Today we have become a very mobile society and the holidays are no different to be on the road and out of town. It’s great to visit those distant relatives but getting to our destination can mean whole days of sitting in a car, at the airport or on a plane. Plus, there will be high-calorie meals at each stop calling out to you and before you know it, your plan for eating healthy can go right out the door.
How can you eat smart and move more while traveling? Try these tips:
1. Pack some snacks. To avoid the fast-food stops, try packing snacks that are travel-friendly and healthy. Make sure you pack plenty of water as well.
2. When traveling with children, try to avoid the “Happy Meal Syndrome” and pack bite-sized, whole-grain cereal, cut-up veggies with low-fat dip, whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese, nuts and dried fruit (remember the portion is ¼ cup).
3. Let your host or hostess know you are trying to maintain your weight. They will more likely support your efforts and you can also volunteer to cook one night and make a healthy meal.
4. Plan ahead. If you are traveling by car, check your route to see if you can find restaurants that provide nutrition information. A good Website to find healthy restaurants where you will be traveling is: www.healthydiningfinder.com/site/diners/
When staring at a menu in a restaurant full of options, try to be mindful of the high-calorie and high-fat foods. Choose foods that are broiled, baked, roasted, poached, steamed or grilled. If a menu items says fried, sautéed, au gratin, crispy, escalloped, or pan fried—BEWARE!
Order water, unsweetened tea (then use Splenda to sweeten), or diet soda for your drink and use low-fat salad dressings or order it on the side to keep the calories down. Don’t settle for the french fries on the side, ask for a healthier option.
Since most restaurants serve large portions, you can split appetizers, entrees and desserts. The main thing is to listen to your body and make eating its own event. Pay attention to your food and don’t be distracted by TV, conversation or reading.
Your body will thank you Jan. 1!
--Lani Kee, MS
Manager, Martin Memorial Center for Health and Healing