What comes to mind when you think of healthy nutrition while you’re traveling?
If you’re like most people, you might be wondering, “Isn’t that an oxymoron?”
We’ve all been there before. When on vacation, it’s usually a food free-for-all. You’re either starving or completely uncomfortable because you ate too much at the restaurant.
It’s no secret that without a plan, traveling of any kind will derail your nutrition (and usually pack on those few extra pounds you were dreading).
To make things worse, it seems like there are delicious temptations around every corner ... and darn it, you’re on vacation. We’ve all experienced it while traveling: that hangry, grumpy, agitated feeling that makes the travel seem unbearable.
Today’s strategies, while simple, can help you to maximize your energy and fun on your next trip. Imagine a vacation where everyone is in a great mood, having a blast and gets back home looking and feeling great.
No. 1: Plan for a high-protein breakfast to set your blood sugar curve for the day. Break-fast is literally breaking your nighttime fast. It allows you to make better food choices throughout the day. A pancake, waffle or cereal breakfast will not cut it here because your body quickly breaks down these refined carbohydrates leaving you in an energy slump (and reaching for another coffee or snack).No. 2: Carry healthy snacks with you so you don’t become ravenous. Healthy snacks such as trail mix, an apple, nuts, pistachios or veggie sticks with hummus all fuel your body while being a quick and easy to grab and carry with you. Don’t assume convenience stores will have what you need. Make it a point to find a grocery store as soon as you arrive at your destination or take what you need with you.No. 3: Always carry water and drink it throughout the day to stay hydrated. Not only will this reduce the symptoms of jetlag, but your body cannot function properly in the summertime heat without water. It’s critical to carry your own water in a glass or stainless-steel bottle whenever possible. Aluminum and plastic bottles are not the healthiest options. Bonus Strategy: By following the three simple strategies above, you’ll have better control over your impulses and can save them and indulge on a few meals you are really excited about. Since your blood sugar will not be spiking and crashing, you’ll make healthier choices and be satisfied with smaller portions while still enjoying the meal. One final rule of thumb is to be sure to include vegetables with your lunch and dinner. If it’s a burger, load it with romaine lettuce, tomatoes and greens. If it’s lasagna or pizza, have a side salad before the meal.
Don’t overthink this! It’s simpler than you think to have healthier food available on your summer trip!
Fran Sutherlin is a local registered dietitian, health coach, speaker and owner of Sustainable Nutrition, which has offices in Durango and Bayfield. She can be reached at 444-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.