Surviving the Trip: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

November 17, 2010

Welcome to Day 4 of Living Healthy During the Holidays Week!  Today I have another guest post for you.  This time from Ellen of  She has lost over 100 pounds and has maintained that loss for the past several years. I really enjoy reading her blog, and I hope you will go over and check it out - after reading this post of course!

Take it away Ellen:

The holidays are upon us. Many of us will be fixing Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends. Many more of us will be traveling to other parts of the state, across the country, or in some cases, other parts of the world to spend time with our loved ones. Traveling can be exciting, but eating while traveling can be an absolute nightmare to those of us who are watching our weight.

Toll roads are filled with nothing but higher-priced fast food chains, while rest stops offer very few healthy options among rows of vending machines. This of course means that after sitting for hours on end (and thus burning fewer calories) we get out of the car to sit down again and fill up on fried foods, loads of carbs and sugar. Even if your willpower is rock-solid and you search for a salad, you still have to put up with highly caloric dressings, high fat toppings and in many cases, questionable lettuce.

Traveling is even tougher if you are flying. You are pretty much at the mercy of your airline as they tempt you with honey roasted nuts, soft drinks and maybe a $15 meal which probably has the nutritional stats of a Three Musketeers Bar.

If you are traveling this holiday season, just remember that you CAN be in charge of your eating habits and arrive at your destination without a gut-ache as long as you do a little pre-planning. Here are some tips that I use when I travel: If I know that I’ll be in a vehicle for a while, I take along a couple of small coolers. One is filled with bottles of water. I also take along various flavors of single-serving drink mixes like Crystal Light On-the-Go. This way, if I get bored with water alone, I have an easy way to add more drink choices without sacrificing car space. My second cooler is filled with a pre-prepared meal for the road, and consists of items that are easy to eat with little mess: sandwiches, pre-cut veggies, fruit and 100 calorie pack crackers.

Great items to choose from whether you’re in a plane, train or automobile: celery, carrots, radishes; fruits like apples, bananas, grapes.   Other foods to choose from: Laughing Cow Cheeses with 100 calorie pack crackers, Vitatops, almonds divided into plastic baggie single ounce servings, Weight Watchers 1 point individual packs of string cheese.

Sometimes, traveling is just plain boring. Many times I will find myself searching for food even if I’m not hungry just to give me something that will help pass the time. In cases like these, I always make sure to pack 2 additional things and keep them close by: gum and lollipops. There are countless flavors of sugar-free gum that will keep your mouth occupied during those times when you feel the unwarranted need to snack. And lollipops are a super alternative as well. They are relatively low in calories (I like Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops, which contain less than 25 calories per pop). They keep your mouth happy and busy.

Remember, making smarter food choices doesn’t begin at the dinner table. The decision to eat healthy before you arrive will start you off on the right path and help give you the strength to continue making healthy choices throughout the rest of your visit.

Have a safe, fun and memorable holiday season, everyone.

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  1. Thanks for this post!! I am flying over Christmas and I knew I needed to pack food for myself. This gives me the motivation I needed to make sure I do that!! Thanks again!


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