Sunday, June 24, 2012

Traveling Tips

Out of the home and on vacation can still mean healthy eating.  Resist the high fat/high sugar food choices by fighting the excuse of "we're on vacation."

Whether vacation means spending the day at the neighborhood pool, a trip down the shore, summer camp, or a planned destination, remember some key nutrition tips to fuel and replenish your body.  Healthy eating will allow you to enjoy your travels and still consume tasteful foods.

  • Check out local farmers' markets at your travel spot!  Fun for the family.  Taste the culture of the trip site.  Stimulate the senses, all the smells and sights of local produce.  Chat with locals and other tourists; food always makes great conversation.  

Refreshing boost of vegetables from gazpacho (cold tomato based vegetable soup) at Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, Spain.  YUM! 
  • Snack Smart.  If your vacation is filled with activities like my recent trip, sometimes sitting down for a meal seems to get lost in the shuffle of walking around exploring the excitement of a new city, entering palaces, in awe over extravagant churches, and reaching tops of hills that overlook breathtaking city views.  When too much time passes between meals, tolerance levels drop along with the blood sugar.  Furthermore, smart snacking can significantly help in healthful aging and disease prevention.
Aim to consume snacks with the same meal guidelines: wholesome fresh foods.  Whole grains and fruits produce quick energy from complex carbohydrates.  Pair with lean protein or healthy fats for continuing power.

If treating yourself to packaged goodies, portion out your serving to prevent over eating.

  • Plan Ahead.  Pack easy to carry items in your bag.  Pack a cooler for a long car ride to resist stopping at a fast-food restaurant.  Many stores offer pre-packaged snack items (pre-sliced apples, nut butter packages, pre-packaged grapes).  With a little planning you can do the same and save on food costs!

Some Favorite Energy Boosters:
  • Small handful of almonds (or other unsalted nuts)
  • Handful of carrots and strips of bell pepper
  • Mini-snack box of raisins (or other dried fruit without added sugar)
  • Create your own trail mix (whole grain cereal, unsalted pretzels, dried fruit, unsalted nuts)
  • Kale chips (wash, cut, and thoroughly dry kale.  Lightly drizzle olive oil.  Bake at 275°F until crisp about 15 to 20 minutes, turning the leaves half-way thorough.)
  • Whole-wheat cracker sandwiches with peanut or almond butter
  • Apples