Sense & Sustenance

by Country Inns & Suites
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Plan Ahead To Make Healthy Choices on the Road.

6a00e54f86af56883301157081cccf970b-120wi Don’t let a business trip or vacation ruin your commitment to healthier eating. By following these travel tips—such as which tasty snacks to carry with you—you’ll enjoy deliciously healthy meals, save money and return home in tip-top shape.   By Sheri Masters.

You’re driving along, enjoying the scenery and the roadside attractions, and it happens—hunger strikes. Why not stop and grab a bite? Unfortunately, all you see are fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. It’s so easy to pull out some change or your debit card, but what about your commitment to healthier eating? Do you abandon it simply because you’re traveling?

Not at all. Keep your pledge for healthy eating without depriving yourself. The key to not blowing your nutritional goals while traveling is to plan ahead. Driving a long distance? Pack snacks to take with you, and don’t forget the liquids. No matter what the season, you want to stay hydrated. Think water, or take along 100 percent fruit juice.

If your travel plans include flying, buy a bottle of water once you’re through airport security..

Road trip food doesn’t have to come from a greasy spoon. Pack low-fat snacks to satisfy your urge to munch and still get those healthy nutrients.

• Try pretzels, whole-grain crackers, low-fat string cheese or chopped vegetables for crunchy-chewy snacks.

• Apples, bananas, grapes, low-fat yogurt, pudding or applesauce will satisfy a
sweet tooth.

• Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and minerals; your best choices are walnuts, pecans and almonds.

As always, keep portions in mind. You don’t want to overindulge even with healthy foods. For example, a handful of almonds contains 164 calories, but a cup contains more than 800, so do your snacking in moderation.

But what about the tastiest part of travel, eating out? You don’t have to skip it. Look for restaurants that offer healthy choices. Exercise portion control here as well. Try skipping the appetizer, or ordering an appetizer instead of an entree.

Bottom line: You do have healthy choices when you travel, and a little planning can help you pick the best options for your health.  For more information on building a healthy nutrition plan and steps to a healthier you, visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.