Healthy Eating While Traveling

In honor of my upcoming trip to Vermont, today’s post focuses on something that can be a bit challenging --  eating healthy while traveling. Here are some of my go-to tips when I’m on the road!

Pack Snacks and Food

One of the best things you can do in any situation whether traveling or at home is plan ahead. When traveling I make sure to keep room in my luggage and carry on for healthy snacks for the trip, usually including granola bars, apples, dried fruit and nuts, or popcorn. One of the most challenging parts of traveling is getting hungry and then having unhealthy options to choose from on the road. Having snacks will prevent hunger and make it easier to make healthy choices.

Washington - DC - Nutritionist
                      Mini Whole-Wheat Bagels from Whole Foods

                      Mini Whole-Wheat Bagels from Whole Foods

Do Research Prior to Your Trip

The best way of knowing the types of foods that will be available on your trip is to research ahead of time. What options are available in the airport or on the road? What healthier restaurants or meal options will be available at your final destination? While you might not always be able to find out detailed information ahead of time, it is helpful to have somewhat of a plan. I was lucky enough to find a healthy spot in the Boston Airport during my recent trip there (pictured below). Definitely a big win!

                             Berkshire Farms Market in the Boston-Logan Airport

                             Berkshire Farms Market in the Boston-Logan Airport

Split Meals and Treats

A fun part of traveling is being able to try delicious and new-to-you foods, so don’t deprive yourself! Instead split your meals or take some back to your hotel or house for leftovers. 

Use the Plate Method

One of my go-to’s when eating out is to use My Plate to help balance my meals. With all of the dining out on trips, I try to make my meals as vegetable-heavy as possible and then leave part of the plate for more of the “fun” foods I want to try. This could be as simple as getting a salad instead of fries as a side or ordering a salad as the main meal and getting a small side dish of something a little more decadent. 

Washington - DC - Nutritionist

 

Walk It Off

One of the best ways to sightsee is to walk, bike or even run around the city or town you are visiting. If you are on a work trip, try to stay somewhere that has a gym or see if there is a neighboring gym or walking trail you can use. Often hotels that don’t have gyms will partner with a local gym that the visitors can use. Something I also enjoy doing is trying out new yoga or workout classes in a new city. However you are able to do it, try to get some exercise in to improve your mental and physical health while traveling.  This week I plan to go on a few hikes around Vermont to enjoy the beauty of New England.

Have Fun!

The main thing to remember to do is have fun! Traveling is a blast and food should not get in the way. Vacations also don’t have to be made into an excuse to eat or drink whatever you want, but to enjoy yourself in moderation so you can fully experience wherever it is that you are. Listen to your body and it will tell you what and how much you need. 

FNCE 2016 in Boston | Washington, DC Dietitian

These past few days I was in Boston for the Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo, the annual Dietetics conference where over 10,000 dietitians attend each year! The location for the conference rotates and this year it was in the beautiful city of Boston

Washington - DC - Nutritionist

I toured the city with my FNCE roomie Jo-Ann and we explored many places including Quincy Market and Harvard. Food highlights included coffee from Thinking Cup, an awesome lunch spot called Flour Bakery, dinner dates with friends from DC and Syracuse University, and this amazing Pitaya Bowl from Jugos.

Yum!!

Yum!!

Now on to the Conference! A big highlight of this trip is the amazing Expo where hundreds of food and nutrition companies show their stuff with samples, materials and all the swag!

Washington - DC - Nutritionist

A few of my favorite products that I tried are below -- some that were new to me as well as the usual staples. They were so delicious and the nutrition stats are impressive.

Biena Chickpeas (Delicious Chickpea snacks) 

Betsy's Best Nut Butters (Unique flavors that taste SO good)

Perfect Bar

Mediterra Nutrition Bars

 Kind Bar

A few booths are truly impressive with their offerings including Siggi's and Chobani. Chobani had unique yogurt parfaits and mezze dips that I will definitely need to recreate at home!

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Parfait

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Parfait

Fig and Balsamic Parfait

Fig and Balsamic Parfait

Another amazing part of the conference are alumni receptions! I attended the Syracuse University Nutrition Reception, where I went for undergrad. It was so wonderful catching up with old classmates and Professors and hearing about their newest ventures.

Washington - DC - Nutrionist

The Syracuse Nutrition Department is celebrating their 100th year next year, which is so impressive! Looking forward to going back to the University to celebrate this milestone.

Now on to what I learned at FNCE. There were many interesting sessions that I attended but a few really stood out.

Orthorexia Comes of Age: Perspectives on the "Healthy" Eating Disorder

Orthorexia is a newish condition that refers to someone who only will eat healthy, clean or "safe" foods, leading to disordered eating that is severely restrictive or limiting. This is not yet considered an eating disorder, but awareness of this condition is growing and more and more cases are being seen. The man who coined this term did the talk and it was very interesting to learn more about what to look for and how it is treated. While healthy eating is important, there is no such things as perfect and it is SO important to have a balance in order to prevent any disordered thoughts around food. This talk ties into my work with mindful and intuitive eating so I enjoyed learning more about it. There was so much interesting information that was discussed that I will have to write a separate post to share it all!  

Using Science to Further Define FODMAPS

IBS is a common issue and one that I work with a lot with my clients. When clients have tried multiple food elimination diets and are having trouble identifying what is causing their gastrointestinal distress, I often turn to the FODMAP diet. This is a research based practice that removes certain types of carbohydrates from the diet so that the person is able to identify which ones are causing symptoms. After 2 weeks of eliminating the FODMAPS, the person then starts to add them back in to see which ones they are able to tolerate. While very helpful, the diet can be confusing and somewhat restrictive at times, so this talk was very helpful in guiding us towards resources and recipes that I can share with clients to make sure that they are successful. Again, so much information was discussed in this session and I will have to write a separate post to share everything I learned. If anyone has questions in the meantime, feel free to reach out.  

And just like that, FNCE 2016 is done! Looking forward to next year in Chicago to celebrate the Academy's 100th year!