When you're traveling, make sure you keep yourself properly fueled along the way. Eating on the road can challenge a trim waistline and good nutrition sense. We all know the hazards of too much fast food, candy and coffee â€" the trick is finding an alternative.
The first key is to avoid vending machines, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants or snack bars. The second is to follow the American Dietetic Association's "on the road" healthful eating tips: â€¢Fill sealable plastic bags with vegetable finger foods like carrot sticks, bell peppers and broccoli florets. Vegetables are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins A and C. â€¢Pack different varieties of fresh fruit â€" they're low in fat and good sources of vitamins A and C. â€¢Tuck in single-portion beverages. Take canned or boxed fruit juice, canned tomato juice and boxed milk. Keep beverages cool in a small, insulated container.
â€¢Pack other portable, non-perishable foods. Good examples include crackers, pretzels, peanut butter, raisins, ready-to-eat cereal and dried fruit.
â€¢Stock an insulated cooler with perishable foods like deli sandwiches, yogurt and low fat cheese. â€¢Build physical activity into your daily plans. Get out of the car often to stretch or take a short walk. On overnight trips, find a local exercise club or jogging path.
â€¢If you have no choice but fast-food restaurants, avoid high-fat, high-cholesterol meals. For example, order a chicken sandwich instead of the double-bacon cheeseburger.
Holly Mlodzinski is a registered and licensed dietitian at Hilton Head Hospital.