Whether you have planned your summer travels already or are waiting until the heat goes up just a bit higher, many of you are probably getting ready to hit the road on adventures unknown. Summer is the perfect season for that.
Even if you’re only traveling across town this season, don’t forget to pack a few healthy snack or meal options to keep you going. Without them, you may find hunger looming and those less-than-nutritious options we often find on the road might become too tempting to resist.
Luckily, packing nutritious foods doesn’t need to be a difficult task and you don’t even have to pack them before you go. Don’t believe me? Check out a few of these travel-friendly food tips from registered dietitian Lauren Schmitt MS, RD, CPT. You won’t even be required to give up your favorite restaurant – how great is that?
Make produce and protein the base of your meals. Dining out several meals per day can be challenging. The most difficult part is ordering because the healthiest meal may not always be the most enticing. If you enter the situation with produce and protein in mind, you can navigate the menu much more smoothly. Order a grilled fish entrée with double vegetables or a salad with chicken and dressing on the side for dipping. The protein and fiber in these meals will keep you feeling satisfied and energetic as you go about your day.
Order an appetizer for your entrée. Most entrée are at least double the quantity of food we actually need. Opt for an appetizer such as chicken satay or shrimp cocktail and a side salad for your meal. You will not regret it.
Pack a snack bag. Bring snacks with you on the airplane or for the duration of your travels. Pack individual servings of nuts or trail mix, dried fruit, protein bars, whole grain crackers, and dried edamame.
Make your own mini bar. Once you arrive, do some quick grocery shopping so that you have fresh produce, bottled water, and perishable snacks on hand that you were not able to bring from home.
Start with a healthy breakfast. If you begin with oatmeal and fruit or an egg white omelet with vegetables and whole wheat toast, you are less likely to grab unhealthy snacks on the run. When eating well for breakfast, it will set the stage for multiple healthy meals that day.
Pack your gym. Call your hotel in advance to find out if there is a gym on site or nearby. If not, bring a jump rope, exercise bands/tubes, a work out DVD, and your trusty tennis shoes. You can always use a chair for tricep dips, a wall for wall sits, and the bed for sit ups. There are no good excuses for lack of activity while travelling. It can be as simple as a nice, long walk in a new city.
Lauren Schmitt, MS, RD, CPT is a registered dietitian and personal trainer who specializes in individual and corporate wellness, eating disorders, and weight management. With a Master’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in nutrition from California State University at Northridge, Schmitt is a true expert in her field. She currently owns her own business, Healthy Eating and Training, Inc, where she helps people live healthy and eat happy. Follow Healthy Eating and Training on Facebook and Lauren Schmidt on Twitter.