Archive for the 'Eating Healthy on The Go' Category

The Take Out Queen

I do really love cooking, I do.  But after a full day of being on the go for work, and enjoying my personal life, I don’t always FEEL like cooking.  We’re a busy couple, always on the go, and sometimes, more often than it should happen, we’re ordering take-out because it’s easier.
Eating on the go isn’t always eating while going somewhere.  We’re always on the go, and ordering in while we’re still working around the house or still doing work from the day. We’re pretty partial to ordering pizza, Chinese food or Swiss Chalet.  Yeah.  Welcome to Calorie-City, population, your thighs and rump.
Not only are we packing in the calories ordering in food like this, we’re also wreaking havic on our minds between the overload of carbs and msg.  These 2 things combined slow down thought processes and make our bodies weak.  Not to mention the cost of ordering take out.
Our plan for the future is to start meal planning.  Sitting down on Sunday, going through the freezer and pantry and taking time to meal plan, writing out for each day what we’re going to be eating each night, and defrosting what needs to be defrosted the morning of in preparation.
Of course, there are going to be the nights where we will treat ourselves, but we plan on keeping that to twice a month, concentrating on eating healthy while we’re still on the go, even while we’re at home.
What have you done to ensure that you’re eating healthy while on the go?

Happy & healthy eating!

*Editor’s Note: After months of writing this blog about Heatlhy Eating on the Go, this will be Leslie’s last post.  She is busy exploring many other exciting opportunities and we wish her the best.  Best Tools for Schools thanks her for all of her contributions and participation, and for shedding light on how to try to be concious about our meal choices when eating out.  Good luck Leslie!

Soups and Sodium

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to the crisp fall-almost-winter weather.  I bundle up and we eat soup about 3 times a week for dinner with a side of some sort.  I love soup, and I make my own homemade soups (thanks to my sister-in-law that taught me how!) at home to take with me to work.

Why do I make my own soups?  Because I can control what goes in them whereas I can’t when I’m buying soup at a restaurant or on the run somewhere. 

Most restaurants have a “Soup du Jour” and in most cases a French Onion Soup (which is absolutely delicious).  However, those soups are made at suppliers, and in a huge quantity to be frozen and shipped to their stores.  (Unless you eat at a small diner that makes their own all the time)  These soups contain preservatives, and “fresh at the time” ingredients, followed by the ever so popular flavorable sodium.

A bowl of soup at your favourite restaurant?  Smaller calories, sure, if it’s a broth based soup.  But sodium wise?  That one bowl of soup could contain upwards of 800 grams of sodium, depending on the type of soup, its base and its ingredients.  That’s about your daily intake.

Ever wonder why you felt bloated after leaving the restaurant after just having soup and a piece of bread? 

Do yourself a favor.  If you’re craving a bowl of soup, use my simple at home recipe and take it on the go with you instead!

Leslie’s Soup du Jour

1 carton reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 can of PC diced tomatoes (I use Blue Menu, no salt added)

½ can of PC tomato paste

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup shredded cabbage

½ cup black beans (fibre!!!)

½ cup diced onion

1 cup diced celery

Mixed all ingredients together, and add a dash of Italian seasoning while it simmers.  Let the soup simmer for 20  minutes.  Portion out for lunches all week long.  Now that’s smart soup on the go!


Fast Food Salads (Be Afraid!)


I don’t like to pick on fast food joints, because I too enjoy a Big Mac once in awhile.  But salads at McDonalds really irk me. 

No salad should have more sodium and only 100 calories less than a Big Mac.  But the Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken does.  Seriously.  I have preached before about checking the nutritional guides to familiarize yourself with what you and your kids are consuming anywhere you go.  But wow.  In Banff, I was so tired of eating on the run food, that I wanted a salad.  Only place open?  McDonalds.  I quickly scanned the nutritional guide (hiding in its usual spot where you back is always to it while you’re ordering) and decided that if I was going to eat any kind of salad, it wasn’t going to be a healthy one here.  So I surrendered to a Happy Meal.  Was I happy?  Not especially.

Fast food places will always serve “salads” as their “healthy” option, but don’t be fooled.  You may as well have a Big Mac!

Talking about healthy eating

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Backpacks are flying.  There’s that crisp fall feeling in the air.

Back to school.

Healthy lunches can prove to be a difficult task with pizza days, hamburger days, cafeteria food, and even though you parents have eyes in the back of your heads, as much as you tell your kids “Milk and a sandwich only!”  some will rebel and end up with French Fries on their plate.

How can you stop this from happening?  Talking to your kids is important in all aspects of their school lives, and this includes talking about their healthy meal choices.  Talking about the differences in their food choices can be helpful for their sponge-like minds while they are absorbing everything else at school.

Give them options to choose from to learn about what they are consuming.  Milk or juice?  Fries or rice?  Veggies or creamy pasta salad?  Cookies or yogurt with granola?  These are all obvious choices to parents and guardians, and even teachers, but to your child, they see juice, friends, pasta salad and cookies as the best lunch out there!

Remember, a healthy lunch, means your little ones are getting the proper nutrition to learn everything from how to print their names to E=MC2!

Happy & healthy eating!


Recovering from Vacation Eating

I recently took a vacation with my man out to Calgary.  Which always proves to be difficult when planning meals.  While we stayed with family and just bought groceries with them, we took off for a couple of days to Banff/Lake Louise/Columbia Icefields.  If you’ve ever driven from Banff to the Columbia Icefields, you know that there is a total of ONE store with food the entire way there.  And it’s a fast food/extremely expensive gift shop-but-we-sell-big-salted-pretzels-and-hot-dogs kind of store.

When a slice of pizza costs more than an entree at the restaurant, you just don’t know what to get.  So we survived on the worst junk food for the entire day – chips, protein bars, and water & juices (which all cost about 3 times as much as any normal store).  Upon getting to the Columbia Icefields, we basically sprinted to their cafeteria to buy a sandwich, which really wasn’t any better than the bag of chips with the processed deli meat and thick butter spread on it (yuck!!!!)  To my amazement, they had a container of fresh fruit!  So plop that on our tray I did!  Then after paying for the once again expensive food, we realized that our container of fruit cost $7.50!!  This travelling on the go with minimal stores was not smart on our part.  $40 in just pure junk.

For the remainder of the week, we stuck to packing our lunch in the car, which sometimes, is just the smartest and healthiest way to eating on the go.  I’d much rather have spent that $40 on some grocery store “Meals to Go” chicken and salads and taken it with us, but we didn’t know what we were in for.  Lesson learned.  Be prepared and do your research before leaving on a trip!

Now, back to healthy eating for this gal.  I’m sure that my bathroom scale is very angry with me!

That’s a (lettuce) Wrap!

So Ry bought me tickets for Michael Buble on Saturday night – amazing show.  He was funny, and sexy, and sang amazing songs, and I swooned, and…oh right, I talk about food.  Ahem.
Ryan decided that he was going to treat us to dinner out before the concert, and while I work in a restaurant, I don’t get as excited as some people do about dining out, especially when I don’t know the menu with having a dairy intolerance.  We ended up at Jack Astor’s in Kanata where we’ve eaten before, so I wasn’t too nervous because we always have great service there.
They had a special summertime promotional menu out, and the first item caught my eye right away.  “Schzewan Lettuce Wraps”  Yummy sounding right?  Ordered those up right away!
Well they came out along with a manager, and he asked me “Do you know how to eat these?”  See picture below.

I said “Um, like a fajita?”   And he laughed and said yes.  Okay, phew.
Normally when I get fajitas or wraps, I try and make sure I’m getting a whole wheat wrap or a spinach wrap, but never did I think of using iceberg lettuce as a wrap.  But, wow, the crunch of the fresh iceberg was fabulous without the added sodium and calories you get from a regular wrap!  I asked for half the sauce cutting back on the calories there, and the chicken inside was delicious along with the asian noodles. 
Guaranteed your kids will enjoy making wraps out of lettuce, because as I looked around, there were 2 tables with tweens enjoying the same meal as I was!
Lettuce Wraps for the win Jack Astors!
Then I went to see my other boyfriend Michael Buble.  But then again, I talk about food right?

Everything in moderation

Burp.  ‘Scuse me.
Oh boy.  Did I ever stuff my face this weekend.
I swear whatever was in front of my face, I ate.
Bad Leslie.
I just had one of those weekends where what I wanted to eat junk food, so I gave in.  Every craving.
I had French Fries with gravy and a pogo.
I had A&W.
We went out for dinner for a 40th Wedding Anniversary…at least I had Chicken skewers and rice with veggies…but still.
Then a big dessert (okay, 2 desserts)

Bad Leslie indeed.
I try and practice what I preach when it comes to eating healthy on the go, but it was a slip of the self-control.  And it happens.  As much as you want to eat healthy and teach your kids to eat healthy, it doesn’t always happen.   Don’t beat yourself up over it, just make sure you all do a family walk or play outside for an extra 30 minutes.  Me?  I danced with 5 kids non-stop to Top 40 music at the anniversary party and realized why I was so thin in college – dancing is so much fun and really a fabulous work out…especially when you’re in 3 inch stilettos.  Hello toned calves!
Just practice more self control than I did.  Everything in moderation right?

Happy and healthy eating!

Follow @leslielscott on Twitter and visit her personal blog entitled “The Life of Leslie” for adventures of a 20-something woman aspiring to be something amazing

Drive Thrus vs Dining In


McDonald's VIP Drive-Thru Pass by pr1001.

Image credit: Flickr

Have you ever been driving in your car, with the kids in tow, one screaming, one crying, and one is whining for something to eat, and you’d rather chew off your own arm than take them into a restaurant.

I’ll pause while you’re reminiscing………………………..done?  Painful wasn’t it?

It’s tempting to go through the drive-thru when you’re having a rough time with your kids on a day out and about.  But if you’re going to hit up the drive-thru, take with you some key points when ordering.

Tips for a “Healthier” Drive-Thru

1)      Just say no to pop.  You’ll save yourself and the kids about 150 empty calories, and a mouthful of cavities from the sugar.  Opt for milk, juice or water instead.

2)      Choose grilled chicken over battered.  Crispy just means fried, and fried just means cooked in oil, and that equals fat.

3)      Switch up the salad dressing.  Try getting a balsamic or vinaigrette instead of creamy dressing which pack calories and cream.

4)      NEVER supersize it.  Do your kids need a Biggie Fry or a Supersized drink?

5)      Avoid cheese – it’s processed, and one slice is about 50 calories.

6)      Avoid mayonnaise.  It’s just 40 extra calories and about 5g of fat in 1tbsp

7)      Order off the kids menu for ALL of you.  A little hamburger with ketchup, a kids’ fry and a small drink is plenty for each of you.

8)      Add extra veggies to your order – having a hamburger?  Add extra pickles, lettuce and tomato for a more satisfying meal.

9)      Skip the dessert.  (Painful I know…) but do each of the kids NEED a McFlurry or an Apple Pie?

10)  Don’t be afraid to ask.  If you want something different than what’s on the burger or the sandwich, ask.  The worst they can say is no.

Happy & healthy eating!


Follow @leslielscott on Twitter and visit her personal blog entitled “The Life of Leslie” for adventures of a 20-something woman aspiring to be something amazing

Gluten Free

Parents that have children with Celiac disease or Gluten intolerances, or just simply want their family to have a Gluten free world, know how hard it can be to dine out at your favorite restaurants. 

Allergies and intolerances are unfortunately on the rise, and one of the top concerns is gluten.

Having a gluten-free diet (free from all foods that contain gluten, such as wheat, barley, spelt, rye….) is hard.  I’ve tried doing it myself at home for simple health benefits, but wow.  Hats off to the moms that HAVE to do it.

Have your pizza and eat it too!

As the Community Relations Coordinator for Boston Pizza Orleans, one of our exciting annual events is our new menu launch.  It happens every year in June, and we are given about 10-15 new items to put on our menu.

This year, I was so happy to see that Boston Pizza International was going to cater to those with Celiac and gluten intolerances, and they came up with gluten free pizza dough!

Now, while you are only able to get a GF pizza in the individual size, it’s still more than enough for one person, and if you have 2 kids – to share an indy will fill their tummies no problem. 

It’s such a positive step in the right direction to cater to those who love pizza, but haven’t been able to enjoy our restaurant in the past because of the intolerance.

Here’s a small trick though – when you’re ordering, please tell our staff that you have a gluten intolerance so that we go above and beyond to ensure that your pizza is all that we promise it to be and more.

Feel like trying it out just because?  It’s actually a very sweet and delicious dough.  I’ve opted for the change myself on my pizzas (but I have it minus the cheese…sooo hard, I loooooooove cheese!)

Happy & healthy eating!

*Editor’s Note: Finding Gluten Free menu options at restaurants sounds like something new and different – do you know of any others that are taking this step like Boston Pizza? We’d love to know!


Follow @leslielscott on Twitter and visit her personal blog entitled “The Life of Leslie” for adventures of a 20-something woman aspiring to be something amazing

Starbucks, you lose


Starbucks Coffee by rudolf_schuba.

Image credit: Flickr

Like most late-20-something’s I have an iPod Touch.  (okay, most have an iPhone, but I’m working my way up slowly…)

I recently was on a downloading application frenzy, and came across the Starbucks app.  As a lover of a lactose or soy hot chocolate, with a little treat once a week or so, I was interested to check out the nutritional value of my food.

Serious, serious calories.

I know that I talk about sharing treats, huge entrees, and treating your kiddos once in awhile, but this really surprised me.

Here are a few of Starbucks treats, and their nutritional content for you to have a glance over.  I encourage you to pick your jaw up off the floor after you’ve read this!

Blueberry Oat Bar

390 Calories – 15 grams of fat

Ginger Molasses Cookie

440 Calories – 17grams of fat

Pomegranate Bran Muffin

350 Calories – 17 grams of fat & 49 grams of carbs (wowza)

Soy Hot Chocolate (Grande)

330 Calories (insert my tears here) 14 grams of fat

Tazo Chai Tea Latte (Grande)

240 Calories – 4 grams of fat (not bad!)

Luckily for you Starbucks simple coffee drinkers, your regular coffees before any additions or cream/milk are only around 5-10 calories, with no more than 1 gram of fat.

However, their Kid’s sized Hot Chocolate is 210 Calories with 10 grams of fat.

All things in moderation, right?  If you’re going to take your kids to Starbucks, just remember that smaller portion sizes are best for little ones…and yourself too!

Starbucks Oatmeal I was quite content with – only 120 calories, with 2 grams of fat.  I’ve eaten this plenty of times, and it’s quite delicious.  I bring my own fruit or nuts to add in, but you can get them at Starbucks and they’re not that bad – lots of protein and essential fats from the nuts!

Happy & healthy eating!


Follow @leslielscott on Twitter and visit her personal blog entitled “The Life of Leslie” for adventures of a 20-something woman aspiring to be something amazing

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