Holiday Shopping Essential: Eat!

Prepare yourself before you head out here...

Confession: I’m not a fan of shopping. Grocery shopping, Christmas shopping, even clothes shopping, I don’t care for it. However, with the “need” to buy gifts for the family (a 5-year old doesn’t understand how great a gift card is), my husband and I always try to get it all done in one day. We strap on the mall walkers, gas up the car and out we go for what ends up being a 6-8 hour day.

To prepare for this long day, which requires more patience than I needed when my son was 2-years old, I have two strategies: eat a good breakfast and carry snacks.

First: A good breakfast helps give strength to sit in traffic and energy to stand in the lines. (More brain energy than physical energy in some cases, but essential regardless.) Whether you choose to go out for breakfast or save money by eating at home, have a breakfast with both protein and carbohydrates. My favorite is pancakes (made with Coach’s Oats Multigrain Pancake mix) and a couple of pieces of sausage. If you are an egg person: a couple of eggs and whole wheat toast will do the trick. Throw in a piece of fruit, like a banana and you have a perfectly well-rounded breakfast. If you aren’t in the mood for the fruit right away, take it with you in the car for a mid-morning snack.

Secondly: carry snacks. The mall food and other fast food venues aren’t always the best choices. Treat yourself to dinner for completing the tasks of getting all of your shopping done, instead of opting for the full-blown lunch from the food court. Here are snack ideas for your purse or car:

  • Fruit: Apples and bananas are perfect.
  • Trail mix: Have ¼-½ cup in a baggie (per person). It is okay if it has chocolate pieces in it.
  • Nuts: Similar to the trail mix, having 1 ounce is a great snack and just the right amount of protein/healthy fat.
  • Cheese, 1 oz. string cheese or cheese cubes: This gets warm in your purse or pocket. Leave it in a cool car so it doesn’t get squishy. It isn’t harmful if you do let it get warm.
  • Drinkable yogurt: A food that is best served cold, so keep it in your car or a mini-cooler.
  • Energy bars: While convenient, are also pricey compared to the other recommendations. However, if you need something go ahead and go for one of these. My two favorites are LaraBars and Nature Valley Trail Mix or Sweet and Salty bars.

Also, bring a bottle of water for your venture. Staying hydrated, even in the cooler weather, is important. Thirst often presents itself as hunger, so be sure that you are really hungry and not thirsty. Also, having to break down to buy water, soda, or even a Gatorade is costly and could be exchanged for a cute stocking stuffer or a gift card for iTunes or Starbucks. (I’ll email you my address…)

Keeping yourself nourished through the shopping excursions helps you stay even keeled and make rational decisions. This way you won’t wonder why you purchased the fur hot water bottle cover.

Disclaimer: no affiliation to Coach’s Oats, LaraBar, Nature Valley, iTunes, or Starbucks…just like these ideas. Also, absolutely no affiliation what-so-ever to the hot water bottle cover people either. Wow. 

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