If 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.
- 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.
- Take along compact sandwiches – spread hummus or peanut butter on sandwich thins. Also convenient are small servings of cheese or nuts.
- 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.
- Airport/onboard purchases
- Green salads – choose those with beans or chicken, and vegetables. To keep calories lower, limit amounts of cheese and salad dressings.
- 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.
- Pack a salad made with a combo of pasta, beans or chicken, and vegetables. Try AICR’s Pasta Salad with Chicken.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.