On the Road and Feeling Good
There is a trip on tap for most folks during the summer-whether it is an extended trip on public transportation or a road trip to regional attractions with friends and family, food comes into the picture. What and when are we going eat? Food for thought is the key to health wise choices when traveling. If you give thought to food options in advance, it helps keep you on a healthy course.
When traveling keep the same guidelines you follow for good health when you are at home.
• Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
• Drink ample amounts of water—you’ll feel better and be more alert when you stay hydrated. This is especially important when traveling on planes (that’s why you often see airline staff with water bottles in hand)
• Keep fried foods to a minimum; choose items that are grilled, baked or boiled.
• Snack on fresh or dried fruits and veggies-cherries, grapes, apples, plums, carrots, or celery.
• Include physical activity-walk briskly, or use the fitness equipment at your destination.
• Plan a regular eating schedule; you’ll be less likely to be tempted to eat high-calorie snacks and treats between meals.
In starting your trip don’t skip breakfast. If you’re headed to the airport for an early morning flight, eat something. Consider whole-grain toast with peanut butter or take a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread along. Once you pass through airport security enjoy the sandwich with low-fat milk, water or coffee. This out-the-door choice fuels the body with, nutrient dense calories that give you energy, protein, and fiber.
For a road trip, start the day with a bowl of whole-grain cereal, fruit or the on-the-move peanut butter option. If kids are traveling, they’ll get a kick out of peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast. They’ll remember the sandwich as something novel, helping to make the trip special.
When it is time for the next meal, avoid eating in the car—try to stop where there are tables that will allow you to get out of the car, stretch your legs and enjoy a view of something other than the car interior. Snacks are treats all ages enjoy—best bets on the road include yogurt, fresh or dried fruits, popcorn, or rice cakes.
It is so important during the warmer months that you stay hydrated. Water is the top thirst-quencher; also consider 100% juice drinks or fruit smoothies in 8-oz. to 10-oz. portions. Avoid excessive coffee intake—too much caffeine will stimulate your appetite and raise the body temperature if your goal is something cool and refreshing.
Add a sweet treat in moderation, but don’t overindulge. On the move suggestions include fruit ice, frozen fruit popsicles, frozen yogurt, or two to four bite-size dark chocolates. If you follow-this map for health wise eating, the trip will be pleasant and you’ll arrive at the destination alert and energized for the next phase of your trip.
The healthy take away here is to enjoy your travel, but plan to bring healthy habits along. By following these simple guidelines, it’s easy to set an example for children showing them how to make wise decisions on healthy choices. You’ll be surprised at how they’ll mimic your choices and share with their friends (and adults too) the info on the good for you foods.