How To Eat Healthy Away From Home
Back in May of this year, my mom was in the hospital for 18 days following a terrible accident. No one anticipated her being in the hospital for that long. What an ordeal, especially since my mom is a very happy, independent and on the go lady. Since her stay in the hospital was two hours out of town for me, I had several weekends in a row “living” at the hospital so I could help her. The first weekend, I went prepared. I had my go-to snacks; small packages of almonds, a couple of apples, packets of almond butter, 1 protein bar, bottles of water, and my go to Shakeology. For the most part, I did really well. I also, was actually pleasantly surprised at how many options were available in the hospital cafeteria. In fact, there were so many options it took me a while that first night to decide what to eat. I mentally knew I had to stay on track since I was trying to finish up a cleanse I had been doing for 3 weeks prior. I kept to the veggies and salad options but I did have to stay focused and read the labels on the foods that were prepped ahead.
So where was the challenge? There was also all the temptations too, mainly caffeine (I really like coffee), breads, pastas, creamy soups, chips, desserts, etc. None of that sounds all that bad does it? Well, except the desserts. 🙂 But most of these foods are high in starch and carbs and when too much is consumed it turns to sugar causing you to gain weight! The other challenge I found was the more I was just “hanging out” in the hospital the more I craved coffee to help me stay alert in the morning and the more those sugary breakfast foods and sweets were calling my name. Although I resisted the sugary breakfast foods and sweets, I finally gave in to my desire for coffee. So that got me to thinking, do others struggle with this too? Or do we just allow our temptations for wanting something our bodies think is “good and yummy” now to over ride what is really best for our bodies?
So How Do I Keep From Gaining 10 lbs while Out of Town?
It doesn’t matter whether you are staying with a loved one in a hospital or traveling on vacation, eating healthy is going to be a challenge while out of town. So here is what I do. It doesn’t always work, but it sure helps me avoid gaining 10+ lbs while away from home.
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a plan! Plan like you may not have access to some of the same healthy foods you usually enjoy while you are traveling. So pack foods like: small packets of almonds or cashews, almond butter packets (I like Justin’s Almond Butter packets the best), apples or pre-packaged apple slices (use what works for you and your family), protein bars, bottles of water, other fruits like grapes and bananas, and if you have a cooler pack plain greek yogurt or a greek yogurt low in sugar.
- Order foods that are LEAN and LEAFY! When you eat out, choose foods that are lean and packed with protein—chicken, turkey, eggs, egg whites. And eat plenty of leafy greens. This doesn’t always mean you have to stick to only salads either. Plenty of restaurants offer wonderful lean healthy options and will usually allow you to substitute side items for healthier choices with or without an extra charge. If you do order a salad, stick to the vinaigrette or balsamic oil dressings. No need in working hard to eat healthy and then destroying that healthy meal with a ton of unhealthy salad dressing!
- Choose to prepare your own meals! I know, vacations were made for you to get away from the daily chores of home. In fact, I can hear you screaming at me right now. But just hear me out. Prepare a few simple meals at home, freeze them, pack them in a cooler and take them with you for a few meals at the cottage, cabin or house you are renting. It will save you tons of money and give you a chance to have at least 2 or 3 meals you can count on that will keep you on track with eating healthy while away. I have found that Trader Joe’s has some great frozen options that are quick and simple and help my family stay on track with eating healthy!
- Try not to overload on caffeine! I know….I really have a hard time with this one especially since I like drinking coffee. However, you are already in a different location so the air in the hotel, house, cottage etc. is going to be different…overloading on caffeine will just tend to dry you out and if it’s the middle of summer even dehydrate you. Keep it simple sweetie and stick to drinking water. Drinking lots of water will keep you better hydrated allowing you to feel better, be less bloated and help you stay more alert!
For more tips on eating clean, please subscribe to my weekly blog post and monthly newsletter!