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. 

Eating to Fuel Your Workouts | Washington DC Dietitian

Did you know that what you eat before, during and after workouts can impact your performance? Eating well not only gives us nutrients and keeps us healthy, but helps us maximize our exercise potential.

Eating before a workout gives you the energy you need for optimal endurance. Without proper fuel you may feel sluggish and weak, which will lessen the intensity of your workout and can mean fewer calories burned and less muscle gained. Eating after your workout helps repair your muscles and replenish your energy. 

So how can you prepare yourself with enough energy for a good workout? Eat to fuel your body by following these basic guidelines.

Pre Workout

About 1 hour before your workout have a 100-150 calorie snack. This food should be a carbohydrate since it is the body’s main source of energy. Good pre workout snack ideas include:

• Fresh or dried fruit

• Oatmeal

• Cereal

• Crackers

• ½ energy bar

• Pretzels

During Your Workout

If you are exercising for a short period of time (30-45 min) you don’t need food to keep you energized. Simply stay hydrated for optimal energy during your workout.

If your cardio exercise will be longer than an hour consider a sports drink such as Gatorade, or refuel with a product like Gu to keep your body fueled and your blood sugar stable.

Post Workout

Eating before your workout is crucial to your exercise routine, but eating after your workout is equally as important. Providing your body with carbohydrates and protein restores your energy and repairs your muscles, both which are important to decrease soreness and build up muscle for future workouts. The best after workout snacks include a balance of protein and carbohydrates, which can be found in these snack ideas:

• 1 cup of milk or chocolate milk

• ½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich

• ½ protein or energy bar

• Yogurt with fruit

• High fiber cereal with milk

• Trail mix

• Turkey sandwich

• Smoothie

Another great way to get in this balance of protein and carbs is to eat a meal right after your workouts. Make sure to eat within 30 minutes of your workout for best repair.

Fueling your body before and after exercise is important for a strong and worthwhile workout!