Tips for Traveling:
Well it certainly is that time of year again to travel. Whether you are going on a car trip, flying to see family, or staying in hotels, there will be many impediments to eating in your established healthy way. Here are some tips to help you on your way:
- Use restaurants you have had success with at home. So if Subway or Au Bon Pain are familiar to you, then you will have an easy time with the menu. Of course the point of being away is to experience new things, but if you find yourself getting poor food choices, go back to what you know.
- Drink plenty of fluids. It is easy to get dehydrated, and water is the best choice for fluids. Avoid excess alcohol.
- Keep healthy snacks at hand, such as nuts, fruit, granola bars with 10 gm or less sugar in them (mostly balance or high protein bars). The best snacks for kids are fruit bars without added sugar, fruit, popcorn, veggie or sweet potato sticks, and individual ice cream treats on an occasional basis. Use the small individual bags of chips for portion control on the chips.
- Remember to eat breakfast. Breakfast primes the system and prepares you for a full day of sight-seeing or meetings. Make sure the meal is balanced in carbs, fats and proteins – so not a bagel or Danish and jam. This is good advice anywhere or anytime, but especially while you are on the road.
- Use the hotel’s concierge service to show you sample menus or recommend restaurants that meet your dining needs, so that you can make good choices even before heading out.
- Ask your server about healthy options on the menu before ordering. Often these items are specially marked on the menu.
- Get salad dressings on the side, or order oil and vinegar. Stay away from the creamy dressings because they are high in calories, and can spoil easily in the heat.
- Choose the lunch portion if possible, or put half of the food in a bag to go for the next meal.
- If you are in a mini-mart or gas station, your healthy options could be nuts, fruit, sparkling water or your ice cream treat for the day. Forget the chocolates; they usually aren’t dark enough (66% or more). Read the labels on “waters” – some are heavy in sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Above all, have a great time, and come back and tell me all about it!!
Judith Mabel, PhD, RD at NutritionBoston.com