Minimal options for fruits and veggies are the norm when you’re traveling, so how can you still get them in like you normally do? Nutrition Expert Sarah Koszyk shares 6 ways to make it happen on the road!
When traveling, it becomes harder to find and eat your fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is important for our health because they offer us a plethora of fantastic benefits, including:
It not only helps us go to the bathroom, but it also fills us up which is a huge plus when it comes to portion control. The more fiber we eat, the fuller we get, and the less likely we binge when there is food in front of us.
ANTIOXIDANTS, VITAMINS, & NUTRIENTS
Many antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables help keep our skin fresh and vibrant, maintain a strong immune system, and provide us with the fuel we need to survive in a fit and functional manner.
Even when you’re on the road and at fast food joints, there are tricks and tips to get the colors of the rainbow into your daily eating routine. Here are 7 simple ways to get them in even while you’re traveling and on vacation:
1. Bring Your Own Snacks
Start the trip off right and bring some dried fruit and nuts in your bag so you have a snack. When buying dried fruit, look for packages that only have the fruit listed as the ingredient without added sugar (i.e. Ingredients: Dried Apricots).
Also, remember that a standard portion size of dried fruit is:
- 2 Tablespoons or 1 small box of dried cranberries or raisins
- 5 dried apricots
- 2 dried dates
- 3 dried figs
- 3 dried plums
2. Breakfast Matters
Start the day off right by getting in your colors from fruits or vegetables. Ask the restaurants for a fruit cup in substitution of hash brown potatoes. Choose a veggie omelet. Get a yogurt and fruit parfait to enjoy both protein and fiber. The more fiber you eat at breakfast, the better blood sugar control you’ll have throughout the day, so load up!
3. Snack Time At The Gas Station
Many gas stations now sell fresh fruit. Pick up an apple, orange, or banana for an easy snack on the road. Pair the fruit with a piece of string cheese for a great combination snack. You can also find hummus and baby carrot packs in many stores. Try dried fruit and nuts for the snack or even a yogurt with fresh fruit.
4. The Convenience Store
Yes: convenience stores do sell healthy food, too! Look for carrot and celery sticks, fresh fruit, fruit cups, and dried fruit (with no added sugar). Just be sure to shop for these items first to make sure you have it in your bag. Kind bars have dried fruit and nuts in them too, so they can be a great on-the-go bar.
5. Fast Food Nation
Most fast food chains offer fruit and salads. For example, McDonald’s, Chik-fil-A, and Burger King (to name a few) offer fruit cups and side salads to order with your burger or sandwich. If you love fries, there’s nothing wrong with having them! Simply order a single order of fries, share it, and get a taste in a more moderate portion.
6. The Appetizer
When you’re at a restaurant, start with an appetizer of a salad or other vegetable option. The dressings on salads can be loaded with calories, so consider the dressing on the side if you are trying to reduce the quantity of calories consumed.
Remember, the goal at each meal is to have half of your plate full of colorful food from fruits and vegetables. Do your best while you travel by loading up on the colors of the rainbow at every meal and snack.
Have an amazing, fun adventure!
Adapted from the original article.
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN is a San Francisco-based weight management Registered Dietitian, sports nutritionist, and founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. With a mission of creating deliciously healthy recipes for all ages, Sarah guides others to experience how small changes can make all the difference in improving their daily lives.