Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eating Healthy on the Run

I keep a supply of squirrel food in my car as I'm traveling around for work each week.  Its my little stash of food to keep me from scarfing down convenience store snack cakes and drive through goodies.

Three years ago, I gained 10 pounds despite the fact that I wasn't having Big Macs or fries with anything!  So, how did I manage that?  A steady diet of 'healthy' and non-perishable dried fruit and granola were definitely the wrong choices.  I revamped what I was riding around with after having a dietician to tell me to positively stop it!

So, what do I keep as squirrel food staples?
  • Bottled Water - lots of it or a refillable water bottle
  • 100 calorie packs of something savory such as Pringles Pizza Sticks or Cheeze Its
  • 100 calorie packs of nuts
  • Fiber one bars - sweet and like having a candy bar!  Really!
  • High protein bars that substitute for a meal if needed - Atkins, Special K or any kind will do
  • Apples
Portion control is a big thing.  It's way to easy to pick up a bag of chef mix for a little snack.  An hour later along with 800 calories, you've had the whole bag and about 4 servings!  Portion control is a good way to save me from myself and mindless munching.

Amy's Organic has lots of great frozen meals that are both healthy and tasty.  They are certainly different and pack a lot of flavor.  Healthy Choice and Kashi also have great meals.  Just read the labels.  Frozen meals can have a lot of sodium or might have more fat than you think.  I look for meals that are low fat and low carb.  This rule usually equals low calorie and meets all of my requirements.

Greek yogurt has become my new dessert in my hotel room at night.  If I want something sweet, its creamy and sweet and has a lot less fat and calories.  There are a lot of flavor options.  Think of it as cheese cake without the crust!

Bananas are a sweet treat.  You can always snag a single banana at the grocery store.  Also, many hotels offer fresh fruit.  I take advantage of this with a single serve pack of peanut butter.  Pick up these two things with a knife and napkin and you have an easy mid morning snack.

I spend a lot of time in hotels.   I eat at hotels just as I would at home.  I don't eat waffles and cinnamon rolls at home daily.  Therefore, I pass them up at the morning breakfast at my hotel.  I stick to oatmeal and an egg with fruit.  

I make the same kind of rules when eating out at restaurants while traveling for work.  I think about what I would have at home and try to order along those lines.  Select restaurants that specifically cater to healthier options.  Ask for dressing on the side.  Avoid fried foods and extra breads.

So, you've read this and think, what fun is all of that?  I didn't say its always fun.  But, it does make a difference.  And, no, I don't always do that right thing or make the best choices.  I won't even go down that trail.  But, with a little advanced planning, I'm not making bad food choices because I'm starving and 'can't find anything else'.  

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