Whether you’re lucky enough to be able to squeeze in a winter-time vacation, or you travel for work, you know how travel can discombobulate your healthy eating goals.
We all know that a balanced nutritious diet is essential for good health, but it's easy to overlook this when the stresses and complications of traveling force us to make food compromises.
From grabbing a few candy bars in an airport gift shop to hitting a fast food joint en route to a tourist location, many of us let our diets slip when we are away from home.
With a little planning and determination, however, it is possible to eat smart even when we're not totally sure where or what our next meal will be.
Here’s what the experts say about maintaining a healthy diet while traveling:
Eat 3 meals a day.
First and foremost, remember that your body needs three meals a day. It's easy to skip meals when travel plans disrupt your normal routine, but you should always make an effort to have a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner no matter where you are.
While traveling, you should avoid being stuck in a position where there is nothing to eat but higher fat fried foods. This means planning ahead, knowing where you will be at mealtimes, and arranging to have low fat options whenever possible. If you do find yourself having to eat very rich, creamy dishes or high fat foods, just have a smaller portion.
Snacks are also very important when you are traveling, as you may often find yourself in places where no food is available. When packing snacks for your pockets, briefcase or backpack, choose healthy options like fresh fruit, pretzels, rice cakes, low fat mozzarella, or nuts. AND, consider homemade granola bars for a power-packed and satisfying answer to inconvenient hunger pangs. (See recipe below.)
Carry bottled water.
Water is key to maintaining a nutritious diet, and staying hydrated is very important for your body and mind. Depending on your travel destination, local water may not be safe to drink, so carry safe bottled water with you at all times.
Eat well and enjoy your trip.
If you follow these tips while traveling, you will not only nourish your body, but will also enjoy yourself and stay on track to reach your personal health goals for 2008!
Homemade Granola Bars
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
While your oven is preheating to 300°F, spread the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and almonds evenly on a 9" x 12" baking sheet. Bake these dry ingredients for 20 minutes, stirring them occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat the butter (or margarine), brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan, allowing the brew to simmer until the oat mixture is ready to come out of the oven. (If you or yours like really crispy granola, bake the dry ingredients an additional few minutes.)
As soon as the oat mixture is out, add the raisins, stirring them into the other ingredients. Spread this mixture onto a greased jelly roll pan and bake about 10 min. Watch so they don’t get overdone. Slice immediately upon removing from oven, but let cool before removing from pan. Store in airtight jar, or individually wrap. Yummy!
Download this recipe.
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