Hydration Tips For Traveling Abroad

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Drink up. Staying hydrated is imperative for good health whether home or abroad. But when traveling, we should be even more aware of it. Being away from home often throws off daily habits and drinking fluids is usually one of them. Our bodies are constantly losing water through perspiration and even breathing. Proper hydration supports the heart and all muscles to work more efficiently. After all, we are composed of approximately 70% water, so no wonder we wouldn’t survive more than a few days without it.

Fluid Facts You Should Know

1. Fluid needs vary from person to person. Various factors influence fluid needs such as climate, activity level, clothes, body build and age. Lean body mass is composed of more water than fat tissue, so those leaner with greater muscle tone require even more water than their not so lean counterpart. Certain health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, may elevate fluid needs as well.

2. Thirst often indicates we are already dehydrated. So the goal should really be to avoid this, so you don’t end-up playing catch-up. The color of your urine is an easy indicator of hydration status: clear, light yellow indicates hydrated while dark yellow means drink more water. An outward sign of dehydration is dry skin while some symptoms may include dizziness, headache, or fatigue. Also, be aware that you may feel hungry when you are thirsty as the sensation for thirst is the same as hunger. So to keep your weight down, drink up.

3. For every pound of sweat lost, it takes a pint of water (16 ounces) to replenish. Water, seltzer, unsweetened coffee or tea really should be the beverage of choice. Alcohol can have a diuretic effect, so drink water along with any alcoholic beverage and drink moderately. Sports drinks aren’t necessary unless you are exercising at high intensity for more than 90 minutes. The extra sugar can be tough on the stomach if dehydrated and eating meals and snack throughout the day is sufficient to provide electrolytes.

Is the Water Safe to Drink?

Before you leave on your trip, find out if the tap water is safe to drink. This is a biggie. Water is obviously the best beverage to hydrate, but only if it is purified. If the water is unsafe to drink, so too may be the fresh produce. Just keep this in mind. When purchasing bottled water, make sure the caps are attached to the ring to guarantee you are in fact receiving purified water. Depending on your frequency of travel and length of stay, if the water is unsafe, it may be more economical to purchase a UV purification water bottle. CamelBak makes an All Clear

Bottle for $99 that utilizes UV technology to neutralize microbiological contaminants to EPA standards and has a built-in LCD to confirm purification results.

Hydration Travel Tips

  1. Fruits and vegetables have high water content so snacking on fruits such as apples, pears, and oranges and including salads and vegetables with lunch and dinner can up your water intake for the day.
  2. Always start the day off with a few glasses of water before hitting the pavement.
  3. Keep a water bottle with you as you explore your new surroundings.
  4. Pay attention to the type of climate in which you will be traveling. Hot environments will increase water loss. Lower humidity and higher altitudes will also accelerate water loss. Airplane cabins have very low humidity levels, typically 10-20%, whereas the humidity level in most indoor areas is 65%. So when flying, especially on long international flights, you should make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water and pay attention to any symptoms of dehydration. Try to avoid alcohol on the plane.
  5. Moisturize your skin to help retain moisture, especially in dry atmospheres. Pack a carry size so that you always have moisturizer on you. Spritzing your face can also help reduce the rate moisture leaves your skin.
As always, it’s best to be prepared. Happy travels!
An award-winning nutritionist, Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 Distinguished Dietitian of the Year by the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lisa is the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy. Her private practice is based in Huntington, Long Island and NYC. Lisa specializes in travel nutrition, weight management, and diabetes for teens and adults. To find out more about Lisa, visit here.

Be the Best YOU Can Be in 2015!

yoga-3As 2015 begins to roll out, take this time to think about the person YOU want to be and the accomplishments you aim to achieve. It helps to first reflect on 2014’s past successes, achievements, and best moments and use them as fuel for the upcoming year. In order to be your best self, you must be healthy in all facets: emotionally, physically and socially. I challenge you to take on these 7 steps for your best year yet! Do more for YOU. Taking care of YOU will help YOU live life to its fullest!

1. Drink more water. Our bodies are approximately 70% water. Most of us do not drink nearly enough. Hydrate your cells and your outward appearance will glow. Your body runs best on all levels when properly hydrated. And if you are drinking more water, naturally you will be drinking less sugar-sweetened or artificially-sweetened beverages that your body has no requirement for.

2. Eat more whole, plant-based foods. Plant foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans. These are the foods that grow from the ground. If you are eating more plant-based foods, then you will naturally be taking in more fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, heart-healthy fats and less bad fats and sodium. Think of antioxidants as anti-aging, anti-disease, anti-damage to the body. Plant-based foods help lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer. So make plant foods the bulk of your diet in 2015.

3. Sleep more. Get -7-8 hours most days of the week. Most of us do not get adequate sleep and we probably don’t realize how tired we actually are. Get the recommended 8 hours a couple days in a row and see how good you feel. It’s wonderful.

4. Exercise. Exercise helps you feel and look better–mentally and physically. Walk your dog, sign up for classes at your local gym, put an exercise App on your smart phone or iPad. Get a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day (5 miles). Just MOVE!

5. Stimulate your brain. Read more. Travel to new destinations. Take an art or cooking class. Sign up for a 5K. Start a new business you are passionate about. Find activities that make you happy.

6. Get more sunshine. Vitamin D plays numerous roles in our body and more of us are deficient than realize. Vitamin D is found in very little food sources, with the exception of mushrooms and fortified dairy and non-dairy milk. So our body has this amazing ability to synthesize it with exposure to the sun as it absorbs into our skin. Furthermore, getting more in touch with nature has stress-lowering effects beneficial for overall health.

7. Laugh more. Laughing lowers stress. When you start to laugh more you may start to see certain situations aren’t as bad as you think. Share more laughs with friends and family.

So make this your year of YOU! Put in the effort to be healthy and happy so YOU enjoy your life more. Happy 2015!!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of The Trim Traveler and The Teen Eating Manifesto. She is a nutritionist and writer based in Huntington, Long Island and NYC. Lisa specializes in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. Visit Lisa’s website for more information.

Enjoy and Stay Trim this Holiday Season

christmas-tree-wallpapers_25871_1680x1050The holiday season is upon us and with this time of year comes an array of parties and events to attend, and any excuse, let’s be honest, to cook up or, simply, eat lots of tasty holiday treats. Cookies, cake, pie galore! During this season we are tempted with so many decadent spreads of food. According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health the average weight person typically gains only a pound over the holiday season. However, overweight and obese people tend to gain five pounds during this time! The big problem is that most people don’t lose the weight gained, thus the pounds obtained over the winter holidays accumulate year by year. This doesn’t have to be YOU! Know that you can enjoy the holidays and maintain your weight and healthy habits. Whether traveling or enjoying the holidays at home, maintenance is KEY. Don’t look to lose weight over the holidays (but if you do, that’s awesome!). Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

1. Follow your meal routine. Eat every three to five hours. Avoid skipping meals. Skipping meals so you can indulge later typically backfires. You may end up eating more than you usually do and your desire to make healthy decisions will go out the window. Tip: eat a healthy snack or meal before you go out so you don’t overindulge at the party. Try to combine some protein with a complex carbohydrate and you may feel full longer. Think a small handful of nuts or a KIND bar and a fresh fruit. Or a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread.

2. Balance your plate. For the party meal, think MyPlate guidelines: ½ of the plate should be non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts or salad, ¼ of the plate can be from protein sources like grilled salmon, sautéed tofu, beans or chicken breast and ¼ starch consisting of pasta, rice or sweet potatoes. Add in small serving of dessert or very small portions of several desserts. Think volume for the vegetables and portion control of the more decadent sides and desserts.

3. Don’t drink your calories. We all love those holiday punches, ciders, cocktails and hot comforting drinks but know what is in your glass before indulging. Always start the party off with water or a glass of seltzer. If you want to get or remain svelte, stick with water or seltzer! If you must imbibe, one to two glasses of wine or 2 oz. of vodka , gin or rum with seltzer or a splash of juice should be your limit. Just an FYI: Egg Nog is one of the richest holiday drinks, containing 350 calories, 19 grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar per serving! CalorieKing (www.calorieking.com) is great website (and FREE app) for nutrition information on drinks and food.

4. Buy healthy whole foods so you eat well at home. Purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, hummus, tofu, fish, chicken, lean meat, nuts and nut butters, whole grains, such as couscous and quinoa, whole grain pasta and cereals and popcorn.

5. Maintain your exercise routine. Exercise helps prevent weight gain and relieves holiday stress. Walking at a brisk pace just 20 minutes every day is beneficial.

6. Aim to maintain weight, not lose it. Enjoy the holiday season and the time you spend with with friends and family. You will get more enjoyment out of laughing with those you are closest to than indulging in unhealthy party foods. Do not let the buffet table become your focus!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the new 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). She is a nationally-recognized Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a specialty in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. Lisa received her B.S. in Food and Nutrition and her M.A. in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. 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: www.lisastollmanrd.com

Eating Trim and Staying Slim on Martha’s Vineyard

 

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If you’ve had the pleasure to visit this beautiful island nestled in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. However, If you never chose this place as a vacation destination, you may want to rethink. Martha’s Vineyard is home to many gorgeous beaches and quaint towns, including Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chilmark and Vineyard Haven. Each town has its’ own New England flavor that makes it unique. And of course like many vacation spots, dining out is all part of the whole vacation relaxation package. Which is great if you don’t like to cook(!), but can add some girth to your waistline. Eating three meals daily in restaurants can definitely up the calories, so making wise food choices while you are vacationing will keep you feeling great (to look up calories–if you are so inclined, try the Calorie King app (free for iPhone). You want to enjoy meals that will fuel you up, but not add on the pounds or slow you down. Making smart food choices will you help you to return home with souvenirs, not unwanted extra pounds. In addition, you want to stay active while you’re away. Being active will not only help you to feel great but will also help you manage your weight while you vacation.

It’s important to have energy to hike, bike, swim and just walk throughout the towns. Having at least an hour of daily activity will keep you energized and relaxed as you explore new surroundings. Purchase a Jawbone or Fitbit pedometer before you leave home so you can track your daily activity.

Here are some healthy eating tips along with  restaurant suggestions which offer healthy meals that will keep you well-fueled.

5 Tips for Making Healthy Food Choices on Martha’s Vineyard

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1. Like many islands that have great seafood, fresh fish is a big part of many restaurant menus on Martha’s Vineyard. However many menus also are rich in  fried dishes. For a healthy choice, order fish grilled instead of fried. Or go vegetarian and opt for a veggie burger. In place of the accompanying French fries, ask for a side salad, vegetable or cole slaw.

2. If the portions are large, order a side salad and an appetizer. Or have a salad as an entree. Be wary of additions, such as cheese and bacon. Have only one or ask for them to both be deleted. Ask for salad dressing on the side.

3.  If you go out for breakfast, skip the home fries and bagel, and opt for whole grain toast. An omelette with vegetables will provide you with a good source of protein and fiber. Or order plain yogurt with fresh fruit for a calcium and Vitamin C boost.

4.  For lunch, sandwiches which include vegetables and salads, as long as they aren’t laden with meat and cheese, are a healthy choice.   Ask for whole grain bread instead of the refined white roll. Good sandwich choices include grilled fish or chicken with lettuce and tomato or hummus with vegetables. If French fries are part of the meal, ask for a side salad instead.

5. The best beverages to accompany your meal include water, seltzer, unsweetened iced tea and tomato juice. Though alcohol is commonly chosen while on vacation, keep in mind that alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories and can increase your hunger. So go slow. Start you meal off with a non-alcoholic beverage such as a Virgin Mary or seltzer with lemon. If you desire a glass of wine, etc., wait until your meal is served to order your beverage. You should find you drink less alcohol when you heed this tactic.

Restaurant Suggestions: Each of these restaurants offer vegetable-based dishes and amazing salads, in addition to meat, fish and chicken.  I highly recommend all of them!

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Edgartown

The Port Hunter:  great food and live music

The Atlantic: recommend for lunch or dinner

Among the Flowers:  great for breakfast

Oak Bluffs                                                                                                                                                                                    The Lookout Tavern : beautiful view with great food, sushi too!

Nancy’s Snack Bar: excellent fish and Mediterranean food

Vineyard Haven                                                                                                                                                                         The Black Dog Grill: great fish dishes, salads and veggie burgers

Chilmark                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Chilmark Tavern: pricey but excellent local food that’s well-prepared

Lisa Stollman is the author of the new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press June 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). She is the founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Find out more about Lisa at www.lisastollmanrd.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling Abroad Gluten-Free

086506a45643d61bb38d1ee16ac3738cTraveling 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 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 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 is the author of the new 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.). She is a nationally-recognized Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a specialty in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. Lisa received her B.S. in Food and Nutrition and her M.A. in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. 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

Eating Abroad with Prediabetes and Diabetes

farmersmarket picIf you have prediabetes or diabetes (either Type 1 or 2), you most likely are aware that you can eat what you like as long as you monitor your carbohydrate intake. Counting carbohydrates as part of a healthy meal plan will help you control your blood glucose. When you travel abroad you should try to maintain a similar healthy eating plan as you do at home. Consuming a diet that emphasizes healthy whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy or nondairy alternatives, lean protein foods (animal or plant-based), a variety of whole grains and healthy fats is a healthy plan that is beneficial for everyone, including those with prediabetes or diabetes.

Meeting with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, before you leave if you haven’t already, is a smart investment in your health as he/she can provide medical nutrition therapy, as well as create a personalized meal plan tailored to your particular health needs.

While you travel and dine abroad, try to eat healthy so you will feel well. Take the time to get at least an hour of exercise daily (with your physician’s approval if needed). And, yes, walking in the Louvre counts! Walking when you travel is a great way to see new sights plus get a nice workout at the same time. Bring a pedometer with you when you travel so you can track your steps. If you are in good physical shape, aim for 10,000 steps per day (which is approximately five miles).
Here are ten tips to help you stay healthy abroad whether you have prediabetes or diabetes (Type 1 or 2):
1. Make at lease half of your plate fruits and/or vegetables at lunch and dinner.
2. Instead of sweet pastries for breakfast, opt for plain yogurt with nuts and fresh fruit or a veggie omelette and whole grain toast.  3. Avoid sweetened beverages. Drink water, sparkling water, tea or coffee instead.
4. Limit refined breads and cereals whenever possible. Ask for whole grain breads and cereal when available.
5. For lunch, try a sandwich and a side salad or have a large salad as an entree.
6. Going out for dinner? Grilled fish or chicken with sautéed vegetables and salad is always a great choice. So is an entree salad with either a vegetarian protein such as beans, nuts or tofu, or grilled shrimp or chicken.
7. If you want dessert, fresh fruit is the best choice. But if it’s a rich dessert that grabs your eye, ask for a couple spoons and share with your companions.
8. Make sure to get at least an hour of exercise daily. Exercise will help control your blood glucose and manage your weight as you enjoy your journey, taking in the new sights, culture and flavor of new foods.
9. Visit local food markets to stock up on fruits, vegetables, olives and nuts to have available for snacks.
10. Check your blood glucose and adjust your food and/or medication accordingly so you can get the most out of your time away.
For additional tips on traveling abroad and adjusting insulin, visit this link http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2013/jun/35-top-tips-for-travel-with-diabetes.html

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the new 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.). She is a nationally-recognized Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a specialty in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. Lisa received her B.S. in Food and Nutrition and her M.A. in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. 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

Welcome to The Trim Traveler

travel_agentsWe are thrilled to launch our new blog: The Trim Traveler. This is the place to help you feel great and stay in shape as you travel the world. Visit here for cutting-edge tips on how to eat healthy in restaurants and make smart food choices around the globe. Travel with us as we review healthy restaurants and local cultural foods, all the while keeping you feeling good, physically fit and healthy. From New York City and Seattle to Paris and Israel, The Trim Traveler will cover it all. If you have special dietary needs, whether it’s diabetes, celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, vegan, low sodium, etc., we will cover it here with science-based tips that will keep you healthy as you savor new cuisines. Our new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad will launch in June and will be available on Amazon. Stay posted for the launch date. We invite you now  to subscribe to The Trim Traveler for weekly postings on eating healthy at various destinations. Bon Voyage!