Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > Topics > Fitness
March 12, 2014
All Articles

First in Fitness
by Bryan Fass

5 healthy on-the-go meals for medics

These planned meals will help you stay healthy and full between calls

By Bryan Fass

We often make nutrition too difficult and complicated. When yours truly was on the street in a busy urban system, I would prepare meals the day before a long week of running calls. While it takes some planning, I was able to eat well, save money and control myself from the high-sugar and low-health foods that seem pervasive in our world.

Let’s get cooking.

1. Fit responder bars: This is a homemade protein meal-replacement bar that you can modify to fit your taste.

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 4 scoops of vanilla egg white powder (use the scoop in the tub, and egg whites taste best when cooked)
  • 1 cup almond meal     
  • 1 cup raisins 
  • ½ cup diced nuts of your choice
  • 2 tbsp. almond or peanut butter
  • 1 cup almond milk and 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. apple sauce

Preheat oven to 295 degrees. Combine ingredients in a bowl, and mix well to desired consistency. More moisture is better than less. Bake in a round cake pan for 16 to 18 minutes. Do not over cook. Cut into equal pieces; each piece will contain roughly 12 grams of protein.

Keep the bars in the refrigerator until your shift, and bars will be fine unrefrigerated for at 12 to 14 hours.

2. Responder wraps: Here's a gluten-free, spinach or whole wheat wrap for a tasty and healthy meal on the go.

  • 4-5 slices of reduced-sodium turkey breast (tuna or chicken works too)
  • Mustard
  • Cheese such as provolone or cheddar
  • Loose leaf spinach or kale
  • Spinach or whole wheat wraps

Make two wraps and cut each in half after rolling them. These are easy to eat between calls no matter where you are. One wrap will keep you going for at least two hours, and will help to control your portions. Drink water as you eat each wrap to feel full and stay hydrated.

3. Basic protein base: Every good meal needs a good base to enhance it. With this combination you can add any protein you like and it will always taste good. Plus it can be eaten hot, cold or in-between, depending on when the tones go off.

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2-3 diced tomatoes
  • Loose leaf spinach
  • Any protein you want

Cook rice according to directions on package. When rice is done, immediately add the beans and tomatoes. Season to taste.

Once cool, place the mix in a storage container and throw it in the fridge. Before your shift, combine the rice mix with loose-leaf spinach and a protein source.

Consider pre-cooking three to four chicken breasts and adding ¾ of a breast (diced) into the mix.

A salad dressing like Newman’s Own honey mustard can really add some flavor.

4. Ready-made oatmeal: This is a very healthy, tasty and easy recipe for a pre-made breakfast or even a meal.

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant, quick, or steel-cut)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Almond or soy milk
  • Handful of chia seeds — yes chia seeds, they are a super food and tasteless

Add the ingredients to a 1-cup Mason jar in this order: oats, milk, yogurt, and chia seeds, along with desired sweeteners or flavors. Consider frozen blueberries, peanut butter and bananas, or apple sauce and cinnamon. The options are endless.

Gently mix and place in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy the next day. Four jars will keep for a long shift week.

5. Easy calzone: Makes a great meal and will feed as many as five people, or keep you fed for four or five shifts.

  • Whole wheat pizza dough
  • Diced veggies of your choice
  • Pre-cooked chicken breast or other protein of your choice
  • Cheese optional

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a pizza stone or baking sheet with olive oil. Roll out your pizza dough into a circle and set aside.

In a separate pan lightly sauté diced vegetables of your choice. I prefer zucchini, broccoli, onion, garlic and at the end spinach (fresh or frozen), but any green vegetable will do.

Add a chicken breast or protein of your choice (pre-cooked).

Add the lightly sautéed veggies to the pizza dough and carefully fold to make a calzone. You can of course add a bit of cheese; I like to add extra leaf greens like kale, greens or spinach as they cook down very quickly. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is done. A little pasta sauce on top completes this awesome meal. 

These are all easy, budget friendly and healthy meals that I developed during my time in the field. With a little planning you'll be eating well all week long. 

About the author

Bryan Fass is a leading expert on public safety injury prevention. As the president and founder of Fit Responder, Bryan’s company works nationally with departments, corporations, and state and local governments to design and run targeted injury prevention and wellness programs. He is frequently contacted for expert opinion and content contribution for all aspects of public safety fitness, ergonomics and wellness. He authored the Fit Responder book used by departments and schools, and writes for numerous web and peer-reviewed journals including the NSCA-TSAC journal, officer.com, JEMS, ems-1.com & best practices in EMS.

Bryan holds a bachelors’ degree in sports medicine with more than 17 years of clinical practice, was a paramedic for more than 8 years, and is certified as an Athletic Trainer (ATC, LAT), Strength Coach (CSCS) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Fit Responder developed the nation’s first validated pre-hire Physical Abilities Test for EMS. Bryan is a sought-after speaker on a variety of topics including risk reduction, employee self-care, real world wellness and How to Eat on the street. Fit Responder also offers a mobile app and program for Fire-Rescue fitness. Contact Bryan at bryan.fass@ems1.com.
Comments
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EMS1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Chelsea Krieger Chelsea Krieger Saturday, March 15, 2014 9:47:55 AM Sounds delish and healthy. I'm definitely going to try these recipes.
Pamela Alvarado Pamela Alvarado Friday, March 21, 2014 11:50:15 AM I am going to try these recipes. Thank you for the info.

EMS1 Offers

We Recommend...

Connect with EMS1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 EMS eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample

Online Campus Both

Fitness Videos