If you have food allergies, diabetes, are gluten sensitive or are eating paleo you may need to bring your own food to eat in a way that supports your health. One of my teachers in acupuncture school developed the concept of “cloak food’, food that fits in the pockets of your cloak. It should be small, light weight and substitute for your dietary pitfalls.
For instance if you are prone to joining in for a soda, a packet of Eboost, Wellness Fizz, Emergen-C or Calm can add flavor and fizz to your water, not to mention some awesome herbs, minerals and vitamins.
Nuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds make a good low carb snack for the afternoon blahs. Add some cacao nibs or dried goji fruit for a healthy trail mix that will beat out anything the vending machine has to offer.
Shake packets can store easily in your pocket, purse or desk drawer and a pint sized jar with a lid will substitute for a no-fuss blender. If you make up your own in baggies you can add superfood powders.
More suited to a backpack or briefcase, a few sheets of nori make a gluten-free, mineral rich substitute for a wrap or sliced bread. I carry around a pack in my backpack. Place a few slices of roast beef or spoons of humus in the center and roll it up. (It gets soft if you do it in advance.) If you are not too sensitive, order a sandwich, ditch the bread and put the inside in the nori. No one said only sushi should be wrapped in nori!
If you need a non-dairy milk in your coffee, get an individual sized aseptic pack of coconut milk or whatever you drink. I will carry the ones with a screw cap in my purse for the day or leave the packs with straws in my office refrigerator. They stay fresh a bit longer than dairy milk after opening.
Boiled eggs can survive for a week without refrigeration and you can bring a salt pack from the deli or learn to love the plain flavor. Jerky, especially salmon jerky also provides a protein-rich snack.
Fruit that is not too tender is also easy to carry. If you need fewer carbs, slices of zucchini, celery, fennel, baby carrots or a small endive can fit in a ziplock baggie. The main idea is that you think ahead to protect your dietary needs while having a few dry alternatives if you forget.
Don’t forget your water bottle. I like to make overnight infusions, very strong teas, of nettles or oatstraw. (How to at the link.) 2
In the morning I strain them out and put my day’s dose in my water bottle to sip during the day. Don’t worry, these will hydrate you as well as water and will add a phytonutrient benefit.