8 Healthy Traveling Tips for Prediabetes

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If you have prediabetes, hopefully you’re familiar with strategies to lower your blood glucose and avoid the development of diabetes down the road. Making smart food choices and exercising regularly to keep blood glucose levels within normal range are key strategies for staying healthy. These lifestyle choices should be practiced during your daily routine, but can also be easily incorporated into your plans while traveling. It can be tempting to savor new foods and indulge on sweet treats when you’re away. Eating mindfully while you travel will let you enjoy a variety of foods, but continue to keep your blood glucose in check while you’re away.  If you have questions regarding your diet while traveling, meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) prior to your departure to gain more knowledge on foods and physical activity that can keep your blood glucose within normal range. If you check your blood glucose at home and are still working on getting it into a healthy range, bring your glucometer with you so you can stay on track when you travel.

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Here are some tips to help you stay healthy during your travels:

  1. Avoid sugary drinks. Drinking sweetened beverages is a quick way for blood glucose levels to rise. Instead of sodas, juices, and sugary coffee beverages,  enjoy water, seltzer, or unsweetened tea or coffee.
  2. For breakfast, skip the sugary cereals and baked goods. Try some oatmeal or plain yogurt with fresh fruit, or egg whites on whole grain toast. Bring some packets of plain oatmeal with you and a bag of nuts or energy bars, such as KIND, so you have healthy choices readily available.
  3. Make sure you eat balanced meals. Fill half of your plate with fruit or vegetables, and include whole grains and lean protein, such as tofu, beans, grilled fish, veggie burgers, eggs or chicken.
  4. Eat every three to five hours to keep your blood glucose level steady. Have a meal or snack which includes a carbohydrate rich in fiber, such as fruit or whole grain crackers, paired with a healthy protein,  like nuts or hummus.
  5. For dessert, try to order fresh fruit or some plain yogurt and fruit. If you order something sweet, try to keep your portions smaller (eat mindfully and she with your dining companions).
  6. Make time for exercise everyday. An easy way to do this while traveling is to walk to some of your destinations. Aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking per day.
  7. Be smart about your snacks. Do not just grab the most convenient snacks; choose them wisely! Between meals, enjoy a fresh fruit, vegetables with hummus or some  nuts. Stock up on some of these snacks before you leave home, and visit a local market at your destination, so you always have a healthy snack on hand.
  8. Do your research. If you are traveling abroad and want to try some of the traditional foods in your locale, do some research online to check ingredients or ask your waiter. If a dish is rich, order it as an appetizer or share with your dining partner. For the most part, try to stick with grilled fish, seafood, chicken or vegetarian proteins, such as tofu and beans. Enjoy salads and vegetables dishes. Have fun on your trip!

Helpful Travel Apps

For U.S. travel:

  1. Eat Well Eat Out-find healthy dining options in your locale complete with nutrition information. Developed with The American Diabetes Association.
  2. Food Tripping-healthy food establishments located wherever you are traveling
  3. FitTravel Guru-plan your trip and workouts with one app

Traveling abroad:

  1. EatWell EU-the Europe healthy food travel guide
  2. EatAway-fully customizable diet translator for most diet restrictions

 

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.

Healthy Travel Tips For Before You Go Abroad

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Getting ready to travel abroad for even a few days can be truly exasperating. From making sure your passport is ready to-go, to making sure your hotel  (and for some, school courses) is confirmed and any required vaccinations are up-to-date. There are SO many loose ends to pull together, it can make your head spin. But don’t fret. Make a list of what you need to have done, so by the time you get comfortable in your plane seat, all of your to-dos will be checked off. Keeping a list and checking it off as you finish a task will help you reduce any stress. If you want to keep a list online in one convenient place, try the Finish app (available for free) in the Apple store. You can list your “to-dos,” set deadlines, and check them off as they get completed.

Order Your In-Flight Meal
If you aren’t usually fond of the typical airplane fare, or have special dietary requests, you can order a special meal usually up to 48 hours before you depart. Many airlines will let you order your special meal request online. There’s a vast variety of meal selections to choose from. If you have any allergy or intolerance such as celiac disease, you can be assured that you can find dairy-free or gluten-free  in addition to a host of other diet modifications.  To find the list of available meal selections, visit your airlines website and do a search for special meal requests.

Familiarize Yourself in the Local Food Culture
Familiarize yourself with the local cuisine where you will be traveling. Learn the  names of popular dishes and what is in them. Becoming familiar with the food will help you when dining in restaurants. You can check the Internet for the cultural foods at your destination country. Then you’ll be aware of the foods offered on local menus, whether you’re grabbing a meal at the hotel cafe or fancy restaurant. It’s also wise to plan ahead and check out the menus online of any restaurant you plan to visit. This way you’ll know if you should make a reservation or find another spot. Especially if you have food allergies or intolerances, you need to be informed in advance of the local cuisine and the potential allergens or ingredients it may contain.

Pack Some Food
Quite often when we are overwhelmed with just the thought of travel, we somehow forget about the food. You don’t want to get to the airport and take for granted that you will get a delicious meal served to you inflight and will find all the foods you love at home, when you get to your destination. So what should you do? Plan ahead! Staying well-fueled with good food will keep you feeling healthy and energized. Buy some healthy foods that are portable to bring along with you on the plane. Healthy granola bars, such as KIND or Kashi, are great for a snack or have two for breakfast! Bags of nuts and dried fruit are also good choices. Trader Joe’s sells large bags of individually-wrapped trail mix that’s great for traveling abroad. You can also pack a couple sandwiches for the flight. Peanut butter and banana on whole grain bread is a healthy sandwich to bring along. Also hummus, avocado and tomato on whole grain bread is delicious and quite portable.
Food To Bring
1 to 2 sandwiches for the plane
Fresh or dried fruit
Energy bars
Trail Mix
Individual bags of nuts

Bon Voyage!

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.