight-up with a little salt)
Hard boiled eggs (Throw these in a bag with a little salt and pepper then smush them up when you’re ready to eat and just eat them straight out of the bag)
Quest Bars (Niki)

Have backups on hand!

Somedays you’ll just have to rush out the door or you may end up being at work longer than you thought. Or maybe you didn’t bring enough food like I’m always guilty of. I like to have a few things on hand for when that happens, like Larabars and other shelf-stable items. Keep a few things at your desk, in your locker or your car, so that you’ll always be prepared. If you have access to a fridge, you can get really crazy with it! I also like to keep a plastic cup and some cold brew tea at work so that I always have a good option when I need a caffeine fix.

Cook when you’re already cooking

I usually pack my food for the day while I make my breakfast or lunch before work. That way I don’t leave it until the last minute and run out of time. Which I’ve been known to do sometimes often. This also means I don’t have to spend a lot of extra time prepping.

Hope these tips keep you eating healthy even when you’re busy!


I'm making some changes to the blog so, you may see some short posts in the upcoming weeks. I'm making it a lot easier to navigate, find recipes and other info by using this cute little thumbnails. I plan on pulling some recipes out of previous posts and putting them here, so you may see some recipes you've seen before - they'll just be easier to find!

Are there any snacks/meals (or blog changes, for that matter!) that you'd add to this list? I love to hear what you guys do!


I love hearing from you, so thanks for taking the time to comment. Writing is fun...but hearing from you is better! Feel free to email me anytime through the email button at the top of the page. Thank you so much for reading!