Bond: Avoid vacation eating remorse
Article courtesy of Susie Bond for Florida Today.
It’s officially vacation season. Many of us are packing our bags and heading out for fun and exciting destinations. This can mean a sudden change in eating habits, as we are faced with unfamiliar restaurants, fast food, gas station and convenience store cuisine, airport fare and limited continental breakfast options.
It’s fun to try new restaurants when we are away from home. But too much over-indulgence can lead to bloat, headaches and digestive distress. That’s sure to put a damper on vacation fun. And then there’s the after-effect of post-vacation pudge…
Whether you’re traveling by car or airplane, a little planning can make for a much more pleasant trip.
Airplane food leaves a lot to be desired. Instead of noshing on the complimentary salted pretzels and sodas, bring your own food. If you’re going to be on a long flight, bring a protein-packed salad made with lots of colorful veggies and lean deli meat or chickpeas or beans. Take individual packets of hummus with whole grain crackers, baby carrots and apple slices for dipping. Raw, unsalted nuts with dried fruit make for a healthful in-flight snack. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water.
If you’ll be traveling by car, pack a cooler loaded with healthy, travel-friendly options. Include peanut butter and pouches of tuna or chicken with a loaf of whole grain bread, small cans of beans, nuts, string cheese, boiled eggs, jerky, whole grain crackers, hummus, baby carrots, apples, oranges, grapes and raisins.
Plan a stop at a local grocery store as you near your destination to load up on healthy foods to stock the mini fridge at your hotel. If there’s no mini fridge, fill your cooler and replace the ice twice each day.
Breakfast at the hotel’s continental breakfast buffet may include healthy selections such as whole grain cereal with milk, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt and hard boiled eggs. Avoid sugary pastries, muffins and sweetened cereal.
Be sure to carry a refillable water bottle with you when you venture out from your hotel. A good rule of thumb is to drink 8 ounces of water every hour to prevent dehydration and headaches, and to keep energy levels high.
A few indulgences along the way won’t hurt. Personally, I like the “one and done” rule. Pick one indulgence a day. Eat it, enjoy it and move on. So go ahead and hit that famous BBQ joint you’ve been hearing about. You’re on vacation, after all.
Susie Bond is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist with Health First Pro-Health & Fitness Center. Contact her at email@example.com.
Recipe for the road
Make up a quick batch of No-Bake Energy Balls to take along on your next trip.
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy – your choice)
- ¼ cup honey
Add in as many of these extra ingredients as you like:
- 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed or wheat germ
- Sunflower seeds
- Chopped nuts
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped dates
Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then roll into individual balls, about 1 ½ inch in diameter. If desired, coat balls in flaked coconut or sesame seeds. Place in an air-tight container and refrigerate overnight.
Makes about 24 pieces.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Wavebreak Media via Florida Today.