The unofficial kick-off of summer is upon us! Time to load up the car and hit the road for fun in the sun!
But maintaining a healthy diet can become a real challenge as you careen towards the coast – here are some quick tips to keep you on track while your on the road.
Load up on fresh-cut vegetables and fruit. Bring along a small cooler with ice packs to keep your snacks fresh. Bring plenty of water. It will keep you hydrated Individually wrapped portions of string cheese can be kept in the cooler with the fruit and vegetables. They are a great source of calcium and protein. Bring baked whole grain crackers along on your trip. This is good for added fiber and nutrients. You can also pack sandwiches made with whole grain bread and peanut butter or lean meats. Keep these in the cooler, too. Nuts such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts contain polyunsaturated fats and are easy to take on a trip in either individual bags or larger containers.
Order a salad to eat with a palm sized portion of lean meat/protein. Salads are generally healthy and start to fill you up so that you eat less of the more calorie-dense main meal. Select foods that are prepared with healthier, low-fat methods. Baked chicken is healthy, but fried chicken has too much fat. Eat the vegetables. Most entrées come with at least one vegetable. If not, be sure to order a vegetable side dish. Skip dessert, or choose some fruit. A full meal that ends with a sugary dessert may make you feel sleepy.
At fast food restaurants:
Find sandwich shops like Subway or Quiznos that let you select your sandwich ingredients. Choose whole grain breads, lean meats, and lots of vegetables. Many fast food restaurants offer salads, but you need to be careful when you select one. Some of those salads are very high in fat, especially taco salads or those topped with fried chicken strips. Don’t super-size your meal. It sounds like a great deal, but you will eat way too much calories, fat, and sodium. Order sandwiches made with grilled chicken rather than fried chicken.
Find a local grocery store and buy healthy snack items such as fruit, nuts, or healthy choices from a salad bar or deli section. If your hotel has a microwave, you can find healthier frozen dinners or soup. If your only choice for a snack is the hotel vending machine, skip the candy and chips and look for nuts or microwave popcorn. Some restaurants will deliver food to your hotel room and may have some healthy menu items available. If you go for a pizza delivery, don’t order extra cheese or meats high in saturated fat. Choose lots of vegetable and mushrooms. Order a side salad too.
Stick to these tips and you will have no problem staying on track during your trip! Happy Summer!