Monday, April 7, 2014

Travel Tips For Success

Happy Monday! I am sorry for the lack of posts last week, I was traveling to and from Utah to spend time with a very dear friend and her family. When I travel, I usually pack my 6 pack cooler (one of my favorite accessories ever) with all my meals for that day in addition to the items I will need during my trip. Since I knew I would be able to prepare healthy meals while visiting, I did not pack anything but protein pancakes for breakfast. On my trip down, it was a very early morning! My shuttle left at 3:30 am and my flight departed at 6 am. One thing I noticed while at the airport was the amount of individuals who chose (that is right....CHOSE) to eat at McDonalds at 5:00 in the morning. The thought of a sausage breakfast sandwich with a fake egg looking substance and a chunk of deep fried hash browns makes my stomach turn.

After watching person after person order, I got the urge to scour the airport for healthier breakfast options (well and I get bored if I sit too long!) I was actually surprised by what I found, even in a short distance from the long line at the golden M. In about 5 minutes, I found several grab & go items that would make for fantastic options while traveling and help keep you and your goals on track.

  • Oatmeal- The Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and the Cafe Fresh all had oatmeal options available for $2.45. This would make a great choice for a quick breakfast on the go and they offer fruit and nut add-ins if you are interested. I purchased one and mixed in a scoop of my protein powder on my flight back to keep me full and also on track.
  • Hard-boiled eggs- The Cafe Fresh and the Seattle's best coffee had a two pack of hard-boiled eggs available which would be a great snack or addition to your oatmeal. Hard boiled eggs whites are a great source of protein and a healthy fat if you eat the yolk. 
  • Greek Yogurt- Greek Yogurt was harder to find compared to the yogurt parfaits (sugary yogurt layered with granola) but it was not impossible! I found a variety (5 flavors) of Chobani 0% Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt (depending on the flavor) has less sugar, more protein and a thicker consistency than regular yogurt.
  • Fruits and vegetables- Most shops offered several fruit options including bananas, apples, oranges and grapes and a vegetable cup containing celery and carrot sticks. One shop even offered hummus with the vegetables. Hummus is a great alternative to dressing offering less calories and fats per tablespoon.
  • Salads- The salads looked fairly decent considering and offered choices such as Greek, Caesar, Chef, and Garden. With out adding the dressings or using lemon wedges or a DRIZZLE of a vinaigrette, this would be a great item to munch on while waiting for your plane. 
  • Protein Bar- I was surprised by the bars that I found in the shops. I found a gluten-free, gmo-free, dark chocolate protein bar that offered 20 g protein, 4 grams of fat and 215 calories. They were spendy but would be a quick fix in a pinch. Bars are my last option when I am on the go because many are filled with additives and I enjoy good whole foods over bars any day.
  • Nuts- I found several nut varieties including raw almonds, raw almonds with pumpkin seeds, unsalted cashews, almonds and cranberries in addition to walnuts and dried blueberries. Nuts provide healthy fats and good energy but just be careful when eating them for they offer 9 calories per gram where as carbohydrates and proteins offer 4 calories per gram. In other words, a little goes a long ways. 
  • Restaurants- If you have a longer wait in the airport, many of the menus that I looked at offered items that with a little tweaking, would be great choices while traveling. I found grilled chicken and vegetables, a veggie omelette that came with an all egg-white option, grilled fish tacos with pico de gallo, a whole wheat turkey wrap with no sauce, and a grilled salmon Caesar salad (ask for dressing and cheese on the side). 

When in doubt, always try to chose nutritious whole foods and never be afraid to ask what is in your food.

I often get asked how I prepare my fish partially because some do not like fish and some do not have much experience cooking fish. One of my go to methods for cooking fish is on the grill. Depending on the type of fish, I will use the BBQ but with white fish I usually use George foreman. It does not take to long to cook and turns out pretty darn good every time!

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