Healthy Eating on the Go: Across Campus, Across Town, Across Country!
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Council Member, PCFSN
As much as we all try, it's not always easy to make healthy eating choices each and every day, and today's busy schedules make it even more challenging! Running from class to class, back-to-back meetings and conference calls, travel, juggling work and family-there are a million things that keep us on the go. Don't let that cause to you make poor lifestyle choices. One thing I've learned over the years is that a little pre-planning can go a long way.
Since March is National Nutrition Month, I wanted to share some of my favorite tips to help make healthy eating easier -no matter where you are or where you're heading.
- Water, water, water: Don't leave home, or your office, without your water bottle – preferably a BPA-free, reusable one that can hook onto your briefcase or backpack. Just make sure you empty it before heading to the airport and fill it before hopping on the plane.
- Pack healthy snacks: A few of my favorites are clementines, bananas, apples, and pears (if you are flying, unpeeled fruit is OK through airport security), whole-grain crackers and cereal, and dried fruit and nuts (in small amounts as the calories can add up).
- Quick bites: If I need a quick snack (or small meal) and am heading out the door, I'll grab a yogurt and spoon, grapes, baby carrots, or canned fruit.
- Navigating meeting food: Given that most meetings are short on physical activity and big on food, skip the midmorning and afternoon snacks and desserts (but fruits/veggies are encouraged). Be mindful of balance, if your physical activity options are limited, think twice before diving into the cookie tray.
- Enjoy the scenery: If you are traveling by car, look for farm stands and grocery stores along the way-a great way to experience the local scene and pick up healthy foods.
- Hotel room options: Find out if your room has a small fridge. If so, pack (or pick up at a nearby grocery store) small containers of hummus, baby carrots, low-fat string cheese, sliced turkey or chicken, and fruit. If you know that there won't be many healthy breakfast options where you're going, you can bring small packages of instant oatmeal - just add hot water.
- Fast food strategies: Think before you act. More fast food establishments and restaurants are offering healthier fare, but many options (even those that sound healthy), are still high in calories. Until national menu labeling is in place, ask for the nutrition information and choose wisely.
- And finally, there's an app for that! Many smart phone apps are available to help you navigate restaurant options and make healthier choices. MyPlate is one of my (free!) favorites.
Wishing you safe - and healthy - travels!