Summer is here and that means lots of BBQ’s and Vacations. That can make it a little more challenging to eat a healthy diet. I have a few tips for Traveling and Setting yourself up for success. I feel like there is nothing worse than going on vacation over indulging and feeling awful the rest of the trip.
If you are traveling by car, here are tips for healthy eating on the road:
- Pack plenty of water. If you are traveling by car, pack an insulated cooler filled with water, sugar-free beverages and protein drinks.
- Bring high-protein foods. Light yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese singles, hard-cooked eggs and individual packets of tuna or lean deli meats can be kept in the insulated cooler with ice packs or frozen water bottles to keep them cool.
- Always keep healthy snacks on-hand. Protein bars, nuts and soy crisps are easy, nutritional snack choices that also are high in protein. Fresh fruit, light fruit cups, vegetable medleys and cherry tomatoes make excellent are also great choices.
- Read the nutrition facts. Before making any purchases on the road, use the nutrition label to guide your selection and portion size to make sure you stay on track with your diet. Highway rest stops carry a variety of calorie-free beverages, but their healthy snack options are often much more limited.
- Stick to plain or simply prepared foods. When purchasing meals on the road, simple is usually best. If you have any questions about sugar content, ingredients or method of preparation, ask the restaurant for clarification. Many restaurants have brochures with nutrition information available upon request.
- Find a nearby grocery store. Once you reach your final destination find a local grocery where you can replenish your beverages and diet essentials.
- Request an in-room refrigerator. It it easier to eat healthy if you have a place to keep your healthy beverages and snacks. Also, take advantage of the complimentary ice machine to fill your beverage container or cooler when you pack up to leave.
If you are traveling by plane, here are tips for healthy eating in the air:
- Buy a calorie-free beverage after you are through the security checkpoint. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that all carry-on liquids fit inside a 3.4-ounce or smaller container that is stored in a quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. Each passenger is limited to one zip-top bag of liquids. Purchase calorie-free beverages to bring on the flight after you have been cleared by security.
- Pack protein powder in your carry-on bag. Dense foods items like peanut butter and sugar-free preserves should be packed in your checked luggage, but carry a quick protein fix in your carry-on. Just remember to leave time for any additional screening.
- Order special in-flight meals in advance. Many airlines offer meal accommodations for passengers with specific dietary needs on long or international flights, including low-fat and sugar-free meals. Special meals need to be ordered at least 24 hours before your flight.
Regardless of your means of traveling, keeping a food diary is a foolproof way of ensuring that you meet your nutritional needs no matter how far you are from home.
It may take extra planning on your part, but it is possible to stay on-track with your diet on vacation.