Traveling? Don’t Ditch the Diet

Stay on track with your diet goals even while you’re hitting the road.

By Debra K | Posted October 15, 2013 |
travel photo JIW

Image from Foter.

When we travel, it can be hard to stay on track and committed to our dietary goals.  Along with falling leaves and a new crispness to the air, the fall also brings more travel for conferences, family and vacation. Regardless of how committed to your goals you might be at home, your resolve can fly out the window the second you hit the airport and see the donut shop.

Despite your best resolutions, merely eating out for every meal will most likely increase your intake of sodium, fat and portion size.  In reality, only the truly disciplined can resist all the travel temptations. Being on the road as constantly as I am, I have learned a few tricks to help me make better decisions. Even just doing a little goes a long way. You’ll be surprised by your waistline and energy changes if you follow these easy strategies.

Overcome the biggest mistake people make while on the road

Plan ahead!  There are many things you can do in advance of travel to ensure you stay on the right track, but most importantly, you have to set the intention to do so. It is too easy to get off track if you are not fully committed to adhere to a good health plan.

It’s important to select your hotel with fitness in mind because a high quality gym and access to trails and a swimming pool will give you the tools you need. Plus, you can take your fitness needs with you—from workout gear, stretchy bands to your yoga mat, etc—so even if the hotel doesn’t support staying active, you can still have a fitness routine in your room. If you’re pressed for time, do classes that you can access on the internet. Even YouTube and mobile apps offer plenty of guided classes. DoYogaWithMe.com is another favorite that offers free online yoga classes at various levels and lengths.

Healthy food choices while on the road

To minimize temptation while traveling, it is always a good idea to travel with your own snacks. I travel with some or all of the following on hand at all times: sunflower seed butter, fresh fruits and vegetables that are cleaned and ready to eat, turkey jerky, roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, gluten free crackers and hummus.

Use Restaurant finder apps like YELP to find the type of restaurant you want.  Also, ask for a refrigerator for your room, and find a grocery to stock up on healthy snacks. There are common foods that have the potential to wreak the most havoc on our internal digestive system, which often leads to a host of other problems and you can easily avoid them by doing your own shopping.  These digestive-upsetting foods are gluten (primarily wheat, barley and rye), dairy, soy, nuts, corn and eggs.

When dining out, don’t be afraid to ask for customized meals. Ask for roasted vegetables such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potatoes and squash that are lightly marinated in olive oil and sprinkled with herbs. Have your meats prepared simply by seasoning and grilling.  Supplement every meal with fresh salads and fruits to provide you with raw nutrition and fiber.

More quick ideas

Go! Energizers: Generally speaking, we do not get nearly enough fresh, raw greens in our diet. You can only eat so many salads, so a simple solution is to make delicious smoothies with a variety of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. To start, try combining ½ fruit to ½ greens and liquid and blend in a blender.  As you adjust to this, begin to add more greens to reduce your sugar intake. If you add a vegan protein, non-dairy milk, and flax oil, it can even serve as a meal replacement. Visit my Recipe Redo blog for ideas. I always travel with an immersion blender so I can whip up smoothies when traveling.

Fiber: Things can sometimes get stopped up on the road, so to keep everything moving, plan on eating more fiber-rich foods and taking some gentle fiber supplements.  Some high fiber food choices include avocados, peas, apples and broccoli. If opting for a supplement, go with an easier-to-digest soluble fiber such as Konjac Root. The goal should be to increase your fiber by eating more fruits and vegetables and consider taking a soluble fiber supplement.

Anti- Inflammatory shakes: Another great addition to a short- or long-term trip is to supplement with shakes that are extremely healthy, but are lower in calories. I usually travel with a vegan, non-soy protein powder or anti-inflammatory shakes. I represent neither of these, but have used UltraInflamX and ClearVite-SF. It helps to add chilled coconut milk and a frozen banana when drinking.

 

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