Four Tips for Staying Trim While You Travel 

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We’ve all heard from friends who like to travel how they rarely can make it home without unwanted pounds. Traveling and weight gain don’t have to go hand in hand. Yes, you can enjoy wonderful meals and maintain your weight. One of the pleasures of travel is the experience to try new and delicious food. Whether at a corner cafe in Amsterdam, a taverna in Athens or a food truck in Austin, the joy in trying and enjoying new flavors is truly part of our travel memories.

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Traveling is a wonderful time to enjoy yourself and your surroundings. But you don’t want to be so concerned about what you can and can’t eat to avoid gaining weight. Don’t allow any  negative energy to zap some of the pleasure from your trip. To help you enjoy your trip and avoid weight gain, I’ve put together four “tried and true” tips  to help you enjoy new cuisine and stay svelte. So pack your bags and enjoy your trip. No worries about gaining weight!

Four Tips For Avoiding Travel Weight Gain

1. Eat more at breakfast and lunch. Yes, enjoy the hotel buffet.

2. Make dinner your lightest meal. Soups, salads, grilled vegetable platters, grilled fish or lean meats are all good choices.

3. If you have dessert, share it. Or better yet, forgo the rich pastry and enjoy a dish of fresh fruit.

4. Limit alcohol which contributes additional calories to your diet. In addition, alcohol can increase your appetite and cause you to eat more. If you’re going to imbibe, choose wine or vodka, rum or gin on the rocks. Skip the sugary mixes.

To maintain your weight while you travel, emphasize healthy choices. But most important, enjoy your trip!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about helping people transform their lives with optimal nutrition. She received the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year from the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lisa is an entrepreneur, food influencer, speaker, private practitioner, and writer. She consults with food startups and restaurants to help put health on the menu. Lisa 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 her private practice she specializes in teen and adult weight management, vegetarian nutrition and diabetes. Lisa received her two degrees in Nutrition from New York University. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and virtually. To find out more about Lisa or to book an appointment, please visit here.

 

Eating Healthy and Staying Trim in the U.S.V.I.

St. John beach view

Sit back in your chair and close your eyes. Picture white sandy beaches with water the color of clear, cool aquamarine. Colorful fish you can see simply just standing on the beach. Yes, the water is that clear. The rhythm of the day drops a few notches down from what you are used to at home. You have arrived in the U.S Virgin Islands. It’s a great place to visit for unwinding and enjoying nature. And the beautiful climate, lovely people and delicious Caribbean food pull it all together to have a uniquely memorable trip.

St. Thomas hotel and sea view

If you are like me, when you travel you want to enjoy the local food, feel great, continue to stay fit and avoid coming home with extra unwanted weight. The goal during a vacation, even if you’re trying to lose weight, is weight maintenance. Don’t try to lose weight when you are away. Enjoying the local food is part of the experience. But be mindful when making food choices. That is always key to good health. Read below for my tips on healthy eating in the USVI and staying fit. The USVI includes St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. For this blog, we will limit our exploration to St. Thomas and St. John. We hope to cover St. Croix on another Caribbean trip.

 

Healthy Eating Tips:

Salad Caneel Bay

  1. Try to avoid fried foods, which are aplenty on these islands. Ask for grilled fish and chicken, instead of fried. Ask for salad or vegetables in place of the French fries.
  2. Portions are large in the USVI.  To keep calories down, share a salad and an entree with your dining partner.
  3. Choose more salads, grilled fish and vegetable-based dishes when you travel here.
  4. For dessert, order fresh fruit. They grow many delicious fruits here, including mangoes. Yum.
  5. Go easy on the alcohol. Yes, these islands are known for their rum and it is abundant. Instead, save your calories, and enjoy seltzer with lemon and a splash of juice.

Salad St Thomas

 

Staying Fit:

  1. Go for a hike. These islands are covered with lush greenery and trails. Or walk the beaches.
  2. Swim and snorkel. The water is gorgeous and the sea life is amazing. Think colorful fish, sea turtles and stingrays.
  3. Walk through the towns and take in the amazing history of these beautiful islands.

Restaurants we recommend:

St. Thomas Mafolie view

Jen’s Island Cafe (St. Thomas) Amazing curries and other Indian dishes. Many vegan options. Highly recommend for a casual lunch while strolling through the picturesque town of Charlotte Amalie.

Mafolie Restaurant (St. Thomas) The food is delicious Caribbean cuisine with many plant-based options. The restaurant is located cliffside and the view is beyond outstanding.

ZoZo’s (St. John) Simply the best restaurant in St. John. Terrific Italian dishes with  an emphasis on fresh seafood and vegetables.

Conclusion: The USVI is a fabulous place to unwind and enjoy nature. The local people are so friendly and the weather can’t be beat. And the beaches…..they have the most beautiful soft, white sand and are lush with palm trees. Many restaurants offer delicious local produce and fresh-caught seafood. What more could you want when you need a little R and R? We highly recommend this travel destination.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about helping people transform their lives with optimal nutrition. She received the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year from the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lisa is an entrepreneur, food influencer, speaker, private practitioner, and writer. She consults with food startups and restaurants to help put health on the menu. Lisa 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 her private practice she specializes in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. Lisa received her two degrees in Nutrition from New York University. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and virtually. To find out more about Lisa or to book an appointment, please visit here.

Stay Trim: Avoid Weight Gain While Traveling Abroad

 

rome-restaurantWhile traveling abroad, you may feel at times that things are out of your control. Flights may be delayed, reservations may have been cancelled, or luggage may be lost in transit. Unfortunately, this is the reality of traveling abroad. However, weight gain while traveling does not have to be a reality. You can take total control of your exercise and food choices while traveling so you return home without unwanted pounds. As you should know, being on vacation is not the time to try to lose weight, unless you’re at a health spa. Maintaining your weight while traveling is much more sensible and doable. Enjoying the wonderful food is part of the traveling experience. It may seem like it might be difficult to maintain your weight while on vacation, but mindful thinking and a little planning can put you on the right track. Follow the tips below to plan your healthy trip abroad.

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  1. Plan on when you are going to eat meals. It may be tempting to keep buying snacks throughout the day, but if you stick to planned meal times and one or two snacks, you will not engage in mindless eating which can lead to weight gain.
  2. Split large portions. Ask your server how big the plates are, and don’t be afraid to share an entree with someone else or ask for half of it in a to-go box.
  3. Engage in some kind of physical activity on most days. Instead of taking the bus to a nearby location, walk there instead. Look for nearby walking tours or hiking trails to discover. By walking, you get to experience new places close-up while burning calories.
  4. Look for accommodations with a kitchen–think AirBNB. Traveling abroad doesn’t mean that every meal has to be consumed in a restaurant. Part of the fun in having a kitchen abroad is visiting farmer’s markets and buying local ingredients to create your meals. In preparing your own meals, you can choose the foods you love or would like to try, and give yourself the appropriate portions to avoid overeating. If don’t have access to a kitchen on your trip, see if you can order a mini fridge with your room to store some healthy snacks. You can also keep many breakfast foods, such as yogurt and cheese, in a small fridge.
  5. Pack healthy snacks. You can buy some nutritious snacks before you leave for your destination, or at local markets while you walk the city streets. Having healthy snacks on hand keeps you energized between meals as well as helps you avoid buying unhealthy snacks on impulse from street vendors.
  6. Drink sufficient water. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger and we grab a snack when really we need to hydrate. In addition, drinking water can help you feel full between meals to help you avoid snacking. Bring a durable reusable water bottle to keep with you at hand during your daily travels.
  7. Avoid buffets, if possible, or learn how to control yourself around them. If the breakfast buffet is too tempting, store some cereal or whole wheat bread, peanut butter and fruit in your room to help you start your morning right. If you ever find yourself at a buffet, think about appropriate portion sizes before you eat and stick to eating the amount you plan to eat.

veg omelette Amsterdam

Remember to enjoy yourself! Being smart about eating and exercise during vacation can bring the best result: enjoying new experiences abroad while not having to worry about your weight. Bon voyage!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN 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). She is a nationally-recognized and award-winning 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 here. Special thanks to Anita Renwick, nutrition intern, for her wonderful contributions to this blogpost.

What’s NEW in Nutrition: NEW Food Trends You Should Know

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Having just returned from FNCE 2016 (Food and Nutrition Convention and Exhibition) in Boston, we are excited to share some of our findings in the nutrition field as well as new product trends. FNCE is the largest annual nutrition meeting in the U.S. This year approximately 10,000 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) attended this four-day meeting where food and nutrition professionals learned from some of the most outstanding leaders in the field. It was interesting to see that many of the hot topics in the meeting halls, such as the Gut Microbiome and  the emphasis of plant-based diets in disease prevention, aligned with a variety of products on the exhibition floor.

Foods that improve gut health (aka The Microbiome) were the key players in the Exhibition Hall. From foods formulated to be FODMAP-friendly and gluten-free, to those with high probiotic content, intestinal health ruled. We loved the products from Farmhouse Culture. There product line includes healthy probiotic-laden krauts (as in sauerkraut) and “gut shot” beverages to help feed the Microbiome.

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There were also pasta products made entirely from beans, such as Explore Cuisine. It’s great that you can have a serving of pasta that includes the same amount of protein as 3 ounces of chicken, meat or fish, plus 14 grams of dietary fiber. Trust us–it also tastes great!

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Another tasty product line comes from Mediterra. They make savory bars from whole grains and other ingredients,  such as black olives and walnuts. It’s a delicious snack when you are on-the-go and need healthy fuel.

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We look forward to what’s in store at FNCE 2017. Please let us know if you have tried any new foods that are worth sharing. We are here to help you stay healthy and fit as you travel the globe!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN 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). She is a nationally-recognized and award-winning 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 here.

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Healthfully At The U.S. Open

US Open 2016


The U.S Open is in play and what a joyous occasion for avid tennis geeks and their families and friends. All the top players are there competing for the big prize. Quite often people come and spend at least four hours at a clip taking in the various tennis matches. And they do get HUNGRY! In the past the U.S. Open was not known for their food offerings. But it’s getting better! This year you’ll find sushi, vegetable curry, and seafood salad at the food court. Of course, there will be lots of places serving big steaks and burgers, but, in all honesty, that’s not the healthiest fare.

Here are some tips for staying on track with healthy eating at the U.S. Open and a list of this year’s eating venues. Enjoy the U.S. Open, eat healthy and feel GREAT!!

 

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Healthy Eating Tips

1. Stay hydrated. It’s VERY hot outside, so although you’ll be sitting and watching, you will feel the heat. The best beverage for hydration is water. So keep a bottle handy and drink up.

2. Healthy dishes include salads, fruit plates, grilled chicken and fish. Veggie burgers and hummus platters are great choices for vegetarians, vegans, and health-conscious eaters..

3. Avoid the fried foods and refined carbohydrates (refined white bread, pasta and sugary drinks) which will only tire you out and have your eyes fighting to stay open during the long matches. Go for healthy complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and beans.

4. If you order a sandwich, request whole grain bread. If they don’t have it on hand, and if enough people ask, maybe it will be offered in 2017. Whole grain breads provide more nutrition and lasting energy. They’re also a great source of fiber.

5. If you plan to have an alcoholic beverage, have it with a meal as the food will slow down the absorption of alcohol. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Just keep in mind: alcohol can make you tired and leads to dehydration (which you definitely don’t need when sitting under the hot summer sun). For a healthy alternative, have water, seltzer, a Virgin Mary or unsweetened iced tea.You don’t want to miss a game!

Here’s the list of all the eating venues (the GOOD and the NOT-SO-GOOD) this year at the U.S. Open.

Have a great time!!

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 here.

How to Eat Well at a Music Festival

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It’s festival season: you’ve got your summer dress and picnic blanket ready to go for days and nights filled with music, new friends, and lots of fun. Many people spend these hot summer days drinking lots of alcohol and indulging themselves on festival food, which can often be heavy and unhealthy. However, with a little planning, your festival days do not have to be your ‘cheat’ days; you can enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about the choices you made while you were having fun! These tips relate to any festivals or outdoor events you plan on attending this summer!

Before the Festival:

Pack some snacks! Whether you are only going for a day, or are camping for the full weekend, bring snacks to keep you fueled throughout the long, hot festival days. Make sure to grab dried fruit and nuts in bulk. These snacks will last for days and are great for energy. By mixing these, you can make your own trail mix. You can also pack granola bars and whole grain crackers. If you are camping, bring a cooler to fill with water, pressed juices, fruit, and vegetables. You may want to bring your own grill and some breakfast and dinner items to cook, but check the festival’s website first to see what each festival allows you to bring.

On the Way:

Get most of your nutrients during the day: fill up on a large nutritious breakfast. Throughout the festival day, your energy will be utilized (for dancing!) and your body will thank you for fueling up in the morning. Make sure to eat a big breakfast each morning for the duration of the festival. For convenience, you can make pre-prepared breakfasts like overnights oats or smoothies.

At the Festival:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This is so crucial, since lots of festivals take place in open fields and deserts, and dehydration is so common. Pack a large water bottle with you, bring more bottles along with you, and refill often! Music festivals often provide water-filling stations throughout the area. If you’re consuming alcohol, you will be increasing your risk for dehydration, so be sure to balance out alcohol drinks with water in between to prevent dehydration. Diluting an alcoholic beverage with water or seltzer is also a smart way to lower your alcohol intake.

As for food, enjoy the snacks you brought, and also scope out the festival food booths and trucks. Festivals are now offering more healthy options, so avoid the temptation-stands with fried foods, fries, and tacos and opt for the salads, falafel and hummus, veggie options, and smoothie stops instead. Choose grilled food over fried food when possible, and stay away from highly processed foods. If the healthy options are sparse at the festival, remember that it is okay to treat yourself in moderation.

These days will be packed with fun, so you will definitely need the energy from eating a healthfully balanced diet to get you through each day. In addition, eating well at festivals will reinforce the healthy habits you furrow at home ! Let loose, enjoy the food, good times, and sunshine!

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.

Traveling with Food Allergies

 

travel_agentsHaving a food allergy can definitely add some stress to traveling, but should never dissuade you from getting out there and exploring the world. With some careful planning, you should be able to travel and eat confidently, being able to enjoy the new places you discover without worries. As always, being prepared is key!

Before The Trip

  • When booking your flight, check to see what snacks the airline serves during flights, if any. If exposure to peanuts/tree nuts affects you, some airlines will serve a non-peanut/tree nut snack on flights upon request, so let your booking agent know about your allergy ahead of time.
  • Pack your own safe food for eating on the flight. Make sure you check airline policies for what you can and cannot take on the plane.
  • Download the app AllergyEats. This app can make it easier to find allergy-friendly restaurants across the U.S.
  • A excellent website for more in-depth info on specificfood allergies is Food Allergy Network .

At the Airport and On the Plane

  • Reconnect with the airline staff and make sure that they are aware of your food allergy. That way, they can make any last-minute changes to make sure you have a great and safe flight.
  • Inspect your seating area and tray table for any crumbs or spills and wipe them down with wet wipes to avoid any cross-contamination that might happen if you set down any food on those surfaces.
  • Double check that meals and snacks you are offered are safe for you to eat. This is especially important when you’re miles up in the air, away from medical facilities.
  • Store your allergy medications with you, and not in the overhead bin for the easiest access. Remember to keep the labels and even the prescriptions from your doctor on hand to display when you go through security, to be able take your medications on board with you.
  • Let the airline staff and people you are traveling with know what to do in case you experience an allergic reaction. Let them know where you keep your medications so they can access them quickly in needed.

On Vacation

  • Ask your doctor to write prescriptions for you to take on your journey, so you can display them at pharmacies and get what you need. Know the brand names of your medications in the location you will be visiting so access to medications will be easier.
  • For meals at restaurants, carry some chef’s cards with you (business cards with your allergies listed) in both English and the language of the location you are visiting, to give to staff upon ordering.
  • Befriend a translator or plan ahead and learn how to say what you are allergic to in the language of the location you are traveling to. Ask hotel staff and locals what common dishes typically include what you are allergic to, to know what foods to avoid.
  • Bring non-perishable food that is safe for you to eat with you when alternative foods that are safe for you to eat are not easily available.

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.