Top 7 Foods To Eat When You Can’t/Won’t Cook


A dear friend of mine (she was also my childhood nanny who has 7 unbelievably beautiful children) posed this question via FB the other day:

“Hey Max….

My 12 yr old is into wrestling, football, and basketball. Very good at it too. He is very lean with good muscle tone. He has started lifting now (I just started letting him) and he also wants to start eating very healthy! However, even though I am a nurse, and had to have several nutrition classes, I don’t know anything (I am just mom). So I told him I would ask you for your advice for him on healthy eating. What would you suggest for him? Keep it kinda simple….he also wants to know what would be some good quick healthy snacks to grab on his way to practice or something quick when he doesn’t have time to eat….His coach says he will probably end up with a full ride to college in wrestling because he is sooo good!  Thanks Max if you could help me out.  HE said he would listen to you because you are an expert…Love ya!”

First of all let me say that I have seen pictures of her son, and he is lean with good muscle tone, so I know she’s doing some things right- at least dietary wise *hehe*.  Even though going through rigorous Nursing Education, dietary guidelines are confusing.  There is a plethora of dietary advice out there- now more than ever.

I love to help people with ways to incorporate changes towards a healthier lifestyle.  I find that when most people ask about nutrition especially, there is always a follow up like: “but Max nothing too crazy okay.”  Heck yeah it’s okay- it’s encouraged!

Simplicity is the key—>whole food is the answer! The Paleolithic Model (non biased/wiki link) affords this.

Our bodies are ill-equipped for processed/new fangled ‘food’.  I’m fully convinced it is the refining of fats and carbohydrates that have gotten us SO sick.  Did you know that before 1920, coronary heard disease, cancer and diabetes were practically non-existant.  Please read my Good Fats post for more details on this issue.  The process of hydrogenation began in 1912, and the refining of fats, and then carbohydrates followed.

Two common arguments that our health has nothing to do with the refining of foods are:

1) We have the longest life expectancy today than ever before.

2) My grandparent is 92 and has been smoking and drinking for as long as I can remember.

‘Life’ expectancy?!  I challenge you to find anyone over 50 years old who’s not on at least one, or more medications.  Unfortunately, it’s almost a standard part of life now.  However, the human body is both beautiful, AND resilient.  We can overcome this health mess we are in if we


As for grandparents living to nearly a century- they are proof as to what eating whole foods in your youth can do for you.  At the turn of the century, vegetables and fruits were organic, but didn’t need to be labled as such.  Why? Because there wasn’t any other way! ALL animals were pasture raised, and processed food was a fraction of what it is today.

As a Personal Trainer, I understand that most of my clients will be ‘good’ most of the week, but when the weekend hits- most if not all- dietary advice goes out the window.  It’s okay to take it at your own pace.  In fact, its the only ways to making healthy choices a lifestyle.  There is NO fad-dieting at NU-FiT!  Also, having been brought up with two other siblings (I love you Cam and Shay), I realize that convenience is a major factor, as well.

Okay, you’ve been patient…here’s a list of Nutritious Foods On-The Go:

  1. Nuts/Seeds– Loaded with essential fats, some protein, and dietary fiber, these good fats will keep you satisfied for hours.  While nutrient dense, they are calorically dense, as well.  Replace some of your empty calories with these powerhouses.  <Note: Don’t rely on nuts and seeds like walnuts and flax for omega 3’s…plant omega 3 conversion rates are slim to none.>
  2. Jerky– One of the best protein packed snack foods out there. Protein fix? Try some beef jerky or maybe try another variety Each individual jerky type comes with it’s own health benefits. Look for jerkies that have just a few ingredients: meat source, salt, seasoning.
  3. Fresh/Dried Fruits– They travel well, and allow for quick energy conversion. If inactive, try to keep your consumption down to 1-3 servings per day.  Yes, fruit has some beneficial vitamins and mineral, but our body still decodes it as sugar entering the body. ( Read this interesting article by Dr. Lustig on fructose.) I like dates, bananas, apples, and berries here.
  4. Protein Shake– So easy and convenient.  Just a few concerns: 1) look for 100% pure protein powders, 2) Whey, Rice, Pea are my top picks, 3) Most taste a bit harsh, so start with a small container, and ask others what they like…u can sweeten them yourself.  Check out my Keto Protein Shake recipe, which contains several delicious AND nutritious foods on this list.
  5. Coconut Oil– I know, it seems odd to eat oil.  And yes, it is high in saturated fat, yet it’s a specific/rare form know as lauric acid, which is a medium chain triglyceride (MTC), which gets converted similar to a carbohydrate. Tastes delish, too.  People look at me funny when I whip out a jar of coconut oil(organic unrefined) during a training session, but if they only knew what they were missing.
  6. Lara Bars– She makes a nice product which contains only a few ingredients.  Also, Trader Joe’s carries them for less than $2.00.  I like the honest ingrediets of these bars, but I wouldn’t reccomend too many others.
  7. Cacao Nibs– Cacao? Don’t you mean cocoa? No, cacao is short for chocolates REAL name: Theobroma cacao.  It contains a wide array of unique properties and minerals, including high levels of sulfur and magnesium.  While it lacks the sweetness most are accustomed to, it makes anice addition to a homemade trail mix: try mixing cacao with your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit,and even jerky.

Did I miss anything that should be on the list?

Please share what helps you fit the bill, for nutritious yet convenient foods on-the-go.

When you’re prepared, it’s easier to fend off those other fast food choices…which you know are NOT approved by your favorite CPT/Wellness Coach 🙂  LOL!!!

Be Well,

Maximillian Barry

Where Nutrition & Fitness Becomes a Lifestyle


2 Responses

  1. Max,
    Paleokits and Paleo Treats both have some great products that are excellently balanced for the paleo diet. ( and Paleokits also have the benefit of donating to a good cause. Proceeds from the sales of Paleokits fund Steve’s Club, a non-profit Crossfit affiliate devoted to training youth from Camden, NJ

    But on the cheap, I always have some tupperware containers of mixed nuts in the afternoon before workouts, and a banana for afterward.

  2. Hi Dave,

    Yes, I like what they’re doing over at PaleoKits. Folks can easily copy what they’ve done…just take your fav trail mix, and add some jerky!

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