By Ashley Carpenter, RD
One of the challenges we face in trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is what to do when we are on the go or traveling. Staying healthy on a vacation or business trip is a matter of planning. Eating healthy while traveling is not impossible! Planning will help you make the best choices. Without a plan you are more likely to just grab whatever is around, which opens the door to junk food and poor choices! If you want to eat healthy while on the go or on a trip – plan ahead and BYOF (bring your own food)! When you plan ahead, you will discover you actually have plenty of options for healthy meals which minimizes your risk of resorting to poor choices.
5 Tips for the Car
1. Pack foods that require no refrigeration. These foods are easy to pack and if you don’t eat them the first day, they are still good as a quick option the next day: whey protein powder (portion into resealable bags), salmon or tuna pouches, high protein/high fiber bars, high fiber cereal, peanut butter, sugar-free jelly, whole grain crackers, and sugar free pudding singles.
2. Bring a cooler for refrigerated foods. This will allow you a safe way to transport healthy foods that require refrigeration: 2% cheese sticks, light yogurt, deli meats, hard-boiled eggs, fruit and raw vegetables such as grape tomatoes and baby carrots.
3. Stay well hydrated. Pack water bottles and perhaps sugar-free flavored drink packets for variety. Patients who are best hydrated are those that remember to keep their water near them, especially in between meals when your hydration window is open.
4. Pack utensils. There is nothing like planning ahead only to realize you can’t eat the sugar free pudding without a spoon! Make sure to include plastic silverware, plates, napkins, and resealable bags.
5. Consider what you can eat. Based on your ‘diet’ phase, you may not be including crackers or bread, so you can try deli meat rolled around a 2% cheese stick, hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter on fruit, canned tuna or salmon, and protein shakes. If you are further along postoperatively, you may want to try PB&J on crackers, cheese and crackers, tuna on crackers as well as the old standby protein shakes (you can purchase individual bottles of milk at the convenience store or use water).
You can stay successful on the go with a little planning and a great desire to stay committed to your weight loss goals.