Good Intentions

When we start something new or make a promise to ourselves it is usually with good intentions in mind.  We start with a positive can do attitude and are not planning on taking a detour or hitting a roadblock along the way.  However life happens and maybe your plan that you thought was such a great idea was not such a doable one after all.  Maybe giving up all sugar for example was a little extreme.

This past summer I started training for a 25k (15.7 miles) Trail Race with good intentions in mind of course.   This wasn’t just any trail race however.  This was the Bulldog named after its long 4.3 mile long hill that climbs up to 2500 hundred feet.  This was a brutal trail race and it was supposed to be my  “first” big comeback race since the birth of my youngest son.  Sure I had run the local races around town but this was going to be my first big test.  For those of you that don’t know, my third pregnancy really threw me for a loop both mentally and physically and finally two years later I felt ready to go at it again.

Well the big day arrived and my body was ready, but mentally I was not.  It was literally the HOTTEST day of the summer and I began to have my doubts.  I had been envisioning a top three finish but that soon clearly became not the case.  In the middle of the wretched Bulldog hill all I wanted to do was turn around.  It was hot, I had fallen off the pace and there was an “old “ lady that just passed me up the hill.  My good intentions started to turn into no intentions.  My friend’s husband caught up with me and we started talking.  Clearly if I was able to hold a conversation up the Bulldog with him I was not pushing myself.  We arrived at the aid station at mile 7 and after the volunteer doused me with fabulously cold water something clicked in me.  My race was not going how I had envisioned it to but I was not a quitter.  I said so long to my friend’s husband and was off.  My body was flying up and down the trail and I was passing runner after runner.   I came through the finish line feeling depleted.  I made up so much time I ended up beating my friend’s husband by eleven minutes.  I did not finish in the top three as I hoped but I felt good that I did not let my whole entire race fall apart.  My intentions were to run hard and finish at least third woman.  My reality:  I ran hard the second half of the race and had to settle for sixth woman.  As I drove home from the race that day I felt disappointed and sad that I did not accomplish what I had set out to do. (I was also wising that I was not such a competitive person!)  However I did not let myself completely fall apart which is something I should be proud of.  My goal that I had set for myself with good intentions in mind was not completely fulfilled but I did not abandon it because I hit a roadblock.

When you set a goal for yourself whether it is to include more fruits and veggies in your diet or to workout more often and you hit a roadblock don’t jump ship.  Get over the obstacle and continue where you left off.    It is often thought that if a person eats one so called bad food during the day that their diet is ruined and they may as well continue to eat poorly the rest of the day.  This is not the case.  Get over the “bad food” and jump back to your plan.  The same goes for exercise.  If you can’t get your full one-hour workout in and can only fit in 30 minutes, do it!  Something is better that nothing.

So next time your healthy living plan that was made with good intentions of course does not go as planned don’t jump ship.  Make adjustments and continue on.

 

Katie Valdes MS RD CSSD

Katie is a Registered Dietitian specializing in weight management, sports nutrition and child nutrition. Katie maintains her own practice in Southern California consulting with individuals of all ages.  She has taught university nutrition classes, conducted nutrition seminars and lectures, and continues to author a nutrition newsletter.

She is an avid runner, having regularly run long distance competitively in high school, at USC, and she continues to do it today while pushing two of her three children, ages 25, and 8, in a stroller.  Katie has placed 13th overall female in the Los Angeles Marathon, 4th overall female in the Napa Valley Marathon and regularly ranks at the top of her class in races today.

Katie holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is Board Certified in Sports Dietetics in addition to her Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science from USC.

 

Image from Flickr Creative Commons lululemonathletica

Sports Nutrition Tips for Active Kids

Just because they are young and small, does not mean that kids do not need to fuel properly before a competition.  The proper amount of food and fluid is necessary before a competition and can make or break their performance.

Eat Smart Before You Compete

Save the heavy junk food for after (or not at all) and have your child fuel with meals and snacks that will provide a good energy balance.  Eating the proper foods will not only keep their playing skills sharp but will also keep their minds alert as well.    Have your child eat a healthy meal or snack 2 to 4 hours before they compete.

  • Cereal with milk and fruit
  • Granola bar with yogurt and a banana
  • Turkey sandwich on wheat with milk and fruit.
  • For the child who is too nervous to eat before a game a homemade smoothie might do the trick made with yogurt, fresh fruit and milk.

Drinking the Right Fluids

Making sure your child is hydrated is the key to a great performance. Not being properly hydrated is a recipe for disaster.  To ensure that your child is drinking enough throughout the day be sure to follow these simple steps:

  • Pack a water bottle in their backpack
  • Offer fluids at every meal
  • Offer extra fluids at lunch to prepare for an afternoon game
  • Drink during games and practices
  • Water is best

What to Eat After the Competition is Over

Following competition it is important to eat within 1 hour.  This allows the body to recover properly and to replenish diminished energy stores.  When a meal is eaten immediately after exercise the rate of recovery and replenishment is much higher than if a meal is consumed at a later time (>1 hr).  Any well-balanced meal will do.  If junk food is a must, now is the time to have it.  But remember don’t go overboard because the healthier the foods you put into your child’s body the better they will perform.

 

Katie Valdes, MS, RD, CSSD rnkvaldes@aol.com

Katie is a Registered Dietitian specializing in weight management, sports nutrition and child nutrition. Katie maintains her own practice in Southern California consulting with individuals of all ages.  She has taught university nutrition classes, conducted nutrition seminars and lectures, and continues to author a nutrition newsletter.

She is an avid runner, having regularly run long distance competitively in high school, at USC, and she continues to do it today while pushing two of her three children, ages 25, and 8, in a stroller.  Katie has placed 13th overall female in the Los Angeles Marathon, 4th overall female in the Napa Valley Marathon and regularly ranks at the top of her class in races today.

Katie holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is Board Certified in Sports Dietetics in addition to her Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science from USC.

 

 

Flickr Creative Commons Image Sources: Virginia’s Photostream, Humphrey’s Photostream, and Rick McCharles

Baby it’s hot outside

Summer is fast approaching and warm weather is just around the corner.  In fact we experienced some spring heat this past weekend.  As the weather gets hotter keeping our kids hydrated becomes a top priority.  When playing outside or in sporting events children acclimate to the heat but not as quickly as adults do.  Children also have a greater ratio of body surface area to mass, meaning that they have more skin surface area from which to gain or lose heat for each pound of body weight.  This is good except when it is hot and the outside temperature exceeds the skins temperature.   So in turn kids gain more heat from the outside temperature and are unable to get rid of it as quickly.  This is due to the fact that children have a lower rate of sweat loss than adults.   So what can you do as a parent to keep your kids safe this summer in heat?

  1. Expose your kids to the heat slowly.  The more days they spend outside playing in the heat the more their body will acclimate to it.  Increase the amount of time they spend playing in the heat each day and they will soon adjust.
  2. Make sure to keep your kids properly hydrated.  Water is always best.  Excessive amounts of juice and sports drinks only add unwanted calories and sugar.  Sports drinks however are very useful if your child is playing in a sporting event in a hot environment and a lot of running is involved.  If your child does like plain water, flavor with fresh fruit slices or make fruit ice cubes to place in the water.
  3. Proper hydration can be met in a variety of ways.  Think beyond water.  Below is a list of foods that you can include in your child’s diet throughout the day to make sure he/she is staying properly hydrated.

           20 Top Foods to keep you hydrated (greatest to least hydrating)

 

1.Cucumbers
2.Iceberg Lettuce
3.Sweet Peppers
4.Watermelon
5.Tomatoes
6.Canned mushrooms
7.Papayas
8.Honeydew melon
9.Onions
10.Peaches
11.Pears
12.Applesauce
13.Yogurt
14.Squash
15.Pasta Sauce
16.Oranges
17.Cooked Cream of wheat
18.Canned plums
19.Mandarin oranges
20.Cottage Cheese

  1. Studies show that kids will drink more when the beverage is cold.  So be prepared and have ready to drink sippy cupsor bottles filled with water that are easily accessible to your child. Put them in an easy to reach place in the refrigerator or carry a small cooler in your car during the summer months.

Play it safe this summer and keeps your kids cool and hydrated.

Katie Valdes MS RD CSSD rnkvaldes@aol.com

Images from Flickr Creative Commons: Water Fountain Drink, Hot Summer,  Kids Playing, Drink of Water

Gardening With Your Little Ones

Spring is right around the corner believe it or not and that means that it is time to start planning your vegetable garden.  Growing a vegetable garden is a great family activity.  Not only does it allow for some family bonding time, it teaches your child about where food comes from.  And if your child has been involved in the gardening process they are more likely to eat the vegetables they have grown themselves.

Peak your child’s interest by reading books on gardening together.  Some great fun reads are: How Groundhog’s Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry and Muncha, Muncha, Muncha  by Candace Fleming.  You can also visit local farmer’s markets, pick-your own vegetable farms and community gardens.  This will allow your child to talk with the growers themselves.  Now let’s get started!

  1. Vegetables love the sun so pick a nice sunny location in your yard.  If you don’t have a yard, don’t despair, a couple of large containers will work just as well.
  2. Prepare your dirt with some good soil amendments/fertilizer that can be found at local nursery or hardware stores.
  3. Pick your veggies.  Depending on where you live you will either want to start your vegetables from seed or plants.  Some good, easy-to-grow, and nutritious choices are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, beans, and if space allows, pumpkins.
  4. If you are feeling adventurous, add some herbs to your garden as well.  Some great summer choices are basil, chives, oregano, thyme and cilantro.
  5. To keep your plants healthy make sure to water regularly and watch out for pesky bugs.  You can purchase organic pest sprays, ladybugs and/or praying mantis to help keep pests at bay.

Since growing vegetables can take some time, have your child keep a journal of the plants growth, either through words or pictures.  This will not only keep your child interested but it will also help you keep track of when your plants should be harvested.  All that is left to do now is to sit back and eat your veggies.  If your child was not eating vegetables before, I guarantee you they will be eating their vegetables now.

Katie Valdes MS RD CSSD

Katie is a Registered Dietitian specializing in weight management, sports nutrition and child nutrition. Katie maintains her own practice in Southern California consulting with individuals of all ages.  She has taught university nutrition classes, conducted nutrition seminars and lectures, and continues to author a nutrition newsletter.

She is an avid runner, having regularly run long distance competitively in high school, at USC, and she continues to do it today while pushing two of her three children, ages 25, and 8, in a stroller.  Katie has placed 13th overall female in the Los Angeles Marathon, 4th overall female in the Napa Valley Marathon and regularly ranks at the top of her class in races today.

Katie holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is Board Certified in Sports Dietetics in addition to her Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science from USC.

 

 

Images sources from flickr Creative Commons: Seeds, Enormous Cucumber, Planting

 

 

Free Urban Farming Workshop

If you are hip on growing what you eat then you need to check this out! At the Huntington Library…

April 24  (Tuesday)

7:30 p.m.  Free

 

 

Ranch lecture – The Wild Mediterranean Food Garden: Ideas and Practical Methods for Resilient Urban Agriculture

If your vegetable gardening is tied to traditional methods for planting, irrigation, and weed control, an exciting new world of ecosystem gardening awaits your discovery. Ecological landscape designer Darren Butler will discuss how to balance wildness and human management in seasonal food production as he outlines the core ideas for a new and evolving approach to gardening. Free; no reservations required. Friends’ Hall

Eating to Fuel Performance in Softball Players

Eating to Fuel Performance in Softball Players

To achieve success in sports one must practice hard and fuel their body properly.  Softball is a game of skill that requires short bursts of energy for running, fielding, throwing and batting.  Besides becoming skilled in a particular position and developing speed, strength, power and agility an athlete must also focus on their sleeping habits, their stress level and their nutrition.  Making sure that you are properly fueled to last an entire game or practice takes some planning.  Without proper planning, performance can definitely suffer.

What should a softball players diet look like?

Carbohydrates

Depleted energy stores during games and practices are a big problem for many athletes.  To stop this from occurring the proper amount of carbohydrates must be eaten before, during and after games and practices.  Not only are carbohydrates imperative for a good physical performance they are also important for a good mental performance since they are the brains main energy source.  Keeping energy stores at proper levels will aid in good decisions on and off the field.  Since softball is mostly anaerobic, the amount of carbohydrates consumed will be less than other athletes that are engaged in more aerobic types of sports.  Note:  During preseason conditioning larger amounts of carbohydrates will be needed.

When to eat

A meal rich in carbohydrates should be eaten 3-4 hours before games and practices and if needed a small snack 1-2 hours before.

Meal Ideas:

  • Grilled chicken sandwich, side salad, pretzels, water
  • Sandwich with deli meat, baked chips and lemonade
  • Oatmeal, toast with peanut butter and orange juice
  • Pasta w/ marinara sauce and sliced grilled chicken, steamed veggies, water

Snack Ideas (if necessary): bagels, animal crackers, trail mix, granola/energy bars, fruit, sports drink or crackers

Avoid: high fiber foods, spicy and fried foods and milk based foods, which can cause stomach distress.

Protein

Protein is essential for the building and repairing of muscles as well as providing a small amount of energy during prolonged exercise, such as during practice or a game.  Since softball relies more on the anaerobic system, protein needs are a bit higher than other athletes.  Protein intake does not need to be monitored however because a typical diet usually provides enough protein.  If an athlete is restricting certain foods from their diet, protein intake should be monitored then.  Good protein sources include:  fish, chicken, lean meats, low-fat milk, eggs, nuts and soy.

Fat

Most people think of fat as the enemy but it plays an important role in the body.  Restricting fat excessively can lead to nutritional deficiencies.  When adding fat to your diet, choose wisely.  Choose heart-healthy fats like vegetable oils (olive and canola), nuts, seeds, avocado and fatty fish.

Hydration

It is very important to stay hydrated.  Being dehydrated can lead to early fatigue.  To make sure you stay hydrated, drink fluids throughout the day by consuming a combination of water and sports drinks.  As a rule of thumb, always practice your fluid intake on non-game days so you know what works and what doesn’t.

Ways to stay hydrated

  • Stop at the water fountain between classes
  • Pack a water bottle or sport drink in your backpack
  • Drink as soon as you get up in the morning
  • Drink extra fluids at lunch to prepare for afternoon practice
  • Drink during games and practices

Post game Recovery

Following games or practice it is important to eat within 1 hour.  This allows the body to recover properly and to replenish diminished energy stores.  When a meal is eaten immediately after exercise the rate of recovery and replenishment is much higher than if a meal is consumed at a later time (>1 hr).

Snack ideas: Any of the pregame snack ideas will work as well as string cheese, milk, deli turkey, or peanut butter.  A sports drink and bar could be consumed as well.

Meal ideas

  • Pasta with tuna, olive oil, garlic bread, salad and brownies and milk
  • Grilled chicken with rice, beans, vegetable
  • Lean meat, with potatoes, broccoli and small dessert

 

Top 3 Take-away nutrition tips

  • Adopt a training diet that will fuel your workouts
  • Eat carbohydrate-rich foods or fluids right after games or practices
  • Eat before you train

Katie Valdes MS, RD.  For questions e-mail me at rnkvaldes@aol.com

Sources: Sports Nutrition for Softball Players, Thomas 2006

How many calories do you need: www.kidsnutrition.org/healthyeating_calculator.htm

Katie is a Registered Dietitian specializing in weight management, sports nutrition and child nutrition. Katie maintains her own practice in Southern California consulting with individuals of all ages.  She has taught university nutrition classes, conducted nutrition seminars and lectures, and continues to author a nutrition newsletter.

She is an avid runner, having regularly run long distance competitively in high school, at USC, and she continues to do it today while pushing two of her three children, ages 25, and 8, in a stroller.  Katie has placed 13th overall female in the Los Angeles Marathon, 4th overall female in the Napa Valley Marathon and regularly ranks at the top of her class in races today.

Katie holds a Masters Degree in Nutrition and is Board Certified in Sports Dietetics in addition to her Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science from USC.

 

Softball image by Ron Cogswell on Flickr Creative Commons 

 

 

The Monterey Road Eco-Community Garden in Glendale

Urban Toot vote4us

Editors Note:

The link to vote for the $5,000 Grant is here: http://www.iuowawards.com/Projects.aspx#project|105c2bc7-2491-4f58-9336-e9b0696abe29

The Monterey Road Eco-Community Garden in Glendale stands out as a simple yet productive urban renewal living project.  Now in its fourth year, the Garden occupies what used to be two vacant parcels in a residential neighborhood just north of the 134 Freeway.  Serving over 40 families this project embodies sustainable living, organic gardening, and community organizing.

As the brainchild of the Coalition for a Green Glendale, a community group whose mission is to promote sustainable living in Glendale, the Garden is designed to do just that.  They are the first community-run gardens in Glendale and the first in the State of California to use reclaimed water for irrigation.  Complete with dozens of compost bins to recycle waste, demonstration gardens to show passersby how they can transform their yards, and promoting an urban agricultural lifestyle where you can grow your own food, the Garden stands out to the community as an opportunity to do something good at an individual and local level.

Today, the Monterey Road Eco-Community Garden wants to initiate another first in Glendale.  Pending funding from a grant they are competing for, a bioswale in the parkway will be installed to divert stormwater from the street to instead go into the ground and naturally percolate down, preventing polluted water from entering the Los Angeles River.  The Garden will also have rain barrels to capture water from the toolsheds and neighboring roofs, and install rain gardens where small ditches can turn into temporarily holding ponds for stormwater to collect.

If you want to get directly involved in helping the garden, click on the following link and cast your vote for your local Monterey Road Eco-Community Garden Project.  You can vote once per day and the project needs to be ranked 1st 2nd or 3rd to win.  The grant competition will end on March 15.

http://www.iuowawards.com/Projects.aspx#project|105c2bc7-2491-4f58-9336-e9b0696abe29

Additionally, if you want to be in touch with the Coalition for a Green Glendale to obtain a plot at the Gardens, regarding upcoming volunteer opportunities, free community-wide gardening workshops, and local environmental issues, please contact them Alek Bartrosouf at greenglendale@gmail.com.

40 OR 45 MINUTES? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

When I was growing up, Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, were a regular on our dinner table. The way we made Garbanzo curry, Chole, started by soaking raw garbanzo beans in water overnight. In the morning (EARLY in the morning, like 5.30 AM when she woke up), my mom would put them in a pressure cooker. Once the whistle blew (loudly, thus serving as our alarm to get up for school), she cooked it on low heat for 40 minutes, then made the curry before leaving for work. That evening we knew exactly how dinner conversation would go.

All of us: Chole are really tasty!

Dad adds: How long did you cook it for?

Mom: 40 minutes

Dad: You should have cooked it for 45 minutes. It makes the chickpeas softer & thoroughly cooked.

Mom: They are soft & thoroughly cooked.

Dad: 5 more minutes would have been good.

Mom: 40 minutes are good enough.

Dad: 45 minutes.

Mom: 40 minutes.

And so on…

Don’t tell mom, but I am with my dad on this one. Garbanzos from cans are convenient, but are just barely done. I mostly make my own, so they really are very soft & cooked thoroughly. Real simple. Real tasty. Try it.

At night, set your crockpot on low & put in the raw beans with lots of water (if you want exact measurements, I can’t help you). Add salt now rather than after they are cooked. Add some whole spices – bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon – whatever you have on hand. Adding spices takes their taste to a whole new level! Cover & let the crockpot do its magic. The garbanzos are ready by morning. You can fish out the whole spices or leave them in until you are ready to use the garbanzos. If you are serving some to frenemies, leave the peppercorns in.

What do you like to make with garbanzos? Here are a few my favs. Chole, garbanzo curry as described above, sans the 40-45 minute debate. We also add garbanzos to cooked quinoa for a quick salad or lunch. Have little kids? Try these as finger foods (split them in half before giving it to younger ones). There are many recipes for Garbanzo salad –onions, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, cilantro, mint, avocadoes, lemon juice, jalapenos – add any or all of these. Even without oil or cheese, it tastes awesome! I’ve also tried my hand at making hummus. Umm, no comments on that.

Give homemade garbanzos a try. You really don’t need the canned kind. Target has a crock pot for $10. Best investment ever (actually 2nd best for me, but we’ll talk about that another time)! And if you need raw garbanzo beans, you are lucky to be in Glendale. Is there a single grocery store here that doesn’t carry them? Happy cooking!

Shalini Singh, CEO of the Singh household, vegetarian, foodie, community volunteer.

Cole Slaw Wars!

So earlier this week my wife sent me to Ralphs Grocery Store on Verdugo to pick up some coleslaw. She had planned a great meal of shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and that of course calls for some tasty Coleslaw. Well, wouldn’t you know it I got to the Deli Counter and low and behold they were all out of coleslaw! Whats a intrepid husband to do?

Make my own Coleslaw of course? So I did. Sorta .

You see I went over to the produce section and I was looking at the carrots, cabbage etc when I noticed that Dole was selling Coleslaw Mix in a bag. Yup, thats right. Coleslaw in a bag! In fact they were selling to different types. So I did want any other coleslaw hunting husband would do, i bought both! Crazy? Perhaps but thats how the Dads roll in Glendale!

Coleslaw Wars Dole Creamy Dressing

Coleslaw Wars Creamy Dressing

The first one was the more expensive. It was about $4.50 for the complete mix. It included a large bag of shredded cabbage, carrots and other coleslaw veggie stuff, and it came with a pouch of coleslaw dressing. When I took it home it was pretty easy to assemble. I just emptied the bag of cabbage and veggies into a bowl, tore open the dressing and mixed it together. It took me less then 5 minutes to have it ready and in the fridge chiling (cuz I do like my Cole Slaw chilly).

Dole Coleslaw Wars

Dole Coleslaw Wars

The second choice was cheaper. Or was it? So this second bag only had the shredded cabbage, carrots and other “raw materials.” There was only raw veggie type stuff and no pouch of dressing. However there was a recipe on the back of the bag and I decided that I was going to try to make it! So I did!!!

Coleslaw Making Prep

Coleslaw Making Prep

The truth is that I was going to include the recipe here for everyone to try but I forgot and I threw away the bag! Oops! However I can remember most of what was in it (but not the proportions).

It had:

  • Sour Cream
  • Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Mustard Stuff
  • Celery Stuff
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
The thing about this less expensive bag was that while it was only $1.49 for the bag I still had to buy all the ingredients. Dollar out of the pocket was about the same but I did still have lots of ingredients left over. It’s true that in our house we always can use more sour cream and sugar the other stuff I’m not so sure about.
Okay, okay. I know get to the point. I know that the big question was… How was it! I have to say that both were pretty good. Our survey pool consisted of 5 adults and two kids. The kids tried it and weren’t really interested. So they don’t count.
While everyone was amazed that I made the Coleslaw dressing and they said that it tasted okay they thought I over did the mustard stuff and that it was a bit too spicy for their taste.
Coleslaw Wars- Coleslaw in a bowl
The more popular choice by far was the pre made dressing in a pouch! 
Coleslaw Wars- Coleslaw in a bowlWhile I have to admit that $4.5o seems a lot to me to get shredded cabbage and carrots with some dressing I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we had enough of both items left over to mix together and thats when everyone fell in love with the coleslaw. Which one is better is hard to say but it was definitly fun to try out both recipes and have a taste test!
Oh and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Dole website that deals with coleslaw praises the positive health benefit! I’ve copied it below!

Cole Slaw Nutrition Benefits

  • A Naturally Fat Free Food
  • A Naturally Cholesterol Free Food
  • A Naturally Very Low Sodium Food
  • While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease
  • Development of cancer depends on many factors. A diet low in total fat may reduce the risk of some cancers
  • Diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a disease associated with many factors
  • Excellent Source of Vitamin A
  • Excellent Source of Vitamin C
  • Excellent Source of Vitamin K
Where do you get your coleslaw? Whats your favorite? Got a recipe to share?

Eating Healthy on the Road

 

 

Road trips and airplane rides can be a breeding ground for nutritional disaster, especially if you are not prepared. Yes, vacation is a time to let loose, but not so much so that you come back 10 pounds heavier. To keep this from happening, make sure that you have a plan.
Spend your calories wisely and plan out your indulgences. For example if you know that you are going to have a decadent dinner later on plan out your other meals and snacks appropriately. This can be done by packing smart snacks. Fresh fruit, energy bars, trail mix and air-popped popcorn travel well and are easy to eat while on the road. If you have ready to go healthy snacks in the car you are less likely to stop at a convenience store and buy junk food or overeat at your next meal.
Not only are your food choices important, but your beverage choices as well. Not all beverages are created equal. Water, especially on long flights or road trips will keep you well hydrated. Unsweetened ice tea can also be a good choice if caffeine is not a problem for you. If you must have a soda, choose a diet soda. But be careful, some studies have shown that drinking diet soda may cause a person to snack more on salty foods and consume more calories in general than if a person were to drink just plain water.
Airplanes can also be a trap for eating high calorie unhealthy foods. Pack a snack while traveling by plane and try and stay away from the boxed lunches and snacks that are served on the plane because many are loaded with fat, calories and sugars. Carrots, apples, bananas, granola bars, water, and peanut butter pretzels are easy portable foods that can be brought on an airplane.
One final component of being able to indulge on vacation and not come back with tight fitting pants is to remember your exercise routine. If you are taking a long road trip map out places that you are able to stop for a walk or hike and include in your itinerary. Also once you reach your final destination check with the concierge at your hotel for all the local running/bicycling/hiking paths as well as the hours of the gym located in your hotel. If you are traveling by plane make sure you get up frequently from your seat to walk around the plane and stretch your muscles.
You are on vacation so let loose and enjoy yourself. But remember if you have to think twice about eating something, it’s probably not worth eating!
Have a great vacation!

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