Tips for Healthy Eating On the Go

By Quincie Grounds, RD/LD, CNSC

March is National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Quincie Grounds 3.2.2015National Nutrition Month® focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits. There is no one food, drink, pill or machine that is the key to achieving optimal health. A person's overall daily routine is what is most important. This year’s theme, "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” reflects taking steps for improving your health. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially when you step out of your daily routine.

Travel is one of these situations that take you out of your daily routine. Whether you travel for work or just a trip with family or friends, eating healthy can be done with a little planning. First, take snacks with you in pre-portioned bags. Good items to pack are trail mixes, nuts, dried fruits, whole grain cereal bars, protein bars, peanut butter and crackers, pretzels and popcorn. These items pack well and are foods that will clear security in the airport. If you are traveling by car, pack a small cooler with fresh fruit, low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, hummus, finger sandwiches (homemade pimento cheese is a favorite), bottled water, flavored unsweetened water, fruit or vegetable juice, sparkling juice and unsweetened bottled tea.

When choosing a “take away” food from a concourse restaurant or a pit stop on your road trip, here are some ideas for healthy meal choices:

  • sandwiches on whole wheat bread/roll
  • salads with nuts, beans, and plenty of vegetables (go easy on the salad dressing)
  • Asian vegetable stir fry
  • bean burrito or taco
  • spaghetti with marinara sauce
  • Margherita pizza (whole wheat crust is a bonus)

A few more pointers . . .

Do not skip breakfast. Many hotels now offer a complimentary breakfast. Choose a meal high in fiber and protein such as whole grain toast with peanut butter or oatmeal with skim milk to give you instant energy and fill you up until lunch.

Drink plenty of fluids. Carry an empty stainless steel water bottle so you can fill it up throughout the day.

And finally, practice the “one and done” rule. You're allowed to cheat on your diet while on the road but breakfast, lunch and dinner don't all have to be gut-busting affairs.

Enjoy your travels but practice moderation. Healthy living starts one bite at a time.
Editors Note: Quincie Grounds is Nutrition Services Consultant for Kindred's Hospital Division.