With any healthy diet plan, think of preparation ahead of time. I promise you it will be worth it – for your health, your diet, and your waistline! I suggest to my clients that when following a healthy eating plan focus what you are eating, rather than what you are avoiding, even when you are away from home. Make a list of those good foods, shop for them, and have them available when you are travelling. If you are trying to lose weight, the worst thing you can do for your body (and motivation!) is to blow it completely while you are away. Keep it healthy from the start! Here are a few tips for while you are travelling:
- Have good snacks on hand in the car and the hotel/home you are staying.
- Remember your water! It is so easy to get out of the habit of drinking enough water while you are away. Reaching for pop or alcohol may be tempting, but do you REALLY want to drink that many calories, and put that much sugar into your body after you have been working so hard?
- Make sure you eat every 3-4 hours so your energy and metabolism doesn’t take a beating.
- Avoid excess sugar. (I know – NO FUN!!) High carbohydrate meals and added sugar will leave you feeling exhausted, deplete your immune system (who wants to get sick while on vacation??) and make you crave more sugar, which is a nasty cycle to get into – especially when you are watching your weight.
- If dining out look for better choices on the menu. Instead of a greasy breakfast choose fresh fruit and yogurt, oatmeal, granola, or boiled eggs. Rather than ordering the typical burgers, steaks, or french fries choose large salads (careful with the dressings), whole grain pasta, veggies, fruit or cottage cheese – look for options, most restaurants will have them! Look for baked or grilled over fried.
- Split a meal! Most restaurants have huge portions. If you order it, you will most likely eat it – sharing also shares the calories. Portion control is key with healthy eating or weight loss, don’t lose it while you are away.
- Don’t forget to exercise! Whether it is going for walks on the beach, doing lunges in the hotel room, or going for an extra long swim, look for ways to include it.
Healthy Snacks for the Car:
- Load up on fresh cut vegetables and fruit. Bring a small cooler with you to keep them cool.
- Individual portions of cheese or cheese strings – kids love this.
- Home-made, whole grain, low or no sugar muffins
- Raw nuts and seeds – make a fun trail mix!
- Make sandwiches on whole grain bread or pitas with lean meat, or hummus and lots of veggies. Natural peanut butter for kids.
- Bake pitas at home, and make your own pita chips – they are much healthier than those other chips! Another alternative are whole grain crackers or brown rice crackers. If you want some dip try hummus, salsa, or guacamole.
- Kids love their own bag of air-popped popcorn with a little sea salt, cinnamon, or flaxoil for taste – and it keeps them busy for a while.
- Home-made granola bars
- Soaked chickpeas – soak overnight and eat raw or roasted chickpeas
Travelling does not have to mean eating every meal at a fast food restaurant or snacking on chips and candy. Planning ahead of time can save you a lot of headaches later, and probably a few extra pounds!
- 1 cup of dried chickpeas
- Rinse 1 cup of dried chickpeas and cover with water. Allow them to soak overnight, then drain. (If using canned rinse, then pat dry).
- Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender.
- Remove from oven, toss with your choice of seasoning. Try combinations like olive oil, sea salt and lemon, or tamari sauce (soy sauce), sesame oil and chili pepper. (1-2 teaspoons each per 1 cup of chickpeas).
Per cup: 197 calories, 9g protein, 6g fat, 27.9g carbohydrates, 4.1g fiber. Excellent source of folic acid.