Healthy Eating on the Go

Well, for the past 2 weeks I’ve been out of my normal routine. Training and preparing for a new job schedule comes with many changes. I’ll have to get used to a new exercise time, plan meals further in advance, and learn how to maintain balance with these life changes.  In the meantime I had to juggle healthy eating on the road. For 2 weeks I’ve gone back and forth to Pennsylvania while keeping up with the marathon training schedule and being sure to nourish my body with good food. With pride, I believe I did pretty well! How? See below…

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1. Take your “staple” foods along for the ride.

– Although my hotel advertised “hot breakfast,” you really never know what to expect. You can almost always expect the typical danishes, toast, waffles, and rubber eggs, but would they have something for me to enjoy that I felt good about eating? Breakfast is my “control freak” meal of the day. I took my container of old fashioned oats just in case. Thank goodness! The hotel’s oatmeal looked like glue! So I made my oatmeal in the bowls provided, added the natural peanut butter that I had also brought with me. The hotel had lite n’ fit yogurt which was fine enough and fat free milk containers. Perfect.

2. Pack part of your lunch.

– Every morning I grabbed a whole piece of fruit from the breakfast at the hotel in preparation for lunch. I also grabbed the healthiest dry cereal box they had for when I needed a snack (usually cheerios). Luckily, I work in a grocery store and had the luxury of a nice cold bar (with fresh fruits and veggies) and the prepared food section of the cafe (where I always chose a protein based, low-fat dish such as chicken with veggies). If you aren’t so lucky, plan to make a stop at the closest grocery store the night before and purchase a few things that you can pack… like a small container of jelly and some whole wheat bread to make a sandwich with the PB I brought.

3. Make the most of dinner.

– Most nights I went to the easy and familiar Panera Bread. What I love about Panera are the calories posted right on the board. While this annoys some, it is a dietitian’s dream. The U Pick 2 is my go-to. Easy to calculate the calories (keeping the meal under 500 calories) and easy to get multiple food groups in the meal. For example, choosing the turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, vegetable soup with an apple gives me 4 different food groups! Another option is the greek salad with black bean soup and whole grain baguette or apple on the side. One night I had extra calories to spare and decided to splurge on one of the smoothies for dessert.:)

4. Have healthy snacks on hand for the late night munchies.

– You can approach this one of 2 ways: either don’t keep any food with you and just have a cup of tea from the hotel lobby or make sure to have decent snacks packed with you. I had stopped at the store next door and bought a container of strawberries to keep in the fridge. I also snagged a low-fat chocolate milk container from the hotel breakfast and had that in my fridge also. I brought mini bags of popcorn from home in the case that I craved something salty. I never had too much and was still able to have a little snack when needed. Just took some planning ahead.

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What are your tips for eating healthy on the road? I’ll discuss exercise tips when traveling next time… 🙂

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