recipes and tips for better living

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Grateful Traveling Tips & Poolside Rules

I have a lot of clients who travel and feel challenged to eat healthy while on the road.  Putting a little effort in upfront can get you successfully set up for maintaining your healthy ways while traveling.

Grateful Traveling Tips:

  • Book a room with a kitchenette.  Many hotels come complete with a blender, fridge, counter space, and some too will have a hot plate.  You may pay a little more upfront for a boutique hotel with these offerings, but you won't spend as much dining out.  Conversely look for hotel chains like Marriott Residence Inn and Suites.  The suites typically have full kitchens.

  • Get to know the area before you show up.  Look online for health markets, co-ops, farmers markets, organic vendors, healthy restaurants, etc.  Get familiar with menus for restaurants in the area and pre-select meals that will keep you on track.  Whether you have clients to meet, friends, or simply need to dine out with the family, you've already taken the guesswork out of where to go, and everyone is happy that someone else did the research and set the reservation/plans.  Also if you already have local grocers and health shops mapped out you can pick up anything you need right away - especially if one is off the beaten path between the airport/train station and hotel.

    • Bring a cooler stocked with some traveling nosh.  At the airport you won't be able to bring liquids through the gate, but you can bring fresh foods.  It's great to have a cooler with you when you travel.  This way you guarentee that you have good nosh while in the airport (or car/train) which isn't necessarily easy to come by otherwise.  Stock your cooler with cut veggies, fruits, grain based salads, hard boiled eggs, and snack bars.  If you're no chef and don't have the time to be bothered, hit up whole foods and get a sampling of salads to nosh while you travel or in your room once you've arrived (note: if you are traveling internationally, you can bring fresh foods through the gate and on the plane but will have to surrender any produce leftover once at your destination.)
    • Bring protein powder packets, green powder packets, your favorite teas, and consider pre-packing ziplocks of quick cook oats, chia, seeds, nuts, and spices.  This way if you are on the go or have very little nutrient dense foods available where you're at, you at the very least have some green powder or protein to toss into your water or non dairy milk and shake up.  Having the oats is more important if you don't have a kitchenette.  You can make a quick oatmeal on the fly by running the hot water through the hotel coffee maker and stirring it into a cup with your pre-mixed oats.  Consider adding chia seed to help thicken it quicker and fill you up longer.  Top with a little fruit left over from your travel cooler and you're all set for breakfast.  
    photo and oatmeal recipe from the beautiful site  The Year In Food , check it out.
    • Make a hearty no-cooking-in-the-hotel-room-needed breakfast by prepacking hard-boiled eggs in your cooler, purchasing smoked salmon and goat cheese on arrival, and bringing pre-cooked veggies or picking up some salads or cooked veggies at whole foods or another healthy market. Alternately keep it even more simple and blend up your favorite smoothie.  You can pack an immersion blender (hand blender and large carafe) in your checked luggage if you are staying in a place sans kitchenette.

    If you are traveling to a hotter destination where you plan to be in less clothing than normal, there are a few rules you must follow to look/feel your best.  

    Poolside Rules:

    1.  Leave the salt in the sea or pool and not on your plate.  I know it makes food taste real good, but it also will leave you holding onto water weight...and bikinis are hard enough to look good in without salt. 

    2.  Drink lots of water.  Hydration is key to also keeping bloat down.  This is especially important for those of you who will be enjoying cocktails as well.  Yes, i know your cocktails are quenching your thirst, but it's not water (and alcohol does bloat you up).  Drink one 12-16 ounce glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you enjoy.

    3.  Skip the pasteurized fruit juice as a mixer in your cocktails.  Store bought OJ and grapefruit juice not only don't taste as good as freshly pressed juices, but they have very little nutrient value and lots of sugar which equals a drink with lots of calories.  If you are imbibing a bit consider using low sodium soda water and garnishing your drinks with fresh citrus or berries.  If you choose to use a fruit juice make sure to either press your own or purchase freshly pressed juice to use as a mixer.  Better yet, make my favorite fruit infused mocktail or mokjito.  These are sans alcohol and will have you sipping pretty.

    4.  Have bikini friendly bites to nosh on poolside or seaside (stock a cooler if needed).  Skip the crackers, cheese, sodas, chips, and big lunches or sammies.  You don't want to feel weighed down by the pool or sea.  Make lunch lighter and simply put out crunchy jicama and bell pepper slices, baby tomatoes, cucumber spears, melon or crunchy apple slices, and unsalted nuts like pistachios or almonds to nosh on.  Keep hydrated and keep putting on your sunscreen.  You're having so much fun, sundown and dinnertime will come before you know it!

    5.  Have a big salad with dinner and eat avocado.  It's a healthy fat/slimming food, rich in fiber and skin brightening vitamin E.  If there's a BBQ happening, toss on a piece of salmon which has anti-inflammatory components.  If your friends want hot dogs, make sure to buy products that are nitrate free.  If beef burgers are on the menu get grass-fed, or consider turkey burgers that will have a lesser fat content.  Meat should be used more like a condiment, so consider making sliders (mini burgers), and feast on grilled asparagus (which is a diuretic and helps you eliminate water weight), grilled peppers, grilled kale (toss in a grill basket and mist on oil), or any of your other favorite grilled veggies.  Make extra veggies.  Any leftovers can go in the fridge and be part of your breakfast the following morning.  Always buy gluten free hot dog and hamburger buns.  This ensures that all of your guests noshing poolside can look and feel their best in their skivvies.  

    Poolside Breakfast Noshings:

    Here's a little view of some breakfast noshing we munched this past weekend in palm springs.  Since it's just a two hour drive we pre-packed coolers for the weekend before we left home making our vacation time together a no-stress all-fun getaway.  There was an offering of food for everybody's diet preferences: vegan, paleo, and flexitarian.

    Breakfast 1:  hard boiled eggs, smoked salmon, goat cheese, baby tomatoes, avocado, boiled green beans (i pre-cooked the beans and eggs at home before the trip)

    Breakfast 2:  hard boiled eggs, grilled veggies (leftovers from dinner we grilled the night previous), watermelon, greens smoothie (coconut water, orange, banana, spinach)

    ....and a little view of how we spent the weekend....

    staying cool in 100+ degree heat with the best friends a girl could ever ask for!


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