It’s here, Memorial Day Weekend! The official kick-off to summer vacations.
Vacations are fabulous, we love everything about them…except those extra pounds that tend to sneak up on us while we are busy having fun. This season, let’s make a pact to only bring home the souvenirs we really want.
So how are we going to eat healthy while on the road? We are going to plan ahead! It sounds simple and it really is. By planning ahead, I mean packing healthy snacks and meals from home, and researching your options before you leave. Expand your research from the usual quick stops along the road or in airports (not usually designed for your health) and look for local restaurants, grocery stores and parks along your journey with fresh/healthy options.
Being away from home, means less control, so planning for hunger to strike rather than being surprised by it, is always a good idea. My family and friends like to use the term ‘hangry’ to describe me at times (I think it’s a term of affection??) anyway, I know what I’m talking about—Have snacks.
Hydration is also a key to staying healthy on the road. Staying properly hydrated will help keep hunger at bay, help with cravings and even help with jet lag. Pack at least 1 water bottle for each member of the family, including pets and refill them often. Remember to add fruit/herbs to jazz up the taste if desired (meaning helps you ‘want’ to drink it). Sugar and caffeine make stress and agitation worse, so water really is your best friend when traveling. If you are traveling by air, pack your re-usable water bottles and fill them after going through security—a great way to save money.
So, this summer we are planning ahead, we are packing a cooler and will be ready for whatever comes our way. I like to use frozen water bottles as ice, that way you end up with cold drinking water instead of a puddle once you reach your destination. Use the rest of the space to pack all your favorite snacks; fresh fruit and vegetables (cut and ready to eat—talk about fast food), dried fruit, nuts/seed/gorp, whole grain crackers, nut butters and hummus for dipping, sandwiches, wraps, and even soup in a thermos makes for a great one handed meal. Frozen smoothies and juices will slowly thaw and be ready when you are. Even salads work for travel, layer heavier ingredients on the bottom, top with greens and dress just before eating. If this sounds like too much work—No Way! Think of it as pre-loading your work, by planning ahead you will save so much time, money and stress by not having to scramble around looking for ‘the best of the worst’ offerings around you.
Wherever you find yourself this summer, I hope you love every minute of it. Remember that healthy eating isn’t about counting calories or managing guilt—It is about choosing whole unprocessed food when you can. So, make the commitment to yourself, to always look ahead at your options, plan and pack healthy meals when you can, always keep good quality snacks with you, AND, when you choose to indulge, really enjoy it!