Healthy Eating While Traveling

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This article first appeared on HealthBytesNYC.com

Putting on the miles, not the pounds!

When you travel, you need foods to eat that are convenient and fast. Typical options include chips, candy, fast food and bottled sodas. These foods are almost always full of unhealthy fats and calories, and lack any valuable nutrition.

Planning and packing your own travel snacks is the key to eating healthy while you are away from home. By packing your own foods and seeking out the healthiest choices, you can continue to eat healthy while you are traveling. Here are some tips on how to plan, and what to pack!

Purchase before you go: Before leaving for your trip plan a quick outing to your grocery store or local farmers market. There, you can purchase your favorite portable fruits and veggies. Apples, bananas, and carrots are always quick and easy while on the road.

Choose healthier options: If you must venture out to get a bite to eat, choose wisely. Most news stands in the airport and restaurants have healthier options you can find. If there is no fruit, pick yogurt, nuts, or granola bars. Most restaurants have a salad option or a deli sandwich with vegetable options on top (skip the cheese and the mayo). Get your food to-go so when you do find time to sit down, you can eat something more nourishing and satisfying than a burger and fries.

Buy while you are there: If you are staying in the same location for a few days, find a local supermarket where you can save money and calories by picking up foods for breakfast, snacks and possibly some lunches. This option allows you to control what healthy choices you have for meals. Some hotels serve breakfast for free. In this case, stick whole grain cereal, fruit, yogurt, or oat meal, and avoid the bacon and syrup covered waffles.

Snacks to go: Making your own healthy snacks before you go is another option! Trail mix and granola are both easy to make and fun to eat. Making your own granola is one way to avoid partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Trail mix is fun to customize to your favorite healthy tastes. Nuts are a great way to add good oils and proteins, and dried fruits and dark chocolate are a better option for a sweet tooth; just go easy on the chocolate.

Bring your lunch: Another great thing to pack is a sandwich, this will help save you time, money, and calories. You will have control over your options; whole wheat vs. white; lettuce vs. cheese; olive oil and pepper vs. mayo.

Eat your breakfast: Last, make sure you eat big healthy breakfast in the morning before you leave. This will make you feel full longer so you are not tempted to eat snacks along the way.

And remember, the best types of food you can buy are ones without a food label, not McDonald’s Dollar Menu, but rather fruits and veggies! Processed foods can leave you feeling sluggish, with a stomach ache, and unsatisfied. If you can maintain a healthy diet while traveling, I guarantee you will feel healthier, be more alert, and have more fun on your trip!

Information provided by Julie Winslow M.Ed., CHES, CHHC, Director of the Karpas Health Information Center. at Beth Israel Medical Center.


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