With summer coming to an end and fall just around the corner, you may be planning some last minute trips to the beach or to your favorite summer destinations before the weather starts cooling down. Whether you’re heading out on a road trip, riding the waves, or relaxing in a hotel room, follow these tips as you go through these last few weeks of summer to ensure healthy, safe, and delicious meals.
On the road…
- Packing foods as opposed to buying food along the way is a great way to ensure you are eating healthfully and are not relying on convenience foods which tend to be highly processed.
- Pack foods that will last a while without refrigeration. Foods like trail mix, popcorn, cereal, carrots, celery, and fresh fruit are good options.
- Keep perishable foods like fresh fruit and vegetables in a cooler full of ice or ice packs.
On the beach…
- Bring your own nutritious snacks like nuts, trail mix, fruits, and vegetables.
- If you purchase food at the nearby food stalls and restaurants, avoid fatty burgers and fried foods. Look for healthier options like salads, veggie burgers, and sandwiches on whole grain bread.
- Make sure you drink enough water to avoid dehydration.
- If you are cooking on a grill at the beach, make sure you thaw meats properly and separate utensils and dishes between raw and cooked meat. Bring a food thermometer to make sure foods reach appropriate internal temperatures before serving.
At the restaurant…
- Choose menu items that are steamed, baked, or grilled. Avoid foods that are fried or are drowning in a sauce. If your meal comes with sauce or dressing, ask for it on the side so you can control how much you consume.
- Eat only as much as you would at home. Restaurant portions tend to be a lot bigger than what they should be for one person. if you have a fridge in your hotel room, you can box the leftovers and eat them another time. Instead of ordering a regular entree, you can order an appetizer and a side salad instead.
- Choose options that include a variety of food groups: whole grains, lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats for a balanced meal.
At the hotel…
- Depending on how long your stay is, choose a hotel room with the proper amenities. A small kitchen may be useful if your stay spans a few days. You can buy foods at the local market and cook/prepare them to save money and ensure that you are eating healthfully.
- Keep healthy snacks in the room, such as whole grain cereal, nuts, granola bars, trail mix, and fruit to keep you from raiding the pricey (and usually unhealthy) snacks in the hotel room mini bar.
- Make substitutions while ordering room service meals. Ask for whole grain options for breads, and substitute unhealthy sides like fries with salad, fresh fruit or steamed vegetables.
Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy meals on the table. She is the author of the “The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad,” (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed “The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy,” (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. Special thanks to Social Media Intern Anita Renwick for writing this blog.