Your Healthy Eating Guide During a PCS or Deployment

flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate

Healthy eating should be a lifestyle, but with “boat life” it can be easier to reach for cereal or frozen nuggets for dinner then thinking about meal prep. We recently have PC’S’d, lived with family members and currently reside in a hotel while we wait for house. All my hopes for total clean eating have been hard but here are some tips and tricks for preventing the dreaded PCS/Deployment 15 (lbs).

As always, be sure to consult your doctor beforevstarting any new diet / lifestyle change.

Set Realistic Goals

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Photo by Markus Winkler on

What would you like to accomplish during this time? Here are some attainable goals to think about:

  • Get take out once a week
  • Incorporate one more vegetable a meal
  • No snacking/eating after 8:00 P.M.
  • Do not eat your child’s left overs (aka The Mom Meal)
  • Reduce simple carbs white rice, pasta, chips with complex carbs brown rice, quinoa
  • Fill your plate with ½ of any veggie, ¼ protein, ¼ complex carb

Find Support

black girl doing split while friend stretching before training on stadium
Photo by Mary Taylor on

It is always easier to make a life style shift if you have others to support you. If your spouse thinks french fries are a vegetable, look to your friends and family to start a plan or challenge with you.. If your spouse is deployed, ask members in your FRG or deployment circle if they would like to do a meal prep swap. Everyone in the swap makes a meal with enough servings for members in the group and on a designated day everyone picks up their meals (like a healthy cookie exchange). You could also do Fit Bit step challenges or other fun ways to stay motivated.

Stay Hydrated

Often times when we feel hungry, we are dehydrated. Take your weight in ounces and divide it in ½ and that is the ideal water intake for the day. If I am craving a little snack, I first drink a glass of water and see how I feel in 30 minutes. Spice up your water with lemon slices, mint, cucumbers or pineapple.

Plan Ahead

We have currently been living in a hotel for almost three months and as tempting as it can be to go through the drive-thru, I know my waist line and wallet appreciate a “hotel cooked” meal. Grabbing a pre-marinated protein from the local grocery store to pop in the air fryer and a microwave ready complex carb and veggie puts a healthy and delish meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Stick to a menu at the start of the week and make sure to throw in a treat of a new restaurant to try (for me it has been every restaurant that serves Lobster Rolls lol) as motivation. Websites like Skinny Taste, All Recipes, Eating Well, and Food Network all have healthy recipes if you are stuck on what to make for dinner.

Snack & Shop Smart

It can be tough but as soon as you’re ready to star, unload all the unhealthy processed items and replace them with healthy snacks that are full of protein and natural sugars. Walking into a gas station it can be easy to reach for the chips but grab a protein stick like a Chomps or little hummus cups. If you’re on the road pack a cooler of healthy snacks (pre cut fresh fruit, carrot sticks, almonds) so your less tempted to stop for a treat.

Other ideas for healthy grab and go snacks:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Dark chocolate squares
  • Almonds
  • Fresh fruit
  • String cheese
  • Beef jerky
  • Nut butters
  • Protein bars (be sure to look at the sugar to protein ratio)
  • Carrots
  • Pretzels
  • Air popped popcorn


Take Out Pizza in a Box Ready to Eat

Life is about balance so find what works for you! I like to think about eating and exercise on a 80/20 rule eating and exercising regularly during the week and being a little more lax during the weekend. It doesn’t mean I eat a whole pizza for Sunday Funday, but if I know I’m going to have pizza for dinner I make sure to take a walk Sunday morning and have a salad for lunch so I can enjoy that some pizza or lobster roll for dinner.

Have any other tips we would love to hear! Follow my change of homeport PCS / hotel living on IG .

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