TOP Tips for Eat Healthy While Traveling Abroad

Amsterdam hummus

Traveling abroad during the holiday season is a delight not only for those seeking to be with their loved ones during this special time of year, but also for people who want to celebrate this magical season in a different part of the world.  To keep you eating well and feeling great while traveling, I’ve shared my TOP tips with AutoEurope. A big part of traveling is the enjoyment of trying different regional cuisines. My tips include a list of the “healthy” and “not-so healthy” dishes you may encounter in different countries. Enjoy them ALL! Just balance out the “not-so healthy ” with the “healthy” dishes.It’s SO much easier to stay on track with healthy eating if you’re prepared before you leave for your destination. Enjoy your trip. Happy holidays! 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, travel nutrition, 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.

Six Tips for Staying Trim During the Holidays

Christmas tree NYC 2015

Thanksgiving just passed and the holiday season is now quickly upon us. With this time of year comes an array of parties and events to attend, and any excuse  to cook, or simply (let’s be honest!) eat lots of tasty holiday treats. Cookies, cakes and pies galore. Oh my!!! During this festive month we are tempted with so many decadent spreads of food. According to a study, by the National Institutes of Health, the average weight person typically gains one to two pounds over the holiday season. And people that are overweight tend to gain five pounds during this time. The real issue is that most people don’t lose the weight gained, thus the pounds obtained over the winter holidays accumulate year by year. But with the right knowledge, you don’t have to join the group of “weight-gainers.” 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 six 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. When you skip a meal your blood sugar level may drop. This can lead to intense hunger. You may end up eating more than you usual 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 a 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 a small serving of dessert if you so desire 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 the two aforementioned beverages! 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 1 cup (8 ounce) serving! CalorieKing (www.calorieking.com) is a great website (and FREE app) for nutrition information on drinks and food.

4. Fill your kitchen with 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 and whole grains, such as quinoa, whole wheat pasta and couscous, 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 daily, is quite beneficial.

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

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 The 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 plant-based eating and optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs. She is also the author of the e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed book 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 and diabetes for teens and adults. Contact Lisa here or visit here for more info.

20 Ways to Lower Your Stress Level NOW

dog-coffee-cup

With the crazy political climate over the past week, Americans have been dealing with a huge cloud of stress that has not been felt in quite awhile. Many of us feel shaken to the bone. Quite often when people feel stressed, they run for something that they think will help them feel better quickly. Many times what comes to mind is the easy fix of high-calorie foods, like French fries and donuts, and lots of alcohol. But de-stressing like that is not healthy and only short-lived. The stress is here. It is real. But learning how to cope, while taking care of yourself, will help ease the stress and have you feeling better. Read below for twenty ways to reduce the stress. If you have healthy de-stressors to add that aren’t included here, please let us know. We’d love to here from you!

1. Sip a cup of hot herbal tea. Camomhile is very soothing.

2. Indulge yourself in a warm bubble bath.

3. Watch a comedy on Netflix.

4. Take a walk in a beautiful part of town.

5. Spend ten minutes each morning, right after you wakeup, meditating. I highly recommend the free app Insight Timer.

6. Enjoy a yoga class and find your zen.

7. Enjoy a delicious plant-based meal. The nutrient-quality of the dish will help you relax.

8. Practice deep breathing. Take in 1 deep breath. Hold it for one minute and release slowly through your nose. Do this two more times. Feel the calm.

9. Call a friend who makes you laugh.

10. Do a good deed for someone. Something as simple as holding the door or delivering a hot meal to a sick friend. Helping someone will make you feel better.

11. Buy a lavender plant and enjoy it’s calming fragrance. Better yet, buy some lavender oil and take a whiff whenever you start to feel tense.

12. Go for a walk with your dog.

13. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.

14. Take a walk with a friend.

15. Listen to your favorite tunes.

16. Schedule a lunch or dinner date with one of your friends.

17. Take a hike in a beautiful park.

18. Read a book and escape with stories that bring you pleasure.

19. Donate money, or your time, to those in need.

20. Find something that will make you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine!

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, travel nutrition, 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 Well While Traveling on a Budget

Paris view

The day has finally arrived and tomorrow you leave for the vacation you’ve been planning for months.  Of course you have planned everything, including your budget.  You’ve accounted for plane tickets, hotel accommodation, and excursion costs, but did you allow proper food expenses?  And how are you going to eat healthy while staying on budget?

It can be very easy to underestimate how much you will actually spend on food and beverages while away from home, but there are ways to save a little extra in your bank account while keeping the dreaded vacation weight off.  If you dine out frequently, it is easier to put less nutritious food in your body more often than you would otherwise.  However, it is important to not miss out on trying traditional foods of that region. That is part of the fun of traveling, right?  There are plenty of ways to make sure that you eat healthy and not break your bank while you’re at it.  Plan ahead and consider these tips to eat healthy while traveling on a budget!

paris-produce-stand

In Transit:

  • Pack some snacks! Plan ahead and bring a few nutritious items that are easy to pack such as fruit, almonds, or granola bars.  It might even prevent you from stopping at the local gas station for that pop and bag of chips you’ve been thinking about.  Your wallet and body will thank you.
  • Check out the cooler section. The cooler has nutritious options such as veggie snack packs, yogurt, and fruit cups, which are great grab-and-go choices that won’t cost much or add to your waist line and will keep you full until the next stop.

 

paris-market

On Location:

  • Check if breakfast is included in your accommodation or offered at a low cost. If it is, take advantage.  A bonus is that there are usually foods specific to the region available as well as more classic but healthy options like fruit, yogurt, and cereal.
  • Depending where you are traveling to, you may not have access to a refrigerator. Having access to a refrigerator can be wonderful for your budget.  This allows you to purchase food from a grocery store and actually store extras.  Also, if you dine in a restaurant, you can save half of your meal for the next day.  This will not only stretch your budget a little farther but also controls portion sizes.  Ask your hotel if they can supply you with a room refrigerator.
  • Visit local grocery stores or produce stands. This will allow you to purchase nutritious foods at a lower price, saving you money from restaurant dining. If you have access to a kitchen while traveling, cook some of your meals. If you only have a refrigerator, stock up on sandwich ingredients and prepare some of you lunches. From personal experience, this is my favorite way to save money while traveling. You can eat some healthy meals and avoid continuous restaurant eating, since you can control whats going into your meal, enjoy the local produce,  and use healthy cooking/prep methods.

Although you may be on a budget, it does not mean that you can’t eat healthfully while traveling.  With a little planning, you can limit your food spending while eating delicious and healthy meals. 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 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. Special thanks to the fabulous writing contributions of nutrition intern, Emily Pearson. To find out more about Lisa or to book an appointment, please visit here.

Eating Tips for Late Summer Travels

2015-08-09 13.08.45

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.

 

Mendocino food pic

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.

 

Petaluma food pic

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.

Five Healthy Eating Tips For National Nutrition Month

NNM2016_salad3 700x550_2March is National Nutrition Month and it’s a great time to put healthy eating into place. Spring is right around the corner which is a time of plants perking up from the soil and flowers budding. And warmer weather is on the way. What a great time to start making healthier food choices and to spend time truly appreciating the flavor of delicious food. Making better food choices can impact your lisfe in so many positive ways. Here are five simple tips to help you “savor the flavor” and make healthful eating part of your life.

  1.  Take small bites. Focus on the flavor and texture of what you are eating.
  2.  Chew slowly. Let the food sit on your tongue so you can truly taste it. Count to at least 20 before you swallow. You may find that when you feel the first sign of fullness, there is still food left on your plate. If dining at home, put your leftovers in the fridge and enjoy it tomorrow. If eating out, have the food wrapped up and savor it the next day in your brown-bag lunch.
  3. Make your food taste better. Instead of microwaving or steaming your vegetables, sauté or roast them with a little olive oil, chopped garlic, and a pinch of salt. Try different herbs and spices when cooking to enhance flavors and boost the nutrition power of your meal. Try cinnamon or ginger sprinkled on fresh cut-up fruit. Or turmeric and rosemary on grilled tofu and chicken.
  4. Pull up a chair and sit down at the table. Taking the time to sit and enjoy your meal will help you to become a “mindful eater”which can help you eat less and manage your weight. Plus, you’ll be reducing your risk for many chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many types of cancer, when you eat less.
  5. Add more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Visit your local farmers’ market or grocery store and purchase some produce you’ve never tried. Cut up fruit and add it to your salads, cereal, and yogurt. Roast an array of vegetables and have them as your meal, side dish, or add to salads.

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 also the author of the ebook 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.

 

The Healthy and Not-So Healthy Dishes From Around The Globe

Pasta pic_s4x3_lgEnjoying the experience of trying new foods is truly one of the highlights for many travelers. Whether dining in a swanky restaurant, eating traditional fare in a local cafe, or veering off the path and finding that ultimate food venue, for many travelers, it’s truly about the sights, the people, the museums, the shopping, and the FOOD. You want to try lots of new dishes, but you still want to feel great. To help you make some nutritious choices, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the healthy and not-so heathy dishes that you may encounter as you travel (or you may even experience these dishes where you live). The dishes in the not-so healthy list are there because they are either high in unhealthy fats, or added sugar and/or sodium. If you’re not a so-called “foodie”, it’s time to break out of what you usually choose and let your taste buds have fun. Trying foods that are new to you will help you stretch your culinary journey and add to life’s joys. Eating the same foods all the time can get boring fast. You may be surprised how adding new foods into your diet and experiencing various ethnic restaurants can enrich your life.  So get ready to explore. Bon Appetit!

List of The Healthy and Not-So Healthy Menu Choices

Cuisine Healthy Choices Foods to Limit
American Grilled chicken sandwich on whole grain bread, Grilled or baked chicken, fish or pork, broth based soup and salad, Veggie burger on whole grain bread, Sirloin steak French fries, cream soups, fried chicken, fried fish, cheesy or casserole-like sides, fried sandwiches, loaded baked potato
Italian Minestrone soup and salad, Grilled, vegetables, Mussels, Margarita Pizza, Grilled fish Chicken or Veal Marsala, Spaghetti with tomato sauce, Pasta Primavera, Salmon and Roasted Potatoes, Pasta with chicken or seafood (Note: request whole wheat pasta) Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Stromboli, Calzone, Manicotti, Lasagna Bolognese, Cheese or Beef Ravioli, Chicken Parmesan, Penne ala Vodka, Baked Ziti, Pepperoni or pasta on Pizza, sausage, Sopressa (salami), Mortadella
Chinese Seafood soup, Steamed Vegetables, brown rice, dishes that are Jum (poached), Chu (broiled), Kow (roasted) or Shu (barbecqued), Shrimp or chicken with broccoli, Mixed Vegetables, Vegetable soup, Egg drop soup, Tofu with Mushrooms, brown rice Won ton soup, Fried rice, Egg rolls, Lo Mein, Chow fun, Spare ribs, General Tsao’s chicken, Crispy beef, Sweet and Sour Pork
Japanese Tofu and vegetable soup, seafood soup, miso soup, edamame, seaweed salad, grilled, steamed or roasted plates (upon request), yakitori, sashimi, crab and avocado sushi roll, sushi (ask for cucumber in place of rice), Teriyaki with salmon, tofu or chicken. Tempura, fried dumplings, donburi (fried pork), fried sushi rolls, sushi with spicy mayo or cream cheese
Greek Hummus with pita, baba ghanoush, Tzatziki (limit to 2 tbsp.), potatoes, Greek salad with dressing on the side, chicken souvlaki, grilled octopus, lamb or fish with steamed vegetables, bean salad, gigante beans, horta (dandelion greens) Fried calamari, fried fish, mousaka, pastitsio, Pita with Giro (pork), Desserts: baklava, loukoumades (fried doughnuts), galactopoureko (custard in phyllo)
Middle Eastern    (Israeli, Lebanese, Persian) Hummus, babaganoush, shish kebab, Grilled fish, chicken or lean meat, tabouli, kibbeh, labneh, falafel (this is fried, so limit to 2 to 3 balls), pita bread, halvah (small piece) Kofta, fried fish, chicken  and meats
French Mussels, Grilled fish, Roasted chicken, Coq au Vin, Sautéed vegetables, Salad Nicoise, Seafood platter, French baguette (bread), Croissants, Pain du chocolat (croissant stuffed with chocolate), Foie gras (goose or duck liver), organ meats, rich creamy sauces
Spanish Grilled fish, chicken and meat, Jambon (ham), grilled vegetables, Paella (traditional rice dish), olives Fried fish, fried tapas

 

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. She is also the author of the e-book 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 and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. This post is excerpted from The Trim Traveler.