Traveling? Take the Road to Cancer Prevention

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bigstock-Healthy-Lunch-1493593_300wideIf you’re traveling this holiday, you may face some challenges sticking to your healthy eating and exercise plan – especially during your time on the road.

I find just a little planning ahead helps me arrive at my destination a bit more invigorated than the times I leave my health smarts at home. Here are some tips that have worked for me.

For flying:

  1. Pack a few veggies and fruits in re-sealable baggies. The old standbys work well – carrots, celery, sliced bell pepper, apples, grapes, dried figs, dates and dried apricots.
  2. Take along compact sandwiches – spread hummus or peanut butter on sandwich thins. Also convenient are small servings of cheese or nuts.
  3. For your sweet tooth – pack a couple of holiday treats for each traveler, or grab some fig bars or a small dark chocolate bar to satisfy without going overboard.
  4. Airport/onboard purchases
    1. Green salads – choose those with beans or chicken, and vegetables. To keep calories lower, limit amounts of cheese and salad dressings.
    2. Sandwiches – look for selections with lean meat, poultry or veggies and options to add your own mayo. If there’s a lot of bread and cheese, split with a companion or eat it open face and simply remove some of the cheese.

For driving, if you have space for a small cooler, healthier eating is so much easier. Take along paper or reusable plastic plates, cups and flatware for a picnic in the car or on the way.

  1. Pack a salad made with a combo of pasta, beans or chicken, and vegetables. Try AICR’s  Pasta Salad with Chicken.
  2. Make AICR’s Egg and Vegetable Salad at home and spread on whole wheat bread or buns. Or if space is tight in the cooler, put a container of salad on ice and spread on whole grain bread or crackers in the car.
  3.  Put a few bottles of sparkling water in the cooler. I tried this on my 10-hour Thanksgiving drive and found the bubbly water refreshing and energy boosting.
  4. Apples, easy to peel citrus and grapes travel well and can satisfy a sweet tooth to help avoid temptation at the gas station convenience marts.
  5. When you do stop at the convenience mart, here are some healthier choices I’ve found: vegetable juice, lowfat milk or yogurt, Nature Valley original granola bars, whole wheat crackers, lower fat popcorn and string cheese. Many stores now have apples, oranges or bananas too. A good rule of thumb is to limit any snacks to 150 to 200 calories or less.

For more ideas check out my previous blog on travel tips and to help stay physically active on traveling days read “Pack Fitness Into Your Travels.”


    Author: Alice RD

    Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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