Summer is in full swing ...AND, some of you are excited that it’s finally here... Your summer vacation! With everything you’ve put into it, don’t you want to feel your best and have enough energy to really enjoy yourself? After all, if you overindulge in unhealthy eating, you may end up with an upset stomach, headaches and possibly lethargy. Foods that are rich, fried, or sugary can make you (and your family) feel exhausted and moody – and who wants that when you’ve planned for a week of relaxation and fun? Try these health tips to keep you on track:
• Prepare for the unexpected. You can’t control a flight delay or long lines at museums or amusement parks, but you can control what you eat. Keep your blood sugar levels healthy by packing your own heart-healthy treats. I fill several small snack bags with a ¼ cup of nut mix (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds) and several other snack bags with my own trail mix. Some of my favorite ready to eat trail mixes can be picked up at Whole Foods. You’ll get the benefits of zinc, magnesium, fiber, and Omega-3s.
• Drink plenty of water instead of soda, fruit drinks, and Gatorade. This is the number-one health tip of frequent flyers, because airplanes are extremely dehydrating due to the pressurized cabin air. Bring water bottles (or bottled water) everywhere you go and plan to drink 8 ounces every hour or one 16-ounce bottle every two hours. Your goal should be to drink AT LEAST half your weight in ounces of water a day. Those who suffer from kidney ailments sometimes have restrictions on how many ounces of water they can drink at a time, so PLEASE check with your personal physician to see what is an appropriate amount to drink.
• Eat a protein-packed breakfast. At a hotel restaurant, it’s tempting to select a bagel and cream cheese, buttery croissant or a heap of flap jacks with lots of syrup, but that’s like eating sugary cake for breakfast.This kind of breakfast metabolizes the same way as cake, spiking your blood sugar then setting you up for an energy crash later in the day. Instead, opt for an egg white omelet with sautéed spinach, red pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes – fill it with veggies to fill you up longer. Or for smaller appetites, order scrambled egg whites any way you like it, skip the greasy breakfast potatoes and ask for sautéed spinach or kale on the side. Another great option is oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, and sliced almonds or crushed walnuts. You can even get oatmeal at Starbucks! Oatmeal is a perfect food to mix with chia seeds!
• Sip smoothies. When I am staying in a vacation home, I pack a Blender Bottle (with a spring or metal ball) or my Nurti-Bullet and make my own smoothies as a morning start and sometimes an afternoon snack, too. I blend chia seeds, almond milk, Protein Powder, and bottled water; then I toss in whatever fruit and veggies I can buy at a nearby shop. This gives me lots of energy and regulates my blood sugar and mood. In airports, beware of restaurants that claim they sell healthy smoothies-many of them are loaded with sugar, so check the ingredients first! Opt for a banana, orange, or apple if you fail to find a healthy smoothie shop.
• When dining out, have it YOUR way. If an item is fried, ask for it grilled. If it comes with french fries, ask for a side of steamed or grilled vegetables. Request a side salad loaded with a variety of vegetables instead of coleslaw. Tell the waiter NO bread basket, please. Check http://www.happycow.net/ to find some healthy restaurants in whatever area you’re visiting.
• Order a salad, but skip the extras. The typical Caesar salad (topped with cheese, croutons and dressing) has a whopping 560 calories, with 36 grams of fat, 6 of them saturated. So get the salad, but ask for vegetables only. Use oil and vinegar and lemon juice for dressing, or do the fork dip: ask for your dressing on the side, in a small bowl. Dip your empty fork into the dressing, then skewer a forkful of salad. You’ll be surprised at how this tastes just right, and how little dressing you’ll use.
• Only drink alcohol and caffeine in moderation. Remember, these drinks really dehydrate you, deplete your natural energy and make it more difficult to get a restful night’s sleep, so do not overdo!
• Don’t take a vacation from exercise. Go for a walk, jog, or RUN along the beach or in a nearby park, fit in a series of push-ups/sit-ups – do some form of exercise every day. If your hotel has a spa, check to see if it offers yoga, dance, or spinning classes. If your hotel has a pool, swim some laps. I make it a first-thing-in-the-morning routine, before the day gets too busy. Also, plan activities that are unique to your vacation – waterskiing, kayaking, hiking, zip lining, tennis, horseback riding, dancing – whatever your destination offers, go for it! If you are in a new country, far from home, with a unique culture, take advantage and sign up for walking tours. When I visit new far away lands, I love to meet the locals, learn about their culture and their favorite restaurants and spots.
Happy traveling, Bee Fit friends! Remember, folks, food determines how we feel and heal!
~Source: Crave Marketing, LLC 2014