Things move pretty quickly in our modern world. If it seems easier to grab something quick than to grab something healthy, check out this handy guide for eating healthy on the go.
Mountain View Market CO+OP
Looking for a nutritious alternative to greasy fast food fare? Mountain View Market Co+op has goodness to go specializes in natural, organic, and local food and produce. Their in-store kitchen offers made-to-order sandwiches, juices, and smoothies plus a soup and salad bar that includes an array of hot dishes.
Know Your Stuff
“Look for locally-grown or produced foods,” advises MVM Kitchen manager Lisa Acker. “Just that in itself is so much healthier because we know our local farmers and ranchers; we know what they’re feeding their cows. Be aware if what you’re eating has been exposed to steroids, hormones, or pesticides.”
Keep eating the foods you love, just eat healthier versions of them. The Beef Shepard’s Pie Lisa makes for the hot bar is the same family recipe she’s been using for years, but with locally-grown vegetables and grass-fed beef from Kyzer Farms. “That brings the calorie count down, the fat content down, and brings the vitamins, minerals, and all the good stuff up,” she notes.
Get Creative With Kids
Look for alternate versions of your kids’ favorite treats. Annie’s Homegrown brand makes healthier versions of cheese crackers, fruit snacks, and other kid favorites. The kid’s menu at MVM Kitchen includes crowd-pleasers like chicken nuggets and a sun butter and jam sandwich made with allergy-safe, high protein sunflower butter.
Mountain View Market Co+op | 1300 El Paseo Rd | 575-523-0436 | mountainviewmarket.coop
Lisa’s Ultimate Salad
- Iceberg is mostly water and has little nutritional value. Load up on red leaf lettuce and spinach for nutrients like folic acid and iron.
- Beets and carrots add nice color to your salad. “People are drawn to color. It makes a salad more enticing,” Lisa says.
- Building a good salad is all about textures. Counteract the crisp lettuce and crunchy carrots with soft mushrooms, a good source of vitamin D and potassium.
- Add some extra crunch with protein-packed nuts, especially if you are vegan.
- Proteins, like chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and tempeh (a whole form of soy) keep you feeling full.
- Don’t forget a little something sweet—dried cranberries, raisins, or Mandarin orange slices—to help fight dessert cravings.
- Spruce up the flavor palette with a dressing like MVM Kitchen’s balsamic vinaigrette; it has hints of sweet and sour.
Educating the community about nutrition is one of founding principles at Natural Grocers. That’s where Certified Nutrition Therapist Marianne McLaughlin comes in at the Las Cruces store. “My role is as a nutritional health coach,” she explains. “I organize free classes for the public—like our extremely popular almond flour baking class—and I do one-on-one coaching with customers.”
Grab’n Go: Marianne’s Snack Bag
Packaged convenience foods aren’t necessarily unhealthy. Look for lots of protein and healthy fats to get a quick fix that will keep you full and focused. Here are some of Marianne’s favorite open and eat snacks.
Epic Honest Harvest Trail Mix Jerky:
Jerky is a great snack, as long as it comes from a healthy animal, like wild buffalo. This pack includes a serving of trail mix so you get both protein and healthy fats. $6.25
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts:
Hemp seeds are an excellent source of omega-3s and protein. Throw some into a smoothie or sprinkle on yogurt or salads. $1.19
Wilcox Organic Hard-Boiled Eggs:
There’s no easier way to get a quick punch of protein than these convenient, pre-packaged hard-boiled eggs. $1.15
Amazing Grass Green SuperFood:
Mix this single serving of green superfood with almond milk for nutritious chocolate milk that’s sure to please the pickiest of kids. .99 cents for single serving pack.
Navitas Blueberry Hemp Power Snacks:
Sate that sweet tooth with these bite-sized nuggets that provide protein, healthy fats, fiber, and tons of antioxidants and vitamins. $8.69
QuestBar Double Chocolate Chunk Protein Bar:
Be sure to read labels when selecting protein bars. This one is ideal because it’s low in sugar and high in fiber and protein. $2.29
Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein:
Use a blender cup to mix up an instant vanilla shake that’s packed with good-for-you vitamins and nutrients. Perfect for when you don’t have time to break for a meal. $22.59 | Blender cup $7.49
Natural Grocers | 970 E. Lohman Ave | 575-522-1711 | naturalgrocers.com
Yes, our bodies do need carbohydrates, fruits, and healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, olives, nuts, and seeds. Just don’t make them the basis of your meal.
“Not having enough colorful vegetables is one of the leading causes of diabetes,” says Marianne. “We all need to eat more vegetables. Period.” Forget the outdated food pyramid. Ideally, half your meal should be vegetables. Keep blood sugar from spiking by incorporating some form of protein into every meal.
GET IT TO GO!
Getting it to Go
Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up your favorite indulgences. If you’re craving a burger, stop by The Greenhaus food truck (parked outside Natural Grocers Monday-Friday from 10am to 3pm). Cook Nathan Lowell recommends the Haus Burger, a grass-fed beef patty served with green chile aioli, maple bacon, spinach, arugula, and tomato on a whole wheat bun.
Brown Bag it
When he’s looking for a quick and satisfying lunch on the go, Nathan whips up a simple egg-salad sandwich. He recommends using Dijon mustard and white pepper to give it some added zest. Top with crisp red onions, avocado, and a heaping of sprouts. Serve with fruit and a healthier chip that’s been kettle-cooked or baked instead of fried.
Getting it to Go
When Marianne at Natural Grocers is too busy for a long lunch, she looks for quick, balanced meals like this French Bistro Gourmet On the Go pasta salad. “This has some vegetables and some tuna, and it’s all prepared,” she notes. “It’s a good grab-and-go, light meal.”
Brown Bag it
Try out this pasta salad adapted from our friends at Valley Gurlz Goodz in Albuquerque. Their gourmet pickled products are simple and healthy additions to your favorite recipes or great on their own as an appetizer or snack. This pasta salad is filling, tasty, and couldn’t be easier to make. Up the good-for-you factor by using gluten-free pasta and all natural chicken with no added hormones or steroids.
Valley Gurlz Pickled Pasta Salad
- 8 oz. tri-colored fusilli or preferred pasta
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup oil-based Caesar dressing
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 10-12 Valley Gurlz Goodz pickled green beans or asparagus, quartered
- Salt and pepper, if desired
Cook pasta accordingly. Cook chicken breasts on the grill or in a skillet and chop into bite-sized pieces. Combine ingredients in large bowl. Stir well, chill, serve, and enjoy!
Visit valleygurlzgoodz.com for more flavorful recipes.
Valley Gurlz Goods gourmet pickled products are available for purchase at:
Mesilla Valley Store | 2350 Calle de Principal, Mesilla | 575-524-1003 | mesillavalleystore.com
4 More Places to Grab a Quick Salad!
The salad bar at Jason’s Deli (3845 E. Lohman Ave) is excellent and you can take your creation to go. They also offer a good selection of gluten-free and vegan menu options and they deliver anywhere in town. jasonsdeli.com
You can turn any of the sandwiches at Corner Bakery Café (2305 E. Lohman Ave.) into a gluten-free wrap and you can’t go wrong with any of the seasonal soups or made-to-order salads. Order online and they’ll have it waiting when you arrive. cornerbakerycafe.com
Spirit Winds Coffee Bar (2260 S. Locust St.) serves a full menu of freshly made soups, salads, and sandwiches. For something different try the Zesty Black Bean Burger or get a filling snack with the Hummus & Veggies platter.
Call ahead to Pastaggio’s Italian by Lorenzo (3000 Harrelson Street) for salads to-go made with flavorful ingredients like sundried tomatoes, currants, Greek olives, and feta cheese. pastaggios.com