The BEST Healthy Travel Apps

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One of the great things about traveling is that it can help you escape your daily routine. It’s great to explore new places and leave the usual daily grind behind. And feeling great while you travel is a no-brainer. Feeling well will help you enjoy everything your destination has to offer. If you want to have a stress-free vacation and come back home feeling relaxed, planning out most of your trip in advance can make things run smoother. Booking train and museum tickets will help you spend less time on line. And the play you were dying to see–you don’t want to find it’s now sold out when you drop in to buy tickets. Restaurants that you definitely want to try? Book your reservation on Opentable before you leave home. In addition to the “before you start your travels” tips, there are a wide range of health-related apps to help make your trip a great success.  Using apps available on your smartphone when you travel can definitely enhance your travel experience.

Here are some TOP apps to help  you eat healthy, stay fit and feel sane while traveling. Enjoy your trip and come back home feeling healthy, relaxed and energized! Bon voyage!

Healthy Eating Apps

– Happy Cow (free for iPhone): Essentially a “Yelp” for meat-adverse diners – gives options for vegan, vegetarian, and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in your area, rates them by price, and details the type of food and what animal products are offered/omitted. Provides reviews and pictures, so you can browse the menu and decide on what you want on the ride over!
http://www.happycow.net/mobile.html

-Eat Out Well (free for iPhone): From The American Diabetes Association and Hope Warshaw, RDN. Excellent app for searching menu items and their nutrition facts at multiple chain restaurants across the U.S.

–  Food Tripping (free): This app finds your location (in America) and gives you suggestions on healthy food places around you. You can search for Farmers Markets, coffee and tea places, food and drink artisans, eateries, and juice joints. You never have to settle on a fast food salad again!
http://www.shft.com/foodtripping

– My Fitness Pal (free): This app is also very helpful to research calorie counts on popular foods and recipes from other cultures. Calorie counts are verified by their Registered Dietitian, so you know that what you enter into your food log is guaranteed to accurately keep you on track!
https://www.myfitnesspal.com

– CDC’s Travwell (free): Looks at different countries around the world and offers traveling suggestions to be the healthiest as possible for your trip. This includes vaccinations and medicine advice, and lists of over-the-counter medicines and first aid supplies. This is super helpful to stay on track with eating healthy during your vacation, because the better you feel, the more motivated you’ll be to stay healthy the whole trip!
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/apps-about

– Can I Eat This? (free): This is an app also created by the CDC that helps prevent contracting a food borne illness in an international country. By being ahead of potentially debilitating symptoms, you can stay healthy with smart food choices and lots of walking around your city!
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/apps-about

Relaxation Apps
-Insight Timer (free for iPhone) Unwind with this meditation app. A variety of guided meditations to choose from. Select the length of time you wish to meditate.

Fitness Apps

-Simply Yoga (free for iPhone)  A variety of yoga exercises with audio and instructor. A great way to start or end your day.

-MapMyWalk and MapMy Run (free for iPhone) ) Whether walking or running, these apps will keep track of your route, speed and distance.

-Track Your Steps: iSteps ($0.99) iPhone Works like a pedometer! Counts your steps, distance, average speed and calories burned. You can wear it around your waist or carry it in your hand. Great and easy way to get fit so press start and get moving!

-7 Minute Workout (free for iPhone).  Quick and effective full-body workout that only takes seven minutes to complete. Great for travelers!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her passions include traveling the world and experiencing new foods and cultures. She is the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012).. Lisa maintains a nutrition practice in NYC and Huntington, Long Island. Lisa is also the CEO of Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy dishes on the menu. For more info on Lisa, visit here. Special thanks to Samantha Marks, BS, DTR for her input on this post.

Summer Travels: Staying Trim On A Beach Vacation

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Making arrangements and reservations for vacation can be anything but relaxing. Sometimes we need a vacation from a vacation, as all the planning is exhausting. Rather than eliminating vacation from your schedule, a relaxing beach holiday where you’re able to lounge and recharge is sometimes what is most needed. Yet, before you jet off to the beach, make sure to use some of the below tips to stay trim and healthy while away. With so many restaurants serving large portions, finishing all that’s on our plates and justifying frequent splurges of higher calorie menu selections, moderation of meals is definitely needed to stay trim while vacationing at the beach. Trust me—-you’ll be much happier when you return home.

Useful Travel Tips:

• Instead of equating dining out while on vacation as an opportunity for carte blanche, remove your indulgences from solely food and instead focus on indulging in a mystery book, massage or quality time with the family. When you redirect your indulgences to other great experiences in life, you will be less likely to overindulge in calories!
• Order half sized portions, appetizers, share entrees or opt to take leftovers home for tomorrow’s meal.
• Don’t be afraid to ask to ‘have it your way.” Restaurants are more accustomed to guests requesting modifications to dishes. For example, it’s not unheard of to ask for dressings, sauces and/or gravies on the side or for diners to ask for part of the meal “doggy bagged.” You may also find that many restaurants will prepare your sandwich on whole grain bread or, if vegan, add avocado or chiickpeas to your salad in place of the cheese. As long as the restaurant has the requested items on hand, you’d be surprised what modifications can be made.
• Aim to “eat in” once a day! Staying in for breakfast, brown bagging your lunch for the beach or eating last night’s doggy bag can save calories and dollars. Bringing along some low sugar oatmeal, cereal and/or breakfast bars, and peanut butter can do the trick. Head to the local farmer’s market or grocery store to keep fresh fruit and vegetables on hand for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
• Sample rich foods in “moderation” instead of feasting. Keeping calorie-laden foods to a small portion once a day will allow you to enjoy the “local” food while maintaining your desired weight.
• Take advantage of surroundings and go for a morning run on the beach or an afternoon hike. Take every opportunity to sightsee via walking.
• The mini bar in room is the start of many guilty extra snacks and drinks! Your wallet and waistline will thank you if you hide the key!
• As you know, traveling can dehydrate you. Add a few days in the sun and water requirements increase exorbitantly. If you can, keep ice cold bottles of water stocked in your fridge and have some water on hand wherever you go. Also, keep the triple digit calorie drinks at bay with unsweetened hot or cold tea, coffee, sparkling water, club soda or by adding some lemon or lime to ice water. Enjoying a drink or two is expected, but keep in mind that each alcoholic drink can add an extra 150-450 calories and added sugar.
• Challenge yourself to 5 a Day. Every day, make every effort to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables. You won’t only meet your daily fruits and vegetables quota, but you will feel more satisfied with the added fiber.
• Go easy on the condiments. Half of the grams of fat in Arby’s Southwest Chicken Wrap or Ultimate BLT Wrap comes from the ranch sauce or mayo. Limit intake of creamy sauces or soups, opting for ketchup, marinara, mustard or BBQ sauce, which tend to be about 25 calories per tablespoon.
• Take advantage of the abundant amounts of seafood in the nearby ocean. Seafood is a delectable way to get your weekly dose of fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Make sure to order grilled or non-buttered fish as they are lower in fat and calories than the fried or battered dishes.

For your next beach trip, keep these tips in mind so you can have a little cake and eat some fruits and vegetables, too.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her passions include traveling the world and experiencing new foods and cultures. She is the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012)..  Lisa maintains a nutrition practice in NYC and Huntington, Long Island. For more info on Lisa or to schedule a consultation, visit here. Special thanks to Nikki Nies for her contributions in writing this blogpost.

Traveling Abroad Gluten-Free

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Traveling abroad with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity may pose a challenge at first. But once you do your homework you may find it quite manageable. The key is to do your research so you are not left starving or unsure if what you are eating is in fact gluten-free. Make sure you are well-versed in avoiding cross-contamination with gluten. Don’t let your diet restriction stop you from enjoying this amazing experience on which you are about to embark!

Remember these three areas to familiarize yourself with: the food customs, language and the new surroundings.

1. Food customs: have an understanding of how traditional dishes are prepared and the ingredients used so you know what is gluten-free, what to avoid and what can be modified.

2. Language: be able to communicate your needs and identify key words that indicate sources of gluten. Have a smart phone? Download a translation application to ease the language barrier. Google Translate is a user friendly app. Although English may be spoken as a second language in your city of travel, it is unlikely the word gluten or celiac is understood so know the translation in the area’s primary language. An excellent resource for gluten-free dining out is the app GF Card (free for iPhone or iPad) which contains gluten-free dining cards in fifty languages. Simply show your iPhone to your server. If you don’t have an iPhone, visit http://www.TriumphDining.com to order gluten-free dining cards.

3. The surroundings: know where you can stop in to purchase packaged snacks or fresh fruits to fuel your travels. If you are staying in a place with a kitchen it may be a good idea to stock up on gluten-free dried pastas, bread, cereal, quinoa, crackers and rice to break up the meals eaten out.

Pack gluten-free snacks to avoid searching aimlessly for gluten-free options, taking away from valuable sightseeing time. Airports are also a great spot to stock up packaged snack foods. KIND bars, NuGo Free Dark Chocolate Trail Mix protein bars, dried fruit and nuts are some examples. Dehydrated rice noodles, bean soups and gluten-free oatmeal packets are easy to carry along and just require hot water, easy to come across in most hotels, cafés or corner stops. Look for gluten free wraps you can carry along so you can simply request the sandwich fillings be made in your wraps and even bring along plastic gloves just in case. Know that continental breakfasts will unlikely have gluten free breads/cereals and the risk for contamination is likely going to be quite high. Yogurt, cheese, eggs and fresh fruit are good options for breakfast when dining out.

Before booking a hotel, it would be wise to ask if special arrangements can be made depending on your length of stay. Request to have a small refrigerator in your room. Stock up on inexpensive grab-n-go breakfast food such as gluten free granola bars, dried fruit and rice cakes with a nut butter spread.
 For eating out, research the area beforehand to find those restaurants which will accommodate the gluten-free traveler. Look on the Internet for restaurants which serve gluten-free dishes. Choose those places that understand risk of cross-contamination. –

When ordering here are a few requests you might need to ensure cross-contamination is avoided:

1. Make sure your meat is cooked on a clean surface, meaning not the same grill where bread/buns are toasted.

2. Make sure the vegetables have not been cut on the same cutting board as any flour products.

3. Gluten free pizzas need to be cooked on clean surfaces and gluten free pasta needs to be boiled in clean water, not the same water previously used to cook wheat pasta and the same thing goes for any fry order

4. Tip generously especially if the restaurant or café makes special plates and is very accommodating. This will only encourage similar behavior for the next traveler.

By Country:

Italy: the land of bread, pasta and pizza, is very conducive to the gluten free traveler. The Italian Coeliac Society certifies restaurants claiming gluten-free on their menu to assure the consumer there will be no risk for cross-contamination. Florence is home to several restaurants offering gluten free pasta and there is always the option for a Caprese salad, freshly sliced meats, antipastos and risotto.

France: Many restaurants and bakeries offer gluten-free fare. The Chambelland Boulangerie in Paris is a gluten-free bakery located in the 11th Arrondissement.

Spain: The Attic Restaurant in Barcelona offers selections specific for those with celiac disease. Menu options included pastas, fries, and other gluten-free selections.

A terrific website is http://www.glutenfreepassport.com for finding info on restaurants, traveling tips, travel language guides and a variety of gluten-free and food allergy apps. Take the time to review it before you embark on your trip. For more specifics by country: if you are traveling to Mallorca, France, Indonesia, Bolivia, Chile, Easter Island, Thailand, Finland, Australia, Montreal, Abu Dhabi, Sweden, Italy, Columbia or Sri Lanka just to name a few, follow this link for stories from gluten-free travelers. http://www.celiactravel.com/stories/

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as The Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.i She is the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto (Nirvana Press 2012.). In addition, Lisa is the CEO of Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs and restaurant owners to enhance the health aspects of  menu selections. She is a nationally-recognized Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a specialty in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. To find out more about Lisa or to book an appointment, please visit: http://www.lisastollmanrd.com