Dining Tips


Travel

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, experiencing new places can be fun and exciting.  But being in a different environment, accompanied by the natural stresses of traveling can make it hard to stick to your healthy eating goals.  Follow these tips to help you stay on track and still get the most enjoyment out of your trip.

·Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time; know when and what you'll be eating so you don't get lured off track in a moment of hunger.

·If you are a frequent traveler, shop at grocery stores for healthy snacks when you arrive instead of always going to restaurants.  If your hotel room has a kitchenette, use it to prepare healthier meals.

·Limit large meals to once a day.  You'll probably want to sample regional foods and try local restaurants, but stick to one indulgent meal a day and keep the rest of your meals and snacks balanced and healthy. 

·Maintain your typical eating schedule.  Don't over-eat or forget to eat because you're in a new place.

·Being in a new place can disrupt your natural thirst, so make an effort to stay hydrated with water and avoid reaching for sugary or caffeinated beverages.

·Travel can wreak havoc on your digestive tract.  Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to help maintain regularity and prevent discomfort.

·Don't let your vacation eating spill into your daily life.  While travelling you might find yourself indulging more than you typically would.  When you return from your trip, make sure you return to your normal, healthy eating patterns.              

Airport Dining

Flying is often the most efficient way to travel.  While flying gets you to your destination quickly, being in an airport or on a plane significantly limits your access to healthy foods.  Here are some tips and ideas for staying in control of what you're eating when you're bound by airport selections.

·Order vegan meals in flight which tend to be healthier and even more appetizing than standard airplane fare.  Special meal orders can be placed when you register your flight or can be placed over the phone with at least 24 hours' notice to the airline.

·Pack your own meal when possible. TSA allows foods to be carried onto the plane, although beverages are almost always prohibited.  TSA does limit quantities of gel type foods such as dips, salsa, salad dressings, soups, or jellies.  Keep these items to 3.4 oz. or less and be sure your snacks are approved before you get to the airport.  For a complete list of foods that are regulated by the TSA, visit their website: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/traveling-food-or-gifts, http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/food-and-beverages

·Choose salads or fresh sandwiches at airport vendors instead of traditional fast food meals.  Many airport chains will list nutrition information or make it available online so you know what your healthiest option is without guessing.

·Store snacks in your bag and out of sight so you're not tempted to snack if you're not hungry.

·Stay hydrated to avoid snacking and help prevent jet lag.  Bring an empty water bottle that can be filled at a water fountain so you aren't stuck purchasing expensive water in the airport.

·Avoid candy, sugar sweetened beverages, chips or very salty snacks.  If the plane offers a complimentary snack, don't accept it if you're not hungry- simply say 'no, thank you'.

Driving

Driving offers you the most control over your dining choices, as you can choose where to stop when you are hungry, and you can pack as many snacks as you'd like.  If you're planning a road trip, keep these points in mind to stay energized and happy without losing control of your diet. 

·Know where you plan to stop and know where you plan to eat before you get hungry.

·Store snacks in the trunk or back seat so you're not mindlessly eating while driving.

·Choose healthy, non-perishable snacks like nuts or nut butters, low-sugar granola bars, whole fruits or vegetables like grapes, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, or berries.  Be prepared with a garbage bag if you pack foods that have waste such as apple cores or orange peels.

·Pack a cooler when possible to store cut vegetables, hummus, yogurt, cheese, and other foods that must stay chilled.

·At rest stops choose dried fruit, nuts, water, pretzels, fresh fruit, cheese, or jerky instead of candy, chips, or snack cakes.

·You may need to reduce your calorie intake if you'll be driving for long stretches, since you will be stationary and not moving as you normally would.  If possible stop every 3 hours to stretch and move for 10 minutes.

·Avoid sugar sweetened beverages and stay hydrated with water.    

Staying Out of Town

If you'll be staying in a hotel in a new city, it can be hard to know where to find healthy meals in the area.  Hotel meals aren't always the healthiest option, but if you follow the tips below, you can make the most of your stay and still maintain your healthy eating habits.

·At continental breakfasts choose oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt.  Skip the large bagels, waffles, and pastries.

·If you drink juice, limit your portion to half a cup to control calories. 

·Snag fresh fruit from breakfast for healthy snack later in the day.

·Room service menus are notorious for unhealthy meal options.  Stock your hotel room with healthier snacks from a local grocery store to curb your hunger late at night.

·Keep up with your usual exercise routine.  You can go for your usual run in a new location, hit up a fitness class at a local gym, or take advantage of the hotel fitness center.  If you are active at home, stay active on vacation too!

·Use online resources to find healthy restaurants in the area, or ask your hotel's concierge.  If you're not sure what the healthy menu items are at a new restaurant, check out our Dining Tips page for some suggestions.