Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, we’ve gathered our best tips for a 3-part “Eating on the Holiday Go” series. It’s a darn shame, but most airports, train stations and roadside stops offer little more than the standard American junk food fare. The good news is you can bring your own food, and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
We’ve covered plane and train travel
and car trip food
, and now it’s time for what you eat at your final destination. It’s hard enough to stay on track with health and fitness while traveling, but when it comes to staying with relatives or friends, it can be a double whammy of a challenge! We’ve all been there — even with the best of intentions, we may find ourselves dining with others who mean well but may not be as conscious about good food choices as we would hope. Here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Bring along healthy foods as gifts. This doesn’t have to be just healthy cookies and treats. You can also bring along healthy main dishes, dips, cheeses, veggies, etc. If possible, stop at a store close to your destination to pick up a few (healthy) items to present to your hosts. Fruit platters, vegetable platters, fresh shrimp with cocktail sauce, cut up veggies and healthy dips such as bean dip or hummus are good places to start.
- Offer to help in the preparation of meals, or give your hosts a break and cook a meal for them!
- Do a bit of the grocery shopping to help out. Scope it out in advance to locate the closest natural food store. (You can search for us locally.)
- Remember, if you find yourself at a conventional grocery store, shop the perimeter of the store as much as possible. Look for whole grain breads, fresh veggies and fruits, canned legumes with no additives, and whole grains such as brown rice and old fashioned oatmeal.
- If faced with a less-than-optimal meal prepared by others, load up on raw salad, veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins as much as possible. Skip the salad dressing, and ask your hosts for some olive oil and lemon or vinegar.
- Pack an assortment of fruit bars, nut bars and protein bars and keep them handy in your room for a healthy snack/replacement meal.
- To keep yourself sane, try to get enough sleep at night, and remain active during the day. Walking or other forms of exercise are a must while on vacation. In fact, a brisk walk in crisp cool air can do wonders to regenerate a sluggish body — invite your hosts to join you!
- Do your best to start your day with a healthy breakfast. My favorites include oatmeal, nuts, eggs, fresh fruit and yogurt. If you know you aren’t likely to get healthy fair the rest of the day, a good breakfast can set you up for a better outcome.
- Be sure to stay well hydrated by drinking enough pure water. Be moderate with the alcohol, and if you take supplements of vitamins, minerals or herbs, don’t forget to bring them along for the journey.
Remember, everybody wants (and deserves) a break over the holidays. For most of us, that means not worrying too much about what to eat. We offer these suggestions not to steer you away from enjoying yourself, but rather as a way for you to maintain your energy and to feel well during your holiday.
Got some favorite healthy foods you like to bring along to friends and family at holiday time? Let us know!