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Stay Healthy On The Road


Staying healthy while on the road or traveling is no easy task. Here's some tips to help keep you on track.

1) Pack your own food. Anyone who lives in their car (salespeople, soccer moms and dads, etc.) needs to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle while away from home. If you work out of your car, buy a small cooler or at least a lunchbox with a Cold-Pak to hold your food.

2) Plan Ahead. Plane and train warriors need more planning. Be prepared before takeoff. Start the day with a great breakfast. This means protein (eggs, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, a breakfast patty, a protein shake) and whole grains (oatmeal, whole-wheat toast, Kashi cereal), along with healthy fat.

3) Pack healthy snacks. For the right combination of high-quality protein, fat and carbs, pack an energy bar (containing 10-20 grams of protein, 10-30 grams of carbohydrates, and 2-6 grams of fat with no more than 3 grams of saturated fat), or mix together nuts (unsalted) and dried fruit, like raisins, dried cherries or apples. Be sure to eat no more than one palmful of this mixture at a sitting.

4) Know your fast-food eateries. Believe it or not, many fast-food eateries now offer healthier menu items. Try grilled fish, chicken salad or a grilled chicken sandwich for lunch or dinner. Be sure you know which selections are health-friendly.

5) Watch out for the coffee shops. Coffee on the run is fine, but steer clear of the pastries. Still want something without consuming a tons of calories? Go for a biscotti instead of a muffin, cookie or scone. It's the least likely to get you into trouble.

6) Stay out of that mini-bar! You know what I mean. You're pooped and that candy in the mini-bar is calling to you. Don't accept the mini-bar key when you check in. That way you can avoid this temptation.

7) Avoid late-night eating. And if you can't, opt for lighter fare, especially when eating after 8 p.m. I realize that it's hard to manage your eating when you can't completely control your schedule. But try to have something to eat at least every three to four hours to quell your appetite and spread the calories throughout the day. Consuming calories late at night the easiest way to gain weight.

8) Watch your alcohol intake. People who attend social or business dinners while away tend to drink more during dinner. Hold it to one glass of wine, and try to avoid hard liquor. Carefree consumption of alcohol can make it harder to make the right dining choices.

9) Eat out wisely. Eat no more than one piece of whole-grain (avoid white) bread at your lunchtime meal, and try to eliminate bread for dinner. Also, substitute more vegetables for your pasta or rice when ordering your entrĂ©e. Order salad with dressing to the side, and twizzle your fork into the dressing and onto the greens to get optimal taste with minimal calories. Fill up on water, soup and salad before having your entrée. Share a dessert with at least one other person.

10) Get in your physical activity. Scope out the health-club situation wherever you're going. Try to patronize hotels with a decent facility. If they don't have one, ask if they can offer you a free pass to a local facility. Be sure to pack your sneakers and simple workout clothes. While traveling it's important to get in at least 15-30 minutes of cardio to keep yourself mentally and physically fresh and strong.

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