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Monday, August 6, 2012

Eating Smart On The Road

Taming the Wild Beast in Guatemala City

So first things first…I am sorry for the delay in posting. I know I promised to post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday…and I realize that I have left you hanging for two days now. But I do have an excuse – which makes it better, right? I have been traveling. First to Guatemala, and then on a family vacation up to Door County, WI – both incredibly amazing trips. I tried to drag myself to the computer to post, but getting off the grid felt so good that I thought I’d just post when I got back into the grove. I know you understand.

The trips did get me thinking, though; about how easy it can be to eat smart when I am at home and how difficult it can be to eat smart when I am on the road traveling (which I do a fair amount).

At home I am surrounded by all my stand bys – my intrepid smoothie maker (aka: the blender), granola bars, my stash of almonds, fresh fruit and veggies, and of course my evening bowl of cereal. But on the open road it’s much easier to find stand bys of the past – McDonald’s, fried food, donuts, and of course the infamous and mysterious gas station hot-dog that incessantly rolls back and forth on those steel rods, begging to be chosen from amongst his equally mysterious and sweaty friends.

So over the years, I have developed a plan for eating when I travel, and I thought maybe I’d share are few tips from it with you.

1.     Fiber supplements – this is a relatively new gem I discovered. As our diets change, so does our digestion. Changing diets, especially away from a healthy norm, can lead to what my Mom calls “bathroom problems.” Indeed, Mom. Indeed. So to help keep things moving, take a fiber supplement at each meal. Not a laxative. A fiber supplement. (There is a difference, trust me.) Fiber supplements offer anywhere from 3-5 grams of fiber per serving – great for fiber starved travel times (and not “laxative” enough to keep you tethered to a toilet).
      2.     Airplane Tomato Juice – this is an airplane gold mine…if you can tolerate the taste. If you can’t tolerate the taste, just plug your nose and chug it down anyway! It’s well worth your while to skip the free soda drink, or even the sugary orange or apple juice and instead opt for the tomato juice. It’s tough to get veggies into a diet when traveling and this is an easy way to do so. So drink down some cancer-preventing lycopene and vitamins and minerals! It’ll be over before you know it – and be sure to grab a water for a chaser.
      3.     Can of V8 juice – toss a few of these bad boys into your bag if you are on a road trip, or pick some up at your destination if you are flying. They are a cheap (check Wal-Mart) and an easy way to get some veggies in your tummy. So, again, close your eyes, plug your nose, and “bottoms up!”
4.     Pack your own snacks – make up a few small baggies of some healthy goodies and bring them with you instead of buying something from a gas station or airport store. Pack some almonds, pistachios, dried fruit, dark chocolate, granola bars or even some sandwiches. Your stomach and waistline with thank you later. Plus, you’ll avoid the price gouging at most airport stores and gas stations and be able to afford the overpriced flowers to bring to your loved one instead.
5.     Multi-Vitamins – Sure, you can do the Flintstones ones. But steer clear of the “gummie” ones that often contain high fructose corn syrup. Break it in two and take half with your breakfast and the other half with your dinner to supplement what you might be missing while on the road. And hey, don’t stop once you return home. Vitamins can be a boost for you in the friendly confines as well! I opt for a generic multi-vitamin – nothing flashy needed here.

What are some travel tips that you have for eating healthy? Share them in the comments below. 

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