Chef Marshall frequently says that nourishing is different than eating. Food either works for you, or it works against you. No matter your profession or your daily activities, the right foods will help make your day a little better, so you have less body pain and can get through the day with energy to spare.

To make sure you have the right foods in your life, you can create food “safe zones”. In a food safe zone, you can ensure you have available food options that fit your personal food plan. This will help you stay on track and set you up for success.

Your home kitchen is your main food safe zone: you control what you bring into your kitchen, you control the menu, and you know exactly what you put into everything you cook. To create a safe zone in your kitchen, you simply eliminate  foods with bad ingredients (bad fats, simple sugars, unhealthy additives) and ensure that nourishing alternatives are available.

For many people, certain times of days or situations pose a threat to staying on track, so you need to learn your time and situational triggers. For instance, you may reach for a pick-me-up in the afternoon, or crave something sweet after dinner. The good news is cravings only last about 15 minutes, so plan to keep busy or distract yourself.

When you’re out in your world, you don’t always have control over the foods that are available. Here are a few easy ways to create safe zones when you aren’t at home:

At work: If your work environment tempts you with sodas and snacks, the best thing you can do is to be prepared. Bring your own beverages and nourishing foods so you can create a safe zone at your office. If you cannot get your co-workers on board with changing the widely available snack offerings, at least you will know you have the right foods to eat. Bring your own sparkling water and nourishing snacks so you will have a better option when the mid-afternoon slump hits. Bring your own lunch so you know you are eating the right food to eat. This is budget friendly, too!

In restaurants: f you’re going out to eat, research the menu ahead of time to see what kinds of nourishing options they have offer. If you can, select a restaurant where you know you can order something that fits your goals. If you order a salad, order dressing on the side—many salad dressings are loaded with sugar and unhealthy oils so having it on the side means you can control how much makes it onto your salad.

On the Go: When you are out and about, you can’t always control your environment, but you can be prepared by bringing your own snacks or researching healthy options ahead of time. Low sugar protein bars and healthy nuts can give you an energy boost if your energy is lagging. And, if you end up eating instead of nourishing, don’t punish yourself—you’re allowed an occasional indulgence.

When you have food safe zones in your life, you be confident that you’ll be able to make helpful food choices that work for you, not against you.

Take advantage of this practical tip and you will love the way you feel!