Oh The Temptation! The Importance Of Eating Healthy Out On The Road

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If you’ve been reading my posts, you know one of my passions is exploring and learning through foods. If there is something unique to a state (and it lacks a gross factor) we’ll give it a try to make a cultural connection wherever we’re visiting. We’ve tried southern fried chicken, biscuits, grits, sopapillas, all kinds of cheese, and a plethora of tasty desserts to name just a few of our hyper caloric indulgences. So how do we make sure we still fit into our clothes by the end of the trip? By following a few simple rules that we live by at home. I am going to share with you dear readers our secrets that allow us to indulge in just about anything without suffering dire consequences. Here’s how we do it…

imagesA. Don’t be a glutton I could call it portion control but thats only part of it. We’re not doing Weight Watchers here counting calories and points, we’re just being reasonable and not going overboard. One of the reasons I got so turned off of cruises was because it just felt like one giant food orgy. I would hear folks talk about how they had starved themselves for weeks so they could go crazy on board and eat everything the wanted to. I’d see folks walking away with a mini Mt. Everest on their plate after hitting the buffet. A motto I live by is (almost) everything is ok in moderation. We don’t hold back trying the fudge, or the yummy biscuit or the legendary beignet but we taste it and savor it, not eat so much that we make ourselves sick. You just can’t appreciate the specialness of what your tasting if you are shoveling it into your face until you can’t eat any more.

images-1B. Exercise If you are doing it right and keeping up a good pace, you should be burning plenty of calories everywhere you go. Sure you are driving from stop to stop spending a couple of hours cruising each day, but make sure you are spending more time out of the car than in it. Have to head up to the next floor of the museum or out to the viewing platform at the national park? Hike those stairs with gusto. Burning those extra calories will make sure they don’t end up on your hips or belly.

imagesC. Slack on the treats, but make healthy choices at mealtime-Sure I love to live it up out on the road and sample to my heart’s content, but that doesn’t mean we abandon our principles of good eating. If you eat pretty healthy at home try to have those same standards out on the road. I cut myself some slack when I travel and eat things I would never eat at home but I try to keep it healthy and balanced. If I indulged in some junky snack, I am likely to eat a salad for my next meal. Water is our beverage of choice.

I try to stay away from fried stuff and always look for healthy options and I encourage my kids to do the same but sometimes it’s just part of the experience. Once while driving through the Carolina’s we decided we just had to try the fried chicken at the drive-through. Instead of everyone each getting a greasy uber caloric meal, we ordered one box of nuggets cut from breast meat and everyone got two small pieces-finger licking good for sure but nothing we regretted later. No one wants to travel with a food nazi so it’s really important to be flexible (just not a pushover) Balance is key! We always try to include a veggie or two in every meal which in some parts of the country can be truly challenging. Healthy snacks in the car are also a super way to get what you might be missing (carrot sticks or fruit anyone?)

Food can and should be an awesome part of any road trip. Some of our fondest memories revolve around wonderful things we’ve tasted and shared and they were worth every calorie! But like anything in life, it’s important to make good solid choices. According to my fellow travel mom Nicole White “Family road trips are a time to say YES to great opportunities” – which undoubtedly include indulging in special treats we wouldn’t eat at home. Just put it all in perspective and don’t go nuts …

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