About ten years ago, I lost over 50 pounds eating food I loved. How did I do it? By eating healthy versions of things I loved, cutting my portions, and refusing to “diet.”
One of my biggest challenges, however, is eating healthy when I travel—which is often. So I’ve decided to share my top five “tried-and-true” tips and also a few new travel snack ideas.
- Go for the protein. My friend Wanda and I often travel together, and we’re both diabetics. It’s important for us to keep protein snacks on hand. Our favorites: raw almonds, light string cheese, Jif-to-Go, instant oatmeal, Laughing Cow Cheese, and Special K Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Meal Bars (180 calories, 25 g carb). We often hard boil eggs when we know we’re staying at a hotel that offers a continental breakfast. And we choose healthier versions of nuts and pre-package them in calorie-conscious portions. And when we have a frig at our disposal, we love diving into low-fat cottage cheese topped with natural applesauce, cinnamon, and Splenda.
- Eat fresh. Our favorite fruits and vegetables mini carrots, bananas, Fuji apples (don’t bruise easily), Cuties, and berries. Once we settle into a hotel, we shop for fresh produce, even if it means paying a bit more. I can almost always pull a piece of fruit out of my purse, which actually can be kind of scary at times…
- Eat what you like, but share it. I have to say that I love the shrimp with candied walnuts at P.F. Chang’s. But if I’m honest, half an entrée does me fine. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that I’m usually full at half a meal and stuffed after a full meal. Considering sharing your meal or asking your server to box up half of it before it comes to the table.
- Choose wisely. The following fast food restaurants offer healthy choices: Subway, Taco Bell (bean burrito or the “Fresco” menu), Au Bon Pain (80 calorie garden soup and customizable sandwiches), Culver’s (soups and salads), Wendy’s small chili (210 calories). When choosing salads, remember to dip your greens in the dressing, rather than pouring the dressing onto the salad. I also recommend taking along The Calorie King Calorie, Fat & Carb Counter. This travel-sized book is updated every year with nutrition content for both fresh and fast foods from your favorite restaurants.
- Remember the 100. I happen to love the convenience of 100 calorie snacks. One of my new favorite is the 100 calorie Nutty Bar. But I’m also cheap. So before a trip, I pre-package some of my favorite treats in snack-size zip-lock bags and tuck them into the corners of my suitcase and travel bags. Just read the packaging to figure out the appropriate 100-calorie serving size to slip into the bag.
What about YOUR ideas? We’d love to hear from you.