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Healthy Eating while Traveling by Donna Douglass

Eating well during travel for business or personal reasons can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be impossible. All it takes is a little advanced research about the area where you will be visiting to help you stay on track with healthy eating. Here are some tips for traveling.

Book a hotel with kitchen amenities

When making your hotel reservations, make sure your room has a small refrigerator and microwave. Better yet, see if you can get a hotel with an efficiency kitchen. That way you can prepare many of your own foods.

Scout out the healthiest grocery stores

Most large cities will have plenty of grocery stores, upscale gourmet markets and health food stores as options. For smaller towns, just seeking out a local grocery store in advance will help you get some fresh ingredients to have on hand. Depending on the time of the year, local farms and farmer’s markets are a great source too.

Find the healthiest restaurants

Spend some time in advance researching the area for healthy restaurants. Some helpful apps include VegOut, MenuPages, Foodspotting, Urbanspoon, Yelp and AroundMe.

Be creative and aware

Being creative and aware of your needs in advance can help you plan some of your meals beforehand. Knowing how your time will be spent—whether in full-day meetings or hours in the car—will help you plan how best to prepare your meals.

Once you know how you will spend your time, you can put together a list of items you can bring with you and/or purchase from the store once you arrive in the area. Water, oatmeal, unsweetened almond milk, fresh fruit, raw veggies, prepared hummus, rice crackers, almond butter, bread and trail mix are all snacks that can help you keep your energy up all day.

Pack some kitchen equipment

When you will be travelling by car, there are several pieces of kitchen equipment that come in very handy. A small travel blender is a must-have for smoothies, blended juices, soups and healthy dips. In addition, a paring knife and cutting board easily can be packed in your suitcase. A small cooler can help you tote all of your freshly made snacks wherever you go. You can eat very well with these limited kitchen tools—not to mention save money.

Breakfast Ideas

• Quick cooking oats with fresh blueberries, apple chunks, flaxseed, chopped walnuts, honey or maple syrup

• Quick wraps, pitas or sandwiches using wild sockeye salmon lox with cheese, capers and onions

• Greek yogurt topped with berries, flaxseed or nuts

• Blended juices made with fruits and greens mixed with coconut water. Kale, mixed lettuces, spinach or parsley are great greens to include. Celery, cucumbers, berries, apples and kiwi and even grated ginger can add healthy and delicious flavors.

• Fresh or frozen fruit smoothies made with soy or almond milk or silken tofu. Add some almond butter or protein powder to get some protein first thing in the morning. Snack Ideas

• Homemade granola bars that you prepare in advanced or purchase through a local source.

• A good trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pistachios or Brazilian nuts.

• Healthy breakfast muffins prepared in advance or purchased from a local source.

Dinner ideas

• Prepare some items in advance like grilled chicken and vegetables.

• Make wraps with cooked beans, salad greens and fresh avocados

• When eating out, look for healthy fish choices like salmon, cod and mackerel that is broiled or baked with no heavy sauces.

• Lighter carbs, brown rice or quinoa and just a dinner salad with fresh lemon and olive oil can keep you satisfied.

Remember, if you don’t see something on the menu that you like, ask the waitress if they can change the cooking method (from fried to baked) and just steam some fresh veggies, add some fresh lemon juice and olive oil and you will be good to go.

With a little planning you can stay on track with eating healthy while away from home.

Donna Douglass is a natural foods chef, certified health coach and owner of What’s Cooking, a culinary and wellness education company. She helps busy people and those with special diets and offers various health coaching services that include meal preparation, cooking and nutrition education. For more information, contact 548-6520 or cooking@hvc.rr.com or visit WhatsCookingForYou.com.

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