So December craziness has hit and it's time to be running around like tired crazy people trying to keep themselves from drowning in the last few days of 2016 and stay sane! 

Lets talk about X-mas shopping and going to the shopping malls. I was shopping with Ash last week and I thought it might be helpful to post a little guide on the better food choices in a shopping centre. 

Of course bringing your own food would always beat anything, but who's really going to pack the esky and cooler packs ready to hit the shops after weighing out each meal and calculating all of the macros in each meal, putting them all in BPA free containers, to be eaten at regular 3hr intervals in your shopping day. Pfffft not me!

We're all about being REAL and REALISTIC at H.A.I.L Fitness and I always go by the rule of, if I wouldn't do it, I won't expect my clients to either, yes that means all of the exercises I give you to complete, I have done at one time or another. :) 

So lets get to the better choices to make when out shopping all day. Of course eat a really good breakfast in the morning before you go like eggs on sourdough with avocado and a squeeze of lemon. Really that doesn't take long to whip up, 10mins maximum. If you are a protein type (our clients get quizzed on body type to know how to eat for their body) then lower the sourdough to one slice with 2 eggs or no bread at all depending on how you will eat for the rest of the day. Mixed types will benefit from lowering the avocado amount so that you don't feel too heavy, and Carb types eat the 2 slices of sourdough and minimal avocado and one egg as they require a lower amount of protein. 

BETTER FOOD CHOICES IN A FOOD COURT

Sumo Salad has some great fresh salads on offer with minimal dressing, opt for the protein and green ones, i think i tried the avocado and feta chicken. It actually had a decent amount of chicken in it, which will keep those protein levels to where they need to be and the added avocado and feta will give you a great serve of healthy fats to support the shopping energy needed! 

SUSHI ??!! - Watch out for sushi!! You might think you're eating a healthy lunch but if you're enjoying the rice pieces of sushi, like a salmon taster for example you are probably consuming over or all of your daily carb intake in ONE sitting. (depending on your body type of course, which you all know) If you're having sushi eat the sashimi and seaweed salad options instead.

Guzman and Gomez - is a good option and serve brown rice bowls that are super delicious. Again, if you're a protein type go easy on the rice and perhaps order the no carb options. These guys are generous with the protein which is great.

Grill'd - Love these burgers so much and the chips, aghhhhhh. BUT if you're on a fat loss plan, I would order the low carb bun and no chips, sorry. Unless of course this is your treat meal for the week then go for your life. Being a mixed type, I order the low carb bun and chips for my treat meal as I can't fit it all in otherwise, oink oink. ;) Just looking on their website the regular bun is around 40g of carb and just by swapping to the low carb option you have halved your carb intake.

Cafe - There are usually healthier options at most cafes, think chicken ceasar salad BUT order the dressing on the side as often they drown the salad in the dressing, or any type of protein and salad option. Don't be afraid to ask the staff if your salad comes with dressing on it, it's your meal, your body so you have a choice in asking for no dressing if need be. Then perhaps a squeeze of lemon on the side. Or if the wagu beef burger sounds amazing go ahead and order it, with no bun perhaps. I assure you it will still taste delicious, plus you will still reach your goal. Be careful in cafes if chips are on every plate, because once they're in front of you........ it won't end well.

Popular Juice Bars??!! - Be careful, Most of the juices are loaded with sugar and actually poured from a plastic container and aren't even fresh. SOME of the fresh green juices are OK but soon as you see banana, dates, coconut, frozen yogurt it is LOADED with sugar. I just looked at some of the popular ones online and here's their sugar content

Veggie garden- 26g
Wild Berry - 5og
Immunity Juice - 30g

In one teaspoon of sugar it's about 5 g so add that up!! I read the ingredients in the frozen yogurt that it used at one popular store and it includes some type of sugar in each one like sugar, glucose syrup or liquid sugar. YUMM if you're eating your treat meal for the week perhaps, if not stick to green juices with just a piece of fruit to sweeten them up. Fresh is best!

Wraps or Sandwiches - Yes a good option, just look at your ingredients going into the wrap and make sure there aren't too many sauces or dressings again. A little bit of avocado, fetta or whole egg mayonnaise is great for flavour and a healthier option than a dressing. I always tell my clients to order extra protein as most places are a little low on the protein going into your wrap. The correct amount of protein for YOUR body per meal will be around the size of your palm. It's an easy way to measure when you're out and about.

If you really don't have the time to sit, pack some quest bars, nuts, water, piece of fruit etc and a bottle of water in your handbag. Nuts are great for energy being high in good fats and will help to keep you full until you make the time to sit and eat.

OK

that should be a pretty good guide for eating in a food court and still managing to stay healthy and fit and get that shopping done with a clear mind, no sugar crashes and no hanger!!

Happy shopping and training guys and girls,

Hayley x