List of Chipotle Hacks and Secret Menu Items

Two men in hoodies dining at Chipotle, having fun with hot sauce bottles.

Since the early days of Chipotle, there have been ways to get “extra” from this amazing restaurant with secret hacks and hidden menu items to take your usual order to the next level.  Here are some must-know Chipotle secrets to try next time you hit the grill.



Extra Meat

Grilled chicken sliced and stacked in a white ceramic dish.

By asking for “half-and-half” with two different meats on your entree, you usually end up getting at least 25% more meat than if you stick to one type. Half chicken and half barbacoa is a big favorite,


Stirred Up Burrito

A mixed up burrito, secret menu item from Chipotle, with background blurred.

Once all of the ingredients have been added to your burrito, you can ask the server to mix up all the ingredients within the tortilla before rolling it up. This is nice if you prefer a consistency of flavors throughout your burrito.



Unseen person grating cheese onto a cutting board.

At the quieter Chipotle locations that don’t have as much foot traffic as a New York, Los Angeles, or San Diego location, you can usually ask to server to line the tortilla with cheese before heating it up. They can then build the burrito on top of a layer of cheese which is really quite delicious.

Rumor has it that some Chipotle restaurants are now charging extra for this. It’s always worth asking if they’ll do it for free, and it’s sometimes worth paying for too.



Pretty Asian woman bites into burrito at outdoor restaurant.

Similar to the quesarito, a burritodilla has its fillings layered between cheese. You then ask your server to fold it, flatten it a little, and cook until the tortilla is lightly browned. If the quesarito proves too messy for you, this secret Chipotle menu item is the way to go.


Extra Everything

Wooden table filled with a plate of corn chips, burritos in foil, and dishes of salsa, queso, and guacamole.

Besides the meat and guacamole, you can literally ask your server for “more” of any ingredient that’s going into your burrito, bowl, salad, or nachos. They won’t charge extra either. This isn’t really a secret, but something that some are unaware of. You should never feel that your portions are too small at Chipotle.


Less soft ingredients = tighter burrito.

A burrito cut in half and stacked with a blurred bokeh background.

Tempting as it is to load up on the salsa and sour cream, it’s tough for employees at Chipotle to roll a burrito tightly when there are too many soft or liquid elements.

For a tighter burrito you can eat on the go, limit the salsa, sour cream, or guac—or order some on the side for dipping/pouring on yourself while you eat, instead.


Use the app to get your order way faster.

Young Black woman in winter coat and slouchy knit hat smiling at her phone with sunlight glare behind her.

Ordering your meal via Chipotle’s mobile app means you can skip the line and pick up your food at your convenience. Chipotle also offers reward points for discounts and freebies later.


Vegetarian orders get free guac.

A black ceramic dish of fresh guacamole and cilantro.

Guacamole usually costs extra on most Chipotle menu items, but not if you order a vegetarian item. Save some money—and calories—by going meatless now and then.


Skip the tacos.

Unseen person holding a taco in the air against gray background.

Taco meals tend to get less meat and fillings than if you order a burrito bowl with the same ingredients, then add taco shells on the side.


Turn your burrito bowl into nachos.

White plate filled with tortilla chips topped with tomatoes, meat, jalapeno slices, and queso.

Ask your server to sub the rice in your bowl for chips. Extra cheese can help hold more of the toppings together for easy dipping.



As with all “secret menu items” from any chain, keep in mind there’s often a reason they aren’t on the menu. They’re usually harder to make, or time-consuming. Sometimes the upgrades are just too expensive to fit with the rest of what that restaurant has to offer.

If you use these Chipotle hacks, use them wisely—consider tipping your server for going above and beyond, and try to limit the secret menu items to times when the line isn’t snaking too long behind you.


Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Man holding two mason jar glasses filled with strawberry smoothies with sliced strawberries against the glass.

There’s nothing more refreshing after a workout—or a crazy morning commute—than a healthy smoothie. Easy to make, easy to carry, and easy to gulp down on the go, these delicious smoothie recipes can even be prepared ahead of time by cutting and freezing the produce. Best of all, these recipes are all vegetarian!

For all the recipes below, simply place your smoothie ingredients into a high-powered blender, and let it run for 30 seconds to a minute until smooth.



How to Customize Your Smoothies

Whenever you find a recipe you love, consider tinkering with its ingredients a bit so it can deliver exactly the nutrients and boosts you’re after.

Some great smoothie additions include:

  • Matcha. High in EGCG, which is believed to promote brain health, heart health, and weight loss, matcha also has a calming effect on the mind and body.
  • Chia Seeds. These are high in protein, antioxidants, omega-3, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. With the right blender, you can’t even tell they’re in your smoothie.
  • Oats. High in fiber, iron, antioxidants, low in fat, and great for lowering cholesterol, oats are a simple addition that bulk up smoothie recipes without too many calories.
  • Hemp Hearts. These are high in protein, as well as omega-3 and 6.
  • Ginger. This aids with nausea and upset stomach, and contains many anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it fresh, or in powder form, for a zesty kick to any smoothie.
  • Spirulina Powder. Packed with vitamin A, spirulina is also a great natural source of chlorophyll.
  • Almonds. With antioxidants and vitamin E, almonds provide a protein and flavor boost that pairs beautifully with most fruits. Additionally, they can lower harmful cholesterol.
  • Turmeric. Not only does turmeric boast anti-inflammatory properties, but it also increases the body’s ability to absorb antioxidants—which means it can boost all the other “boosts” you add to your favorite smoothie recipes! Turmeric can be used fresh, or in powder form for convenience.
  • Flax Meal. This smoothie additive is chock full of fiber, omega-3, and lignans (a type of antioxidant).


Healthy Smoothie Recipes


Strawberry and Banana Delight

Strawberry smoothie with berries on a windowsill.

Perhaps the most classic fruit combo out there, strawberry and banana give that perfect blend of sweetness, without being overwhelming.

While you can certainly use fresh fruit (just add some ice), frozen fruit really shines in this recipe: consider slicing and freezing your bananas and strawberries in a baggie, shortly after purchasing the produce.

Then, when a hectic morning strikes, all you have to do is dump the bag into your blender, toss in some chia seed and a little almond milk, and hit Puree.

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana


Ginger Orange and Carrot Palooza

Orange smoothie with ginger and carrots on a blue table.

Zesty and sweet, this smoothie will wake you up and energize in no time. The banana acts as a base, more than anything: you’ll mostly taste orange and ginger.

Even the carrot isn’t that noticeable, which makes this recipe perfect for veggie-haters looking to diversify their diet.

  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup fresh orange slices
  • One banana (frozen or not)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • handful of ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup almond milk


Pineapple Mango Paradise

A yellow smoothie on a light blue tabletop, garnished with a pineapple slice and greenery.

Escape to waterfront views and sunny shores…at least, for a few minutes. This simple smoothie delivers tropical flavor with a punch of protein.

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple slices
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Whole banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango slices
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk


Avocado Cucumber Kale Super Smoothie

A kale smoothie with fresh kale on a cutting board, with two pink paper straws inserted.

This green smoothie is ideal for go-getters. Despite the high vegetable content, you’ll mostly just taste banana, and a smooth undertone of avocado.

If lack of sweetness is a concern, consider adding a little low-fat vanilla yogurt.

  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup kale
  • about a quarter to half of a medium-sized avocado, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup peeled cucumber
  • Banana
  • Handful of ice cubes


Blueberry Lemon Desire

Hand holding a purple smoothie with a lemon wedge and fresh mint in front of a white wall.

Those blueberry lemon squares you loved as a kid are back—and this time, they’re actually good for you! Some classic oats bulk up this recipe with iron and fiber, but don’t dare take the spotlight off the real stars.

A generous serving of blueberries and just a little lemon keep this smoothie on the sweeter side, but feel free to juice things up: adjust the lemon additions to your personal preference.

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • Banana
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds


Delicious Cherry Beet Surprise

Hand holding a bottle filled with bright beet-red liquid up to the sunlight.

Beets are a tough ingredient to work with: not many people like their earthy flavor. It’s a shame, since beets are loaded with folate and vitamin C, as well as betalains. These give beets their red color, but also protect your cells against oxidative damage.

Thankfully, the cherries in this recipe mask that earthiness of the beets, ensuring you get all the good stuff without having to hold your nose as you drink.

  • 1/2 cup cooked beets
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • Banana


Banana Pineapple Strawberry Haven

Pink smoothie in a mason jar in front of pineapple, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, and oranges against a pale pink wall.

Greek yogurt and banana make up the base of this classic-turned-powerhouse. With flax and spinach in the mix, you can enjoy the simply sweet flavors and know your post-workout treat is actually good for you.

  • 1 Tablespoon Chia or Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple
  • 2 cups fresh Orange Juice
  • Banana
  • 1 cup Spinach (for an extra health boost)
  • 1 cup Strawberries
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • Handful of ice (optional)


Sweet Almond Cherry

Icy bright red smoothies in mason jar glasses against deep blue background.

This simple smoothie is low in calories, but high in protein—a go-to blend for anyone hitting the gym.

  • Scoop of protein powder, vanilla or unflavored
  • 1 cup Soy or Almond Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Cherries frozen
  • Banana
  • Handful of ice


Tasty Greens Medley

Bubbly green smoothie in a blender pitcher with spinach leaves nearby on a marble countertop.

Don’t let the sweetness in this one fool you: with a pretty generous serving of spinach, the tropical taste is actually a clever vehicle for vegetables.

  • 1 1/2 cups Orange Juice
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • Banana
  • 1 cup Pineapple
  • 1/2 cup Grapes
  • Handful of ice


Chocolate and Spinach Blueberry Twist

Chocolate blueberry smoothies in mason jars on linen tablecloth.

The really beautiful thing about spinach? Once it’s blended into a smoothie, you can’t even taste it. In fact, you might even get away with doubling the greens in this one, and no one would be the wiser.

For a bit of decadence, blend in a small handful of semisweet chocolate chips.

  • 1 cup Spinach
  • Scoop of protein powder (dark chocolate or regular)
  • Banana
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Almond Butter
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • Handful of ice


Green Youth Super Smoothie

Two green smoothies seen from above on a white marble counter.

This is one recipe you might be happy to share with your kids. While it’s absolutely loaded with green veggies, the apple juice, lemon, and banana make it far more palatable than picky eaters might expect.

  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 2 handfuls of Baby Spinach
  • 2 cups pure and unprocessed apple juice
  • Approximately 2 cups of kale or power greens mix
  • Banana
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • Handful of ice


Mango and Peach Tropical Delight

Two tropical orange smoothies on white tabletop.

This smoothie is heavy on the fruit, but doesn’t cross that line into “too sweet.” Instead, it’s got a great blend of smooth, mellow flavors you can’t help but devour.

Additionally, turmeric and ginger deliver just the slightest kick, to keep things interesting.

  • 1 cup cubed mango
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Banana
  • 1 cup peaches


Get Blending

The best smoothie recipes balance health and taste. After all, it’s no fun chugging a bitter concoction, no matter how good it is for you.

With some creativity and testing, however, any veggie, fruit, and additive can become a star ingredient in your next blend…whether or not you can actually taste it.

In short, the smoothie has got to be one of the most overlooked snacks or meal replacements. Their versatility allows them to become almost whatever you’re looking for. Whether that be a breakfast smoothie, something to keep you going while you’re camping or hiking, or even when you’re out on the road to pick up your favorite healthy takeout option.


Healthy Breakfast Smoothie Recipes

POV from an unseen woman looking down at a breakfast smoothie, purple and filled with blueberries with a red straw.

Simple and healthy smoothie recipes can be a godsend, especially if you’re prone to skipping breakfast following a few too many missed alarms. Keep in mind, skipping breakfast can put extra stress on you and your body and you may find it difficult with stress management as is. There is a reason the saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, you know.

And the great thing is, you don’t have to wait in line and spend $7 every time you want one. Or even settle for some instant coffee. With these easy smoothie recipes, you can put together a convenient and healthy breakfast in under 5 minutes—for as little as $1.50 per serving. Just toss some of your favorite fruits, veggies, and maybe a little protein powder into a high-powered blender and you’re ready to go.




Breakfast Smoothie Recipes

The recipes below are meant to be healthy ways of making smoothies. A smoothie today, can mean many things, from a blend of ice and fake sugars, to a concoction of healthy superfoods. These smoothies are definitely on the healthier end of the spectrum, but are a nice tasting mix for people who want to eat healthier, but don’t want to sacrifice flavor either.

Keep in mind – you can substitute or adjust the amount of pretty much any ingredient in these recipes to taste or to avoid allergy. You’ll only need to consider how easily the smoothie blends. Add more or less liquid to the mix in order achieve your desired texture.

After the recipes, we’ll show you some healthy ingredient options and direct you where to get them. Hope you enjoy.

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

A tan-colored smoothie in a clear jar being topped with banana slices, on a ceramic tray with more bananas.

This smoothie is packed with protein, probiotics, fiber, Omega-3, potassium, and natural fats to give you energy and enhanced nutrition to start your day. We particularly recommend this one after a morning workout.


  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Large Spoonfuls of Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 Serving of Protein
  • 1-2 Spoonfuls of Whole-fat Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chia or Flax Seeds
  • 1 Cup of Soy, Almond, or Coconut Milk
  • Sugar-free rolled oats, about a spoonful (optional)
  • Handful of greens mix (optional)



  1. Put banana (or other fruit) into your personal blender cup
  2. Pour in nut milk, or other liquid base (adding this first will help to keep other ingredients from sticking to the sides of the container)
  3. Add in protein, yogurt, chia/flax seeds, peanut butter, rolled oats, and greens mix.
  4. Cap and blend. Serve plain or topped with additional banana slices.


Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie

A purple-hued berry fruit smoothie in a clear cup with a tall straw on a wooden counter.

If breakfast smoothie recipes usually leave you feeling hungry by mid-morning, chances are you’re not getting enough protein in your blend.

This berry smoothie has some yogurt and protein powder incorporated, which will help keep you feeling full all the way through lunch.



  • Soy, almond, or coconut milk, 1 cup or adjusted to preference
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • Scoop of protein powder (adjust to taste)
  • Whole-fat yogurt, 1 to 2 spoonfuls
  • Tablespoon of chia or flax Seeds
  • Handful of greens mix (optional)
  • Spoonful of sugar-free rolled oats (optional)


  1. Add mixed fruit into your personal blender cup
  2. Pour in 1/2 of nut milk (this keeps other ingredients from sticking to the sides of the container)
  3. Add in protein, yogurt, chia/flax seeds, peanut butter, rolled oats, and greens mix.
  4. Cap and blend. Top with additional fresh berries, if desired.


Banana Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

Blueberry smoothies in small decorative glasses on wooden serving tray, with fresh berries scattered nearby.

Avocado for breakfast?  Believe it or not, this superfood is perfect for your morning blend. Not only is it rich in healthy fats, but it also adds a silky-smooth texture that lets the berries and bananas linger a little bit longer on your tongue.

It’s heavy on vanilla flavoring, but feel free to cut back by using regular almond milk or plain yogurt, instead.



  • ½ cup vanilla almond milk
  • banana, peeled and cut into pieces
  • cup of blueberries, more to taste
  • half an avocado
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or 8 oz vanilla yogurt
  • optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract to taste


  1. Place all ingredients into blender.
  2. Blend well. Add flaxseed or oats if desired, and if blender is powerful enough to properly mix all ingredients.
  3. Pour into glass and top with additional blueberries, or a sprinkling of cinnamon if desired.


Classic Strawberry Smoothie

A classic strawberry smoothie in clear jar and blue paper straw on a wooden cutting board.

You just can’t improve on the classics. This strawberry smoothie is one of the simplest recipes out there, delivering a nutritious breakfast with minimal prep.

It’s also a great blank canvas, if you’re feeling adventurous. Experiment with new proteins, sneaky veggie additions, or whatever else you feel like throwing in.



  • 2 cups frozen or fresh sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup ice; slightly more if using fresh berries
  • 1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • Optional: container of greek yogurt



  1. Place all ingredients into blender.
  2. Blend well. Ensure all ice has been thoroughly incorporated before serving.
  3. For an even stronger strawberry flavor, add a tablespoon of strawberry jam or strawberry syrup to the blending process.


Mocha Espresso Smoothie

A mocha espresso smoothie in a clear glass with background blurred.

For a morning kick that’s as good for you as it feels, try this protein-packed espresso smoothie.  While most breakfast smoothie recipes focus on that fresh-fruit taste—which is definitely delicious—this one’s all about indulgence.

Chocolate and coffee make it every bit as delectable as your usual Starbucks go-to, but Greek yogurt and banana replace all that unnecessary sugar.



  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder, adjusted to taste
  • Vanilla to taste
  • 1-2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • Optional: chocolate protein powder, 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Milk, as needed



  1. Place all ingredients into blender.
  2. Blend well. If smoothie is too thick, add milk to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Ensure all coffee and chocolate elements are incorporated thoroughly before serving. Top with a dusting of cocoa or sugar-free whipped cream, if desired.


Tips to Create Your Own Smoothie Recipes

Ingredients for a smoothie recipe piled into a blender pitcher, including mango, banana, and kale.

There is a big wide variety in the quality and types of ingredients that can fit in a blender. Just because it can go in a smoothie, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it should.

If you want to make your own smoothie recipes for breakfast, post-workout snacks, or even to pack on-the-go for a bike or hiking trip, this mini-guide can help point you toward the healthiest ingredients to get started.


Best Liquid Smoothie Ingredients

Smoothie drinkers can go in a number of directions with the liquid they choose to use in their smoothie. Here are some of the top options for smoothie liquids:

  • Dairy Milk
  • Natural Juice (Orange, Apple, etc)
  • Soy Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Cashew Milk

The list goes on, but these are the most common. You could likely find some of these ingredients in a convenience store on the way home.

You can really use any liquid you prefer, as long as you can stand the taste. It’s best to start with a little bit and slowly add more, tasting frequently as you go.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s loaded with vitamins and nutrients whenever possible, and contains few to no added sugars.


Healthy Fruit Additions

Close-up of mixed berries including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

There are several fruit options to choose from, and each have different tradeoffs between convenience, cost, and environmental impact.

What’s more, not every fruit blends well.  If your blender is on the weaker side, pineapple can produce a stringy, pulpy smoothie that’s fit for the trash can.

Cut fruit into manageable pieces, to ensure your blender can handle it.  A good rule of thumb is bite-sized pieces or smaller.

  • Standard “Fruit-Aisle” Fruit – Normal fruit that you purchase at the grocery store will normally have a shelf life of about a week. Of course, it depends on which type of fruit you’re buying and where from. For buyers who want to avoid pesticides, this may not be the best option, unless you investigate your sources beforehand.
  • Organic Fruit – Organic fruit is about as healthy as inorganic, but it contains no pesticides or preservatives and is typically grown sustainably. It will cost a little more, but should be available in a lot of the same places that sell normal fruit. Shelf life will be even shorter than standard fruits.
  • Frozen Fruit – Frozen fruit is probably the cheapest and most convenient option for smoothies, depending on where you buy. Since frozen fruits are processed and washed, most pesticides used in their production have been washed away. Additionally, frozen fruits are approximately as healthy as standard fruit—so there’s no need to feel guilty about choosing convenience, here.


Best Vegetables to Add to Smoothies

Several varieties of fresh vegetables scattered on a wooden table, including carrots and broccoli.

Most first-time smoothie drinkers steer clear of adding veggies to their blends, fearing strange textures or flavors.

While some vegetables will overpower a smoothie if you add too much, most go completely undetected with enough milk, fruit, or other additions to round things out. The result is a nutrient-rich superfood blend and guilt-free treat.

Try sneaking a few of these vegetables into your favorite smoothie recipe—you might not even taste a difference.

  • Cucumber.  Since it’s mostly water, this vegetable barely has any flavor on its own, let alone in a blender full of more powerful ingredients.
  • Beets. While you’ll definitely notice the bright red hue beets will add to virtually any smoothie recipe, you won’t notice their bitter flavor if you add citrus or berries.
  • Spinach. Very few smoothie ingredients can’t cover up the flavor of fresh or frozen spinach. Throw a couple handfuls into any recipe—other than a green tinge, nothing will change.
  • Kale. Similar to spinach, kale can slide into any smoothie recipe and feel right at home. It’s a bit stronger than spinach, of course, so try a little at a time and taste-test your blend frequently until you find the sweet spot.
  • Carrots.  Paired with apples, pears, or just about any tropical fruits, carrots are undetectable in both flavor and color after the blender gets to them.  On the other hand, if you love carrots, there’s no reason they can’t be the star of the show: pair with greek yogurt, almond milk, vanilla, oats, walnuts, cinnamon, and a banana to create a blend deliciously reminiscent of carrot cake.
  • Cauliflower.  This vegetable tastes like absolutely nothing in a smoothie, even when you add a lot. Its subtle nutty flavor when raw blends right into your other ingredients, and can even thicken up a drink after you’ve added too much liquid.


Top Peanut Butter Brands for Smoothies

Natural ground peanut butter in a ceramic dish with spoon.

Peanut butter can be a healthy source of protein, but only if you choose a peanut butter that minimizes or completely eliminates the following ingredients:

  • Sugar. Any sugar in peanut butter is added only for flavor, and is often unnecessary—especially if you’re putting it into a smoothie with fruit ingredients or sweetened milk/yogurt.
  • Oils. These can often contain trans fats or saturated fats, which are bad for your health in excess. They’re only added for texture, which might come in handy when spreading PB on a sandwich, but doesn’t really matter once it’s chucked in a blender. Try a natural brand and give it a good stir before scooping.


Chia and Flax Seeds

Chia and flax seeds are both a healthy source of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which can help satiate you longer.

Not everyone enjoys their texture, however, so make sure your blender is powerful enough to pulverize these ingredients properly.


Best Protein Powder for Smoothie Recipes

A scoop of white protein powder on a larger pile of protein powder.

There are many protein options available, but most contain ridiculous amounts of sugar. Furthermore, many contain ingredients to enhance weight gain—not overall health.

An excellent brand of whey protein is Gold Standard, which keeps things simple with minimal additions and sugars.

If you aren’t sure you need much protein added to your diet, it’s okay to skip powders or supplements. Natural sources of protein, like milk or yogurt, can make your breakfast smoothie recipes just as satisfying, with a lot less nutritional guesswork.




Eating Healthy While Camping or Bike Touring


When planning a trip, you might see it as a reason to splurge or indulge.  After all, you’re on vacation! While takeout and your favorite chipotle hack can certainly be included in your meal plans, some trips—such as camping or bike touring—require healthy eating habits to maintain proper energy levels.

Not only that, but your options are usually far more limited. Fear not: this lack of options can actually enrich your experience. Roughing it under the stars goes well with roughing it at the picnic table.

For those embarking on long adventures, making your own meals and choosing your fuel wisely isn’t just wise: it’s a necessity, one that becomes more crucial, the further off the beaten path you venture.


Equipment You’ll Need for Healthy Eating on the Go


Camping Stove and Pot

Preparing hot meals on the road is as easy as investing in a small camping stove and pot. Additionally, in the long run, it’s much cheaper than paying for cooked food.

Try the Olicamp Micro Stove or the Esbit Alcohol Stove, along with a portable pot and utensils.

The gas canisters on which the Olicamp runs are lightweight, and easy to find in stores. One container will provide you with weeks of daily hot meals.

When it does run out, many gas stations and hardware/outdoor supply stores will carry similar canisters. That accessibility is critical for long hiking trips or tours, since populated areas can be few and far between.

Alcohol-powered stoves are another great option, and are generally more lightweight than gas stoves: the latter requires you to carry sizable fuel canisters, whereas an alcohol stove—though slower to cook—is far more portable.

If you’re not sure which to choose, consider your priorities. Do you need to keep your load light, or is time of the essence?


man stirring a meal inside a camping stove while sitting on the grass


Optional—but Helpful—Extras to Pack

Some luxuries to add to your cooking setup can include the collapsible X-Seal Plate and Mug Set by Sea to Summit, or this Morakniv Outdoor Knife.

Aluminum is widely accepted as the best material for on-the-go cookware, since it allows heat to travel uniformly throughout the vessel. This, in turn, leads to less burning and sticking.

If you’re mostly going to be traveling by car, your options are more far-reaching.

You could pack an entire grill, if you wanted to, even a cooler, mini-fridge, and a blender for smoothies.

However, if you’re taking a more self-contained approach (bikes or walking), look for collapsible, multi-functional cookware designed for durability.

Don’t forget to pack some water! Of course you could always stop by a gas station and grab your favorite snack and water. Or, you could always bring along your water filter or hydration pack.



Grocery Shopping Before Your Trip: The Staples

Carrying a few bulk staples will ensure you’re always covered for delicious and nutritious fuel, no matter what’s open or nearby.

Easy-to-use, nonperishable items include pasta, rice meals, nut butters, crackers, dry fruit oil, oatmeal, beans, and spices.

Canned fish can be an emergency protein source, along with any form of jerky.

If you’re going to be on the move, either on foot or by bike, have those essentials on hand when you depart, and stock up on perishable items along the way.

It’s always a plus to have canned vegetables available, too, in case you make a pasta or rice meal. Or, if you can, purchase fresh vegetables at produce stands, grocery stores, or farmer’s markets during your trip.

Topped with olive oil or pesto, this can make for a quick but delicious tent-side dinner.

For breakfast, oatmeal is a classic go-to because of its versatility.

Fresh or dried fruit, peanut butter, or even savory additions can liven up any bowl, and provide steadily-releasing fuel for the longest of excursions.


Campfire Snacking

The simple thrill of sparking your own flame is even better when you pair it with the classic snack-on-a-stick, whatever the ingredients entail.

Though delicious, the standard marshmallows aren’t exactly healthy. For more filling options, try hot dogs, sausage, peppers, or corn on the cob.


fresh corn, cucumbers, and peppers on a wood table


Keep Ingredients in Mind

Many portable snacks and staples out there claim to be healthy…but are they?

Granola bars are one excellent example of this: while they contain nutritious, whole ingredients like nuts and berries, many also boast a shocking amount of sugar, guaranteeing a mid-trail crash.

Some tips to help you choose the best products:

  • Go for whole wheat, rather than white. For rice, choose brown over white whenever possible. Whole grain goods are less processed, and therefore retain more nutrients than their refined counterparts. They also satisfy hunger better.


  • Keep sugar and sodium to a minimum. Granted, you’ll be exercising quite a bit while camping or bike touring but eating healthy isn’t just about caloric intake and output.  Sugar and sodium, in excess, can still increase blood pressure and wreak havoc on energy levels. Read labels carefully before purchasing, as many “healthy” foods contain more salt or sugar than you’d never expect. Tomato sauce and certain breads are one sneaky example.


  • Eat fresh as often as possible. This is extremely difficult when on the move, especially if you don’t have a cooler handy, but some careful route planning can ensure you encounter a fresh food source every day, or close to it.  That said, the right canned or dehydrated products can be healthful, too. Since eating healthy while camping or bike touring ultimately comes down to convenience, the adage “some is better than nothing” holds pretty true here.


A woman on a bike taking a break in the bike lane to drink water


Eating (and cooking) healthy meals while camping or traveling isn’t easy, by any stretch. Then again, neither is blazing a new trail, or riding a bike across an entire state!

Remember that the better you eat, the better you can hike or ride…and the more enjoyable your trip will be, as a result.

If you’ll be going on a longer and more rural adventure don’t forget a backpack! This is a vital tool that would allow you to carry a tent, water filter and anything else you may need.

Lastly, plan your first bike tour. You wouldn’t want to get going somewhere without some sort of direction. Failing to plan is planning to fail!

Comparison of the Best Personal Blenders


Whether you’re on a fitness kick or having an inexplicable craving for kale, personal blenders are a convenient way to get your fix.

Frankly, not everyone needs a full-size, high powered blender. Maybe you’re not that serious about blending to shell out much cash.  Perhaps you just don’t have the counter space to devote to such bulky equipment.

If you fit into either of these camps, then a personal blender will work wonders for you.


Nutri-Ninja Fit Personal Blender

Nutri-Ninja personal blended pictured with accessories

The Nutri-Ninja Fit is perfectly balanced in every way: neither overly strong nor weak in any category, but rather, just right.

When you consider the compact size and elegant design of the Nutri-Ninja Fit, you’ll be forgiven for getting caught off guard by its sheer power and whip.

What’s more, the Nutri-Ninja Fit comes equipped with a 700-watt motor that’s practically whisper-quiet, compared to most personal blenders.

The superb utility of the Nutri-Ninja Fit does not outdo its stunning visual aesthetics, however. In other words, yes: it looks as good as it blends.

Small enough to be easily stored away after use, this portable and sleek beauty is ideal for on-the-go consumption: its 16-oz cups are marked with measurements.

On the cons side, it has limited volume, which isn’t great if you want to blend just a little more. It also lacks common buttons and automatic programming options of similar models.

That said, it’s easily one of the best personal blenders you can buy, and undoubtedly the best to gaze at as it graces your kitchen counter.

Find it on Amazon here.


Magic Bullet Blender

Magic Bullet personal blender filled with various fruits pictured with accessories

If you’re looking for a basic and quintessential blender, choose the Magic Bullet Blender. It’ll get the job done, plain and simple.

Fast and designed simply, the Magic Bullet suits on-the-go lifestyles well.

Despite its 250-watt motor, it is strong and durable enough to blend frozen fruit. This is assuming, of course, that you add the correct amounts of liquid, as is the case with most personal blenders.

However, it’s not great at more challenging ingredients, due to low wattage. If you like to mix things up with nuts or seeds, seek out a more powerful model. Ditto on ice, which produces varied results, according to user reviews.

Thanks to its sleek and cylindrical shape, cleaning up is a snap. When you consider its price, size, and ease of use, you probably won’t find a better bargain on the market. As an added bonus, the small footprint of this blender allows you to store alongside a water filter in a backpack for hiking or use it in a tent without taking too much valuable space.

Find it on Amazon here.


NutriBullet NBR-1201

NutriBullet personal blender pictured with additional accessories

It goes without saying that the NutriBullet is akin to the Magic Bullet, but larger—and more visually appealing.

In most cases, bigger is better…but in this race of convenience, that might be a drawback. Simply put, the NutriBullet lacks the versatility that its smaller cousin provides.

However, convenience alone isn’t all you have to consider when comparing personal blenders.

The Nutribullet excels in blending and style and might prove more durable than similar models. This makes it ideal for travelers who bring their blenders on the road (or the office commute).

With that in mind, however, its actual travel attachments are less than sturdy, though the blender itself can weather a great deal.

In terms of storage convenience, a larger-than-average base and bulky design will make this challenging for small kitchens.

Find it on Amazon here.


Oster BLSTPB-WBL My Blend

Blue, black, and white Oster personal blender filled with berries and ice

The Oster design will definitely appeal to fitness fanatics.

Though perfect for people who only have to blend together their pre-workout or recovery protein shake, the Oster has very narrow containers, which makes it challenging to clean if your smoothies or shakes contain solid ingredients.

Furthermore, due to the tint of the containers, they continue to look stained…even after a thorough (and difficult) scrubbing.

It’s also got the grating drawback of being incredibly noisy, and its design is less than pleasing, in terms of aesthetics.

All in all, this affordable blender will get the job done, though its longevity is up for debate.

Find it on Amazon here.


Nutri-Ninja Pro Personal Blender

Black and Silver Ninja Professional personal blender

Similar to the NutriBullet, the Nutri-Ninja Pro is massive—to the point where the word “personal” is no longer a suitable adjective. The cups are a whopping 24 ounces.

On the plus side, it pulverizes just about anything you throw into it, so that extra counter space might be worth sacrificing.

While it can’t boast the portability, convenience, and low volume of other personal blenders, it does have power on its side. Furthermore, it’s still smaller and quieter than most standard-size models.

Overall, this is a great option for people seeking a blender straddling the line between personal and full-size.

Find it on Amazon here.

Pink, berry smoothie in a glass with black straw sitting in front of a window with a banana, raspberries and blueberries


When shopping for personal blenders, consider size, convenience, customer reviews, functionality, and performance.

While smaller or quieter models certainly hold appeal, they might lack the power you need for your favorite ingredients. Likewise, more powerful personal blenders often come at the cost of space…and silence.

After you’ve found the best blender for your needs, be sure to experiment with different fruits and veggies to make a great smoothie recipe.



Healthy Snacks from Gas Stations, Convenience Stores, and 7-Eleven

Convenience store counter and shelves stocked with healthy and unhealthy snacks, drinks, and other goods.

Gas station shops, liquor stores, and 7-Elevens are not known for healthy snacks, but convenience. These shops are a great way for quick and easy nourishment, but just how nourished is your body after a pitstop at one of these places? The answer—not very.

People are busier and broker than ever, so taking extra time and spending more money on health can feel counterproductive, but it is possible to eat healthy without breaking the bank.

In fact, the shops you’re already visiting on your morning commute just might improve your health, if you know what to look for.  Here are some healthy snacks you can find at most gas stations, 7-Eleven, and other convenience stores.



Orange slices against a bright blue background falling and scattering on a blue tabletop.

You may not have noticed — distracted by the brightly colored packaging that seems to define these places — but a large number of these shops sell bananas, apples, oranges, and other fruits. This is about as healthy a food as you can find anywhere, let alone a convenience store.



  • Natural sugars provide energy.
  • Most fruits are low in fats, sodium, and total calories
  • Great source of Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, folate, and other nutrients.



  • Low caloric content means you’ll be less full, and get hungry again sooner.
  • Some fruits can cause indigestion or gas.



A clear glass dish of yogurt, blueberries, granola, and banana slices with a spoon nearby on a white counter.

Not all yogurt is exactly healthy due to high sugar contents, but most will provide at least some benefits over other snacks.

Yogurts are also pretty common at gas stations and 7-Elevens. Just make sure to check the expiration date.



  • Probiotics found in yogurt can aid digestion, promote gut health, and strengthen the immune system.
  • Yogurts contain many vitamins and nutrients, including B-vitamins, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
  • Many yogurts, particularly Greek yogurt, are very high in protein.



  • Yogurt contains dairy, so it’s not ideal for lactose-intolerant individuals.
  • Many yogurts contain a significant amount of added sugar.


Carrot / Celery Packs

Carrots washed and laid neatly on a dark countertop.

Probably the most accessible and enjoyable of the veggies, carrots or celery packs are commonly sold in the refrigerated section of many a convenience store.



  • Carrots and celery are low-calorie foods.
  • They contain fiber, natural sugars, and a small amount of protein.



  • Some of these snacks come with ranch, which isn’t exactly healthy.  However, veggies are still one of the best convenience store options you can get, and the ranch is usually a small amount.
  • Low-calorie snacks like vegetables are less filling than other snacks.



A white ceramic bowl of mixed nuts including almonds and walnuts on a wooden table.

Peanuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds—you name the nut, and chances are high those snacks are healthy. As long as they aren’t coated in sugar or chocolate, nuts of any kind are a great trade-off in terms of protein versus calories.

Even the less healthy options are far better than any snacks you’ll find in the chip aisle, so don’t stress if all that really catches your eye are honey-roasted varieties or trail mixes.



  • Most nuts are high in protein.
  • Nuts are high in quality fats, as well, which your body can use for sustained energy.



  • Packaged nuts tend to be high in sodium.
  • Some are less healthy due to the trans fats contained in partially hydrogenated oils.


Beef Jerky

A 7 Eleven convenience store in an urban area from the street.

Ahh, meat. To many people, it’s hard to fill up without a meat or other protein-heavy snack. Luckily, the majority of convenience stores sell some form of jerky.



  • Jerkies are made of meat, and thus, they are high in protein content.
  • Most contain few to no carbohydrates, depending on how the jerky was cured.



  • Jerkies are usually very high in sodium.
  • Almost any amount of jerky will be more expensive than the other snacks you’ll find on the shelves.


Canned Tuna

A serious brunette woman shops for snacks at a convenience store.

Canned tuna is one of the healthiest options you might find at one of these shops.  Its list is short in terms of benefits, but there are also very few drawbacks.



  • Often containing over 20g of protein per can, tuna is one of the easiest ways to feel fuller, longer.
  • Tuna is loaded with healthy fats that provide energy much longer than simple sugars or carbs.
  • Fish options like tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for blood pressure and cardiac health.



  • Tuna contains mercury, which is a known neurological toxin. This is only understood to be dangerous at very high levels, so eating cans of tuna daily is not recommended. For a quick and healthy snack on the go, however, it’s perfectly fine.
  • Got a can opener?


Water, Tea, and Coconut Water

A dark-haired woman in a black sweatshirt holds a plastic water bottle while leaning on a bridge or pier.

Sometimes, hydrating with water or getting a caffeine boost from some sugar-free iced tea can help fight off feelings of hunger.

What’s more, some people have a hard time distinguishing between hunger and thirst cues.  You might not be hungry at all, but rather in need of a long, cool drink.



  • Most sugar-free or low-calorie beverages contain few or zero calories.
  • This can help promote weight loss by training you to skip unnecessary meals.



  • Drinks won’t fill you up when you are truly hungry.



Pretty brunette woman blowing a bubble with gum against burnt orange background.

Gum isn’t exactly a snack, but it can serve a similar purpose as healthy beverages. Sometimes your hunger-pains are more akin to boredom. In this case, stopping for a pack of gum might make all the difference and quell that “hunger.”

At the very least, you’ll distract yourself until a place with plenty of healthy snacks hits the horizon.



  • Some gums contain xylitol, and are thus recommended by many dentists because they are said to strengthen teeth.
  • Most gums have zero or few calories, depending on the amount of sugar each stick contains.



  • Sugary gums are bad for teeth and not healthy.
  • Gum isn’t filling when you are truly hungry.



Road trips, exhausting trips to or from work, errands—the temptation to grab quick junk food never seems to end. Convenience store have a plethora of options but, when you know what to look for, however, you can often find healthy snacks and even kombucha anywhere.  Some of these items can be added to your favorite smoothie recipes. And if you wanted an extra “boost”, you can add a bit of protein powder to kick your healthy lifestyle into a new gear.

If nothing else, you’ll discover options that aren’t nearly as bad for you as sugary, fat-filled choices. When it comes to eating right, those small substitutions can add up to a world of difference.


Best Home Workouts for When You’re Feeling Lazy


You want to stay healthy and fit, but who wants to do all those strenuous exercises? Sometimes just getting out of bed or off the sofa is a monumental chore. Luckily, there are plenty of home workouts for lazy people (hey, no judgment). The best part: you don’t even have to leave your cozy little blanket nest to do them.



Working Out in Bed

A woman wearing a gray top sitting on her bed reaching her arms above her head to stretch

On days when you can’t bear to peel back those covers, try these in-bed home workouts to get the blood flowing and limber up.  Who knows?  You might get energized enough to leave the cocoon, after all.

And if not, at least you’ll feel better about lounging around all day.


Leg Stretches

Even when you are working out in bed, you have to stretch first. While laying on your back, pull your legs up, one at a time, to your chest. Grab the back of your thigh and pull upward, holding for a count of three. Do this 10 times for each leg.


Arm Stretches

Staying on your back, stretch both arms over your head as far as you can and hold it for 30 seconds. Do this 10 times. Be sure to stretch your legs out, as well.


Shoulder Stretches

Sitting up, slowly turn your head to the left, reaching out with your right arm. Use your left arm to grab your right shoulder and stretch, holding for 10 seconds. Do this on each side 10 times.


Quad Stretches

Lay on your side with your legs together. Bend your leg and use your hand to pull your heel toward your back as far as you can. Hold for five seconds. Do this 10 times on each side.


Back Stretches

Lastly, sit up and put your legs out straight in front of you. Bend at the waist as far as you can. Try to grab your feet and stretch your back. If you cannot reach your feet, it’s okay to just grab the back of your legs to pull yourself forward. Hold for a count of three. Do this 10 times.


Exercise On Your Couch

A man sitting on a brown leather couch with his legs outstretched on the cushion next to him

Yes, even devoted couch potatoes can exercise!  These are great home workouts for those in need of low-impact maneuvers, since the cushions of your sofa will ease pressure on your spine that normal yoga mats can’t diffuse.


Leg and Back Stretches

Sit on the edge of the couch and put your feet on the floor. Hang your arms and head down. Keep your back rounded; hold the stretch for a count of five. Do this 10 times.


Knee Bends

Lying on the couch, bend both knees and pull them up until your feet are flat on the couch. Use your hands to pull your knees up and into your chest. Hold for a count of five and do this 10 times.


Back Arches

Lying down, bend your legs and use your feet to push your hips up. Keep your arms at your sides to help push your hips upward. Hold it for five breaths, and repeat for a total of 10.


Leg Lifts

Lay on your side and lift your leg to form a 90-degree angle. Hold it for five seconds and then switch to the other side. Do this five times on each side.


Sit-Ups and Crunches

Comfy sit-ups or crunches can also be done on the couch (or in bed). You won’t feel much of a burn in your abs—but your spine and neck won’t be burning or aching, either.



Sitting Home Workouts

A modern style chair in front of a window next to a side table with a plant in a vase

Exercises done from a sitting position translate well to desk jobs  Take a break midway through your workday to try these seated home workouts.


Butt Builders

Want a better butt? Sit on the edge of your chair and keep your feet spread to about hip width. Your knees should be over your ankles, with your arms bent in front of you. Lean forward, letting your weight shift onto your feet as you lift your hips about five inches from the chair. Take one deep breath, and then slowly lower back down. Do this five times.


Chest Toners

Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. With a three- to five-pound weight in each hand, loosely hang your arms straight at your sides. Pull them straight up toward your chest while rotating your arms. Repeat five times.


Biceps and Triceps

To work your arms and chest, sit on the edge of your chair with your shoulders resting on the back of the chair. Hold your weights, overhanded, up by your shoulders, with your elbows out and palms away from you. Straighten your arms out, pushing the weights up and forward at the same time. Repeat five times.


Easy Chair Planks

Planking is not as easy as it looks—but it is not as difficult as some people make it sound, either. Placing your forearms on the seat of your chair, walk your feet backwards until your body is in a straight line, and hold for 10 seconds. You can do these three to five times.


Get Up (But No Need to Roam Too Far)

Pink yoga block with a pink towel and red lightweight dumbbells atop a pink yoga mat

To make home workouts as effective as possible, you might have to leave that comfy chair or bed and get moving.  Not to worry, though: these are just as low-impact and simple as previous exercises.

In fact, just getting up might be the hardest part.



Standing straight with your feet together, put your arms over your head as far as you can. Take a deep breath in as you reach upward, and then breathe out as you stretch toward the left. Hold for five breaths and return to the center. Repeat on the right side.


Easy Lunges

Kneeling on the floor with your knees bent, lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle in front of you. Keep your foot flat and your right leg bent underneath you. Put both your hands on top of your left knee and push your hip forward, stretching. Hold for 10 seconds, and do it again with the right leg.


Superman Pose

Lying face-down on the floor (on a mat or blanket), hold your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Point your thumbs up to the air and lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor at the same time, like you are trying to fly. Hold for five seconds. Repeat five times.


Butt Crunches

Get those weights back out and work on your butt some more! Stand up straight, with the weights on the floor by your feet. Bend your knees and lean down to get the weights.

Keep your back straight and face forward. Stand up slowly with the weights in your hands, then slowly return the weights to the floor. Do this 10 times.




These are some easy home workouts that anyone can do, which makes them perfect for people in recovery from illness or injury, or those brand-new to working out. Additionally, there are plenty of benefits when it comes to exercise such as better sleep and stress management. But, don’t forget to pair this lifestyle change with a healthy diet such as your favorite breakfast smoothies.

Remember to push yourself, but don’t go too crazy. Nothing kills a newfound fitness ambition like overwhelming soreness on Day 2. Build up that strength over time and then maybe you’ll be able to tackle that bike tour you’ve been planning.


Healthy Takeout Options When You’re Sick of Cooking

A healthy salad with greens, grains, and cherry tomatoes in a while ceramic bowl on dark tabletop.

Cooking at home is the healthiest and cheapest way to enjoy meals, but it’s not easy. Between running out of recipe ideas to spice up your ramen, enduring the madness of grocery stores during peak hours, or endless kitchen clean-up after cooking your favorite budget meal, or maybe you’re feeling just plain lazy, it’s often just easier to order out.

Thanks to meal delivery services like UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub, there’s no shortage of restaurants to choose from. But what should you order when you want easy and nutritious?

To shake that laziness, be sure to get in some of these best exercises while you’re waiting for your delivery to arrive at your door.

Here are some healthy takeout options to consider the next time you want delivery without the guilt.



Panera Bread

Panera bread logo, figure holding bread on green background.

Panera Bread has been around since 1987. Although they are a chain, they offer seasonal local options when possible. They serve some of the following:

  • soups
  • salads
  • sandwiches
  • wraps
  • fresh bread

There is an option for most people with all the variety, including vegetarian dishes.



Chipotle Mexican Grill logo, stylized chili pepper on dark red background.

Established in 1993, Chipotle is known for using fresh, healthy ingredients.

From crisp veggies and quality meat to perfectly steamed rice, Chipotle’s Mexican cuisine covers a wide range of dishes that are both tasty and filling.

Choose from burritos, bowls (a burrito sans tortilla), or salad, and start your order with the star: grilled chicken, steak, carnitas, or grilled veggies. Extras include house-made guac, pico, corn salsa, and more. The best part of Chipotle is everything is up to you. You can even “hack” the menu to make something unique.



Subway logo, yellow and green text on dark green background.

With the slogan “Eat Fresh,” Subway’s stood apart from competitors since its beginnings in 1965 with quality sandwiches, mouth-watering flavors, and baked bread sure to lure you into any food court in a heartbeat.

Nothing at Subway is fried, and many of the menu items are healthier than typical fast food fare. New options include flatbread and breakfast sandwiches, and more are added regularly.

That said, Subway knows when to keep customer favorites; some have a permanent place on the menu, while others are strictly seasonal.


Costa Vida

Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill logo, orange and white.

Much like Chipotle, Costa Vida is a Mexican-style restaurant offering a vast menu of salads, power bowls, burritos, enchiladas, and more.

Their selection includes meats, beans, house-made tortillas, pico, queso and chips, and guac. As the self-proclaimed “fresh Mexican grill,” Costa Vida may just become your next lunchtime go-to.



Exterior shot of a Pluto's takeout and dine-in location in California.

This restaurant has a few locations throughout California and was founded in 1995. It is basically a massive “make your own insanely delicious salad” restaurant, though sandwiches are also available.


Noodles & Company

Noodles and Company logo in black, white, red, and yellow.

You can definitely guess this restaurant’s specialty!

Founded in 1995, this Colorado-based company offers classic pasta dishes, twists on old favorites, and even veggie noodles made of zucchini (zoodles) or cauliflower (caulifloodles).

Served in the build-your-own style of Subway and Chipotle, the dishes at Noodles & Company are made exactly how you want. The hard part is deciding whether to stick with an old favorite, or try something new.

They also offer a wide variety of soups and salads, in the unlikely event you’re sick of pasta.


Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice classic logo, white background with multi-colored swirl.

Smoothie lovers, rejoice: you can drink your meal, or add it on the side of a granola or oatmeal bowl loaded with fresh fruit. Try the Vanilla Blue Sky (blue spirulina with vanilla coconut milk, blueberries, strawberries, and more), or some classic oatmeal alongside the “Whirl’d Famous” Mango-a-Go-Go smoothie.

Everything is made fresh and in-house, and smoothies can be upgraded with energy boosts, vitamins, protein powders, wheatgrass, and more.


Just Salad

Exterior of a Just Salad takeout and dine-in location with customers milling in and out.

With a slogan like “Healthy for Everyone,” Just Salad offers what you’d expect: a wide variety of options everyone in your house will love, with nutrition you’ll feel good about.

That’s where the expectations end, though, because Just Salad serves way more than salads. With wraps, bowls, avocado toast, soups, smoothies, and more on the menu, this chain covers the health food spectrum in every way imaginable.



ToGo's logo, orange and white, reading "Since 1971" and "True to the Sandwich."

Founded in 1971, nationwide sandwich Togo’s uses the freshest veggies, meats, and cheeses, and bake all bread on site. Customize your sandwich, or select a menu classic for a masterpiece with premium ingredients and taste you won’t find elsewhere.


More Healthy Takeout Options: Shop Local

A small restaurant painted aquamarine with picnic tables out front.

Finally, you can’t beat local selections when it comes to healthy and delicious takeout. Delis, small restaurants, and cafes often thrive because customers appreciate the attention to quality some large-scale chain restaurants lack.

Bonus: you’re supporting local businesses and your community, which makes eating well feel even better.



Tips for Managing Stress in a Fast-Paced World

Man in stress hunched over on wooden park bench.

Managing stress is a lot like getting more sleep, or exercising daily: everyone knows they should be doing it, but the “how” feels so vague and unattainable, they give up before they begin.

True, everyone feels stress. Sometimes, it can even be helpful, increasing focus and putting just the right amount of pressure on you to accomplish a task. But too much can be harmful, which is why managing stress effectively—before you hit a breaking point—is so important.

Society doesn’t help matters. People are urged to stay busy, and there’s a negative connotation to the idea of “downtime.”

Ironically, though, effectively managing stress allows you to increase productivity, generate more energy, and live a better, healthier life.


Tan woman with dark hair lying on a bed with hands over face.

Cut the Excess From Your Life

All the stress management strategies in the world won’t help if you’re bombarding yourself with unnecessary stressors.

Think of it like bailing out a boat. Sure, bailing out the water is important—but so is stopping the original leak! Eliminating extra stress-inducing elements from your life is the first and most crucial step to managing stress effectively.

If any of these hit close to home, consider cutting them out. The changes don’t have to be permanent, either; try a week or so at a time, then reevaluate whether or not your mood and overall quality of life have improved without those things.


Watching the News

News media camera crew filming a story.

When a crisis is happening, the human body reacts by releasing stress hormones. Watching the news can trigger these stress responses for events that may have nothing to do with your actual life, or have a very small chance of happening to you.

Now, that’s not to say the stress response is bad: humans need it to escape or mitigate life-threatening situations. The news, however, doses the brain with too many worst-case scenarios at once, things you’d likely never ruminate on without being prompted.

If skipping the news isn’t an option, consider a news source that focuses on positive stories more than negative, or limit your doom-scrolling to a few minutes per day.


Constantly Connected to Social Media

Social media icons glowing neon colors on a black background.

Productivity has definitely decreased with the rise of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media apps—but science has found happiness and wellbeing directly correlate, as well.

Simply put: the more time you’re “connected” online, the less connected you’ll feel with your real life, and the less happier you’ll be.

Social media has similar effects to watching the news too often, but it’s almost worse. This is because social platforms are designed to deliver dopamine. Despite the politics, comparing yourself to others, sad stories, and comment section wars, you’ll keep coming back for more and more.

The solution? It’s simple, but incredibly difficult: stop using these platforms.

Or, at least, cut down your usage by significant amounts. This can be accomplished by setting app timers, or choosing to keep only one or two platforms and uninstalling the rest.

Don’t despair, Facebook fanatics: some research has shown that quitting social media doesn’t, in fact, affect happiness or stress levels. Interestingly, it seems to be how you use a platform that really matters.

Mindless scrolling and clickbait rabbit holes are an issue, as is replacing real-life communication with digital versions altogether. But interacting meaningfully with friends and family can actually improve wellbeing.

An important factor in that study was the characteristics of the person using the media. In other words, just because one person is happier off social media, doesn’t necessarily mean another will be, too. It comes down to your reasons for using it, how you engage, and if it interferes with other aspects of your life.

The moral? Analyze your social media use as objectively as possible. And don’t force yourself to give it up if you really don’t want to; cutting back can be effective, too.


Unhealthy Relationships

Tense woman bathed in red light against dark blue urban landscape.

If you have a toxic or abusive relationship in your life, you already know they need to go. Some relationships may be less obvious.

Do you have a friend that you love to commiserate with? The one that complains about their day then you complain about yours? Helpful as it feels in the moment, this habit can actually be feeding more stress into your life.

Try redirecting negative conversations with those friends and focusing on neutral or positive topics. If they seem addicted to the gloom and doom, you might consider cutting down contact, or—in extreme cases—cutting them out of your life altogether.

They say you’re heavily influenced by the five people you interact with the most, so make sure your top five are as focused on keeping stress levels down as you are.


Too Much Coffee

Coffee in small white ceramic cup on saucer with background blurred.

Caffeine gets a negative reputation it only partially deserves. While coffee is great for heart health and mental acuity, it also elevates cortisol levels (the stress hormone).

What’s worse, it does it almost undetectably; you don’t notice the effect until you eliminate caffeine altogether.

Before you ditch the Keurig, remember that coffee, like pretty much anything else, is fine in moderation. Decrease your intake to one mild to reasonably strong cup per day, before noon, with no top-offs, tea, or soda the rest of the day.

You’ll get the wake-up call you love, without an unchecked caffeine addiction brewing in the background.



Unseen person balancing several shots of alcohol in their hand.

Like coffee, alcohol is another “usually fine in moderation” substance. While it brings short-term stress relief, it’s been linked to increased anxiety in the long-term.

When you do imbibe, formulate a game plan. Stick to drinks with lower alcohol content, alternate with water, and get plenty of rest after a night on the town.


Young man under stress wearing a blue hoodie with hands over eyes.


Long-Term Strategies for Stress Relief

After you’ve fixed the leak in your boat—eliminating any additional stressors in your daily life—it’s time to bail out the water that’s there (managing stress triggers that you can’t avoid) and work on steering that boat away from the rocks (improving your body’s natural response to stress, so you bounce back faster).

These suggestions aren’t quick fixes. In fact, they require cumulative efforts to work. The more you implement, and the more often you do them, the more profound the effects will be.


Healthy Meals

Healthy meal consisting of fruit, granola, and yogurt in a large white bowl on wooden cutting board.

Filling yourself up with the good stuff helps your body counter-attack stress. It’s way easier to handle negativity when you aren’t battling a sugar crash or caffeine headache.

Scientifically, it makes sense even down to the cellular level: healthy, balanced diets lower inflammation and blood pressure, two things that skyrocket because of stress.

Whole ingredients and nutritious meals also improve the gut-brain axis, helping your body produce the right brain chemicals at the right times, including dopamine and serotonin.


Getting Enough Sleep

Couple sleeping peacefully in bed.

Whether you’re a full-fledged night owl or the ubiquitous “I’ll just catch up on the weekends” short-changer, you’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage by not hitting the hay earlier.

A lack of quality sleep puts strain on the body, which needs adequate rest to heal and prepare for the day ahead. It also lowers mental proficiency, affecting memory, coordination, mood…and just about everything else.

If this is a consistent problem, check out this guide on how to get better sleep.



A pink gratitude journal stacked on another journal, flatlay with office supplies and greenery.

Being grateful for what you do have makes you less stressed about what you do not have.

A study showed participants who exercised gratitude for 10 weeks (journaling about the positive things that happened to them) were more optimistic and happier than the groups that only tracked negative experiences, or who logged events without assigning emotions.

Of course, it’s not ironclad science, but plenty of similar studies exist to support the notion that being thankful and optimistic strengthens your sense of contentment.

This doesn’t mean removing all ambition, or that striving to improve your life is bad. It simply means you should slow down and enjoy the journey, while you’re at it.


Making Time for Nothing

Unseen person with legs stretched out on dock looking at peaceful water with a lantern beside them.

Leave white space on your calendar: beautiful, empty, blank space to do absolutely nothing at all.

It’s daunting, actually planning to do…well, nothing, but studies show taking breaks makes you more productive overall.

Like any impressive machine, your body and brain need time to idle and recalibrate; constantly moving and doing will lead to burnout. Schedule that empty space for yourself and, if you must justify it, label it “self-care.” (After all, that’s exactly what it is!)


Stressed blonde woman looking disheveled and tired at kitchen table.


Short-Term Strategies for Managing Stress

Stress happens. Even the most carefree individual, armed to the teeth with long-term stress reduction strategies, is going to encounter a stressful situation or two every single day.

Fights with spouses, tight deadlines, health challenges: these things are inevitable, and learning to cope with them in the moment is just as important as big-picture stress management.

The best part? When done regularly, these short-term strategies contribute to long-term stress relief, too.

Your neural pathways will be primed to respond properly to stress, and these habits will become second nature after only a few repetitions.


Breathing Exercises

Woman with pixie cut leaning on a tree and breathing peacefully.

This one is very much an in-the-moment tool. Take a moment to think about your breathing. Inhale through your nose for three seconds, then exhale out slowly for four.

This method sends the message to your brain: Hey, slow down. Relax. It pulls the body out of its “fight or flight” mode, that panicky, jittery feeling that accompanies stress.

Breathing exercises also encourage a full oxygen exchange: oxygen goes in, carbon dioxide goes out, and the heartbeat and blood pressure stabilize.


Take a Walk/Get Outside

Person walking outdoors on narrow road amidst rolling brown hills.

Spending time outside not only calms you down, but also improves vitamin D production, which directly affects numerous functions within the body: calcium regulation, immune response, mood regulation, and much more.

Nature’s also grounding because it encourages connectedness to the environment, and forces you to be more “in the moment.”

After a heated argument, try cooling off with a walk. Stuck on a big project at work? Step away from the screen and do some laps around the office building. You’ll return with a fresher perspective and clearer mindset.

Incorporating habitual walks into your routine is beneficial, as well. Schedule one for the times each day when you’re most stressed: after work, during lunch…or even after dinner, when the kids have you at your wits’ end.



Three women jogging in late evening, silhouettes against blue sky.

Cardiovascular exercise boosts endorphins, which make you happy and reduce stress hormones. Running, swimming, riding a bike, and even walking. There are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping. Some workouts you can even do from the comfort of your bed, couch, or in your home!

What’s more, it helps you sleep more soundly, feel more energetic, and focus better—all critical components to effective stress management.


Create Artwork

Happy blonde woman drawing or doing calligraphy hand-lettering in sketchbook on coffee table.

Having an artistic outlet requires you to slow down. Painting, drawing, photography, woodwork, or sculpting are some ways that you can relieve stress through the process of creating.

And good news for anyone who hasn’t crafted since grade school: the positive effects of creating have nothing to do with talent! It’s the process that’s beneficial, not the final product.


Talking to Someone

Two women chatting on a couch against a sunny window lined with plants.

A support system can bring you a lot of relief.

While trained psychologists or counselors are invaluable for chronic stress or mental health issues, milder stress can be “talked out” with a good, trusted friend.

Bonus: helping other people with their problems benefits you, too. Talking through others’ issues and giving advice instills a sense of value, and promotes objectivity when observing your own troubles.



Peaceful and calm woman in white tee and black pants meditating while sitting cross-legged.

Like gratitude, meditation is difficult to grasp until you give it a try. It’s also not a “one and done” strategy, by any means.

Consistent meditation, however, will yield incredible results. It takes practice; being mindful, quiet, and still is not easy feat in this modern, fast-paced world.

Start small, and build up slowly. Two minutes a day is still enough to see some benefit, and can easily be built upon until you’re at five, ten, twenty minutes…or even more, if you wish.



Stick With It

Granted, none of these strategies are particularly groundbreaking or novel, but that’s also why they work so well: they encourage simplicity, listening to your body, and connecting with your inner self.

The hardest part is getting started. The second hardest part: sticking with it.

A little self-discipline and consistency are key to managing stress, and you’ll find these strategies become easier the longer you do them.


The Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Vegetarian

Vegetarian meal with wild rice, greens, and sweet potatoes in a dark bowl.

If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, it can be daunting to know where to start.

Rest assured: with the vegetarian lifestyle increasing in popularity, more restaurants and grocery stores are accommodating these dietary needs than ever before.

Vegetarian recipe blogs abound, and new plant-based takes on old favorites like the Impossible Burger make this diet as easy to follow as any other.

Still, you might be wondering where to start with this new lifestyle. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the basics of becoming a vegetarian.



Vegetarian Vs. Vegan: What’s the Difference?

Styrofoam egg carton with brown speckled eggs.

If you’ve wondered what the difference is between vegans and vegetarians, you’re not alone. Many similarities exist between the two diets.

They do have one glaring difference, though. While vegetarians do not eat meat, they do consume animal byproducts like eggs, cheese, or butter.

Vegans, on the other hand, consume neither animals nor their byproducts.

In other words, if an animal died to make the product (a steak, for example), neither group eats it. If an animal was involved in its production in any way (like dairy-based ice cream), vegetarians can eat it, but vegans do not.

As an aside, including animal byproducts in your new vegetarian diet will ensure a smoother transition away from meat. Eggs and milk are good sources of protein, and make useful meat substitutes in recipes like fried rice, protein bowls, and more.

If you’re interested in becoming vegan, consider a gradual approach: vegetarianism first, with a slow decrease in animal byproduct consumption as time goes on. This will make veganism less of a shock to your system.


“Vegetarian” Does Not Automatically Mean “Healthy”

A leaning tower of vegetarian chocolate chip cookies on speckled background with a glass of milk nearby.

This is a big and understandable misconception about this lifestyle.

Due to occasionally low sources of protein, iron, or other nutrients you used to receive from meat, you can feel hungry a lot. When you’re not sure what to eat, you tend to grab whatever is around and whatever is easiest.

The product may be vegetarian, but it’s almost always packed with sugar and carbs, too. Be sure to portion out your intake of these snack foods into appropriate amounts.

If you find yourself gorging on food after becoming vegetarian, it’s possible you’re deficient in certain vitamins or minerals. The same goes if you experience lethargy or mood swings. Consult a doctor to get some basic lab work done for anemia and other deficiencies.

Alternatively, you might find yourself rapidly losing weight, now that so many of your favorite foods are off-limits as a vegetarian.

Keep a food log to track your caloric intake, and make sure you’re getting the right amount for your height, weight, and lifestyle.


Beware of Hidden Animal Bases

Bowl of ramen or other thin noodles with hardboiled egg, leeks, button mushrooms and tofu with chopsticks on woven green mat.

Some folks who won’t eat meat have no problem consuming fat-based flavorings. They may even take supplements with bases like cod liver oil.

If you choose to make exceptions to your vegetarianism like those, that’s entirely your call. If, however, you want to avoid hidden animal bases, watch for these items on food labels:

  • Gelatin. This substance consists of animal skin, tendons, and bones. It’s boiled down to form a gel-like substance, and is found in Jello (obviously), candies, marshmallows, and even vitamins.


  • Lard. Simply put, lard is fat from pigs. It’s found in many baked goods and anywhere you’d expect to also find butter.


  • Rennet. This enzyme is found inside the stomachs of animals (usually calves) and is used to make a lot of different cheeses. Many don’t require rennet, however. A lot of cheese production companies have recently switched over to vegetable options.


  • Beef/chicken stock, bacon fat, and bone broth. Usually added for flavor, these ingredients can still affect your body the same way meat would. Slowly consuming less of these might be ideal for brand-new vegetarians looking to ease into the lifestyle, but if you want to steer clear of meat completely, watch for these in most products. These products can typically be found in soups and ramen. Although, ramen ingredients are largely vegetarian, it is possible to have a vegetarian broth made so that the whole dish can be perfectly vegetarian.



How to Get Your Protein and Iron as a New Vegetarian

An ornate glass bowl filled with a variety of nuts on an orange table.

There are probably more sources of natural protein and iron sources than you have ever imagined. Some excellent meat substitutes and protein sources include:

  • Seitan. A gluten product that has a similar texture to meat that also contains iron and other nutrients.


  • Tofu, tempeh, or edamame. All made from soybeans and packed with protein and amino acids.


  • Lentils. Delightful little bean-like things that are packed with protein and fiber.


  • Beans and chickpeas. There is a huge variety of these, so you are bound to find one you like. Hummus, for example, is made of chickpeas, and makes a great dip for vegetables.


  • Nuts and seeds. Full of protein and healthy fats.


  • Mushrooms. Not as protein-packed, but they are rich, diverse, and delicious. They also contain a lot of B-vitamins.


  • Dark greens. Veggies like spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and the outlier potatoes (or sweet potatoes) are high in protein, iron, and vitamins.


  • Dark fruits. Nectarines, blackberries, and blueberries are all vitamin-rich and delicious.


  • Gold Standard Whey Protein. If you’re struggling to meet your protein goals, adding some protein powder to your diet can definitely help. The only animal-derived ingredient in this powder is whey itself which comes from cow’s milk.

Benefits of Becoming a Vegetarian

A clean modern kitchen with blue ombre cookware.

Lower Food Bill

If planned in advance, eating as an herbivore is insanely inexpensive. Including foods like those listed above will keep your grocery budget low. There are a ton of budget friendly recipes out there as well!

The pricier options include plant-based replacements (like Impossible Burgers or other burger substitutes), and vegetarian-branded snacks. You can choose to include these in your weekly shopping trips, but watch out for creeping costs.

Grocery shopping as a vegetarian isn’t all that different from most shoppers’ experiences. The more whole goods and ingredients you buy (to cook with yourself), the cheaper it will be. If, however, you go for more premade options and snacks, that total will look a lot higher at the register.


Easier Mealtime Cleanups

No more fat or grease caked to baking sheets and pans, no more strict clean-up after handling raw meats…the kitchen is a very different place after you switch to a vegetarian diet!


Simple Meal Substitutions

One of the best parts about becoming a vegetarian is how simple it is to substitute meatless options for your favorite meals.

You don’t have to give up your beloved spaghetti; just ditch the ground beef or sausage from your favorite sauce (or make your own from scratch). Substitute mushrooms for some extra flavor, if you’d like.

Bean tacos or quesadillas are just as delicious as the original versions. Your lunchtime salad will be even more delicious with hardboiled eggs or tofu in place of grilled chicken. Get creative! You might find your new vegetarian recipe is even better than the original.

Best of all, of you find that you’re struggling to meet your daily protein goals, you can easily add some protein powder to your favorite smoothies, yogurts, or even water. As an added bonus you can even cook with protein powder by adding them into your favorite pastries making you feel a little less guilty about eating them.


Restaurants Almost Always Have Options

Unlike other diets (veganism, for example), vegetarianism is common enough and lighter on the restrictions that make cooking such a challenge for other dietary needs. This means restaurants will be more apt to include a vegetarian option or two.

And, in the event your establishment of choice doesn’t have a vegetarian option, you can always ask for a customized meal made with ingredients most places already have on-hand, like rice and vegetables. Chipotle is one of the best on-the-go restaurants for vegetarian options.

Keep in mind that some cultures eat more vegetables than others. This means places like Indian, Thai, Mexican, or sushi restaurants may cater to vegetarians more easily than many American chains.


Live a Healthier Lifestyle and Feel Better

Perhaps the biggest benefit of becoming a vegetarian is how much better you’ll feel. When you plan your food intake wisely, you can meet all your required vitamin and nutrient levels, dramatically lower your fat consumption, and still get plenty of protein.



Some people turn to vegetarianism for a dramatic dietary overhaul, while others just want a little more plant-based food in their normal diets. Whatever your reason is for becoming a vegetarian, you can absolutely succeed in it with good research, planning, and dedication.  Bon Appétit!