A couple tips when you don't have options for your meals (meaning, they are a sit down lunch/dinner that you didn't choose):
- Skip the bread. Not because bread is a carb, but because chances are the bread is full of white flour and not any
- Ask if they have vinegar and olive oil for your dressing. If not, opt for a vinaigrette, and use sparingly. Chances are the dressing has lots of sugar in it, so sticking with ingredients that are simple is your best
- Eat the veggies and protein first, rather than the starch. Again, the starch is usually a white rice or white potato. If
you can, fill up on the veggies and protein (remove the skin if it's chicken)
- Eat slowly. When you're at a conference or seminar, all of the plates are made with the same portions. The chef in
the back is not worried about whether you're a 280 lb man or a 130 lb woman. They just need to get the food out.
By eating slowly, you'll allow yourself to listen to your body. You do not need to eat everything on your plate. Eat
until you are full and then move on.
- Stick with water. At least stay away from soft drinks, opt for unsweetened iced tea if you have to.
- If you must try the dessert (because it looks so pretty and delicious, and you don't want to be rude), have a few
bites and then place your napkin over the plate. Get a couple tastes in and then remove it from your sight.
I know some of these are easier said than done, but you will feel much better if you can still control what you are putting into your body.
Other tips for hotel stays and road trips include:
- Bring your own snacks. If you have a cooler full of fruit, roasted nuts, dehydrated veggie chips, etc. you'll grab for
those things rather than opting for a drive thru (or worse, gas station food!)
- Find a grocery store close by. Anytime I'm at a hotel I try and find a local grocer near by. This way I can stock up
on fruit, veggies, oatmeal and other items for breakfasts and snacks. Again, it's convenient to have a continental
breakfast at your hotel, but those are usually filled with sugary cereals, bagels and other unhealthy items that
aren't going to give you energy, but rather drain you of it. I also like to bring my own granola, if you can pack it.
purely elizabeth makes these delicious, individually packaged mini granolas, that double as cereal. Open the bag
carefully, add your favorite milk or some yogurt and enjoy!
- Do some research before your trip to find some local (possibly organic) restaurants nearby. Stay away from the
chain restaurants (afterall, you can get that ANYWHERE). Find some local, healthy options and then feel better
that you have a plan. These websites can help you plan ahead: www.eatwellguide.com or www.happycow.net/
- Last, but not least, bring your own dessert. Yep, I said it. I've been known to dig into my purse after dinner at a
restaurant and pull out a piece of my favorite organic dark chocolate. I don't eat dessert
after every meal, but when I'm traveling I'm already consuming more than I do at home. The last thing I need
a huge slice of cheesecake or ice cream sundae. If I have something to curb my sweet tooth, I'm less likely to order
something that isn't good for me.
Again, I understand you're not going to do all of these at once. But if you can start to make small changes while traveling, you'll find that you have much more control over how you eat and how you feel.
Safe travels and healthy eating!