Traveling can be tough on your waistline! Although I’m a registered dietitian-nutritionist and certified diabetes educator who speaks nationally and internationally, eating healthy and staying active is a struggle when I’m away from home. I simply LOVE sampling local cuisine and dining at delicious restaurants. Keeping up with my exercise routine is also a challenge, especially when I’m traveling to different time zones and my sleep patterns are altered.
This week I’m traveling to Israel, where I will be presenting several sessions at “The Batsheva de Rothschild Workshop on Health Promotion in Diabetes via Therapeutic Patient Education”. This is my first trip to Israel, and I am humbled and honored to be included in this incredible program. That being said, I’m also concerned about my recurrent Achilles Heel injury, which has recently kept me from power walking and running. I’ve become “flexible” with my exercise routine, and modified my food choices as well.
- Snack Pack
Pack healthy snacks before you head to the airport or drive to your destination. Airports are notorious for having junk food or over-priced meals. Pack unsalted nuts, fruit or a turkey and avocado sandwich in a lettuce wrap with a side of red peppers. Bring an empty water bottle which you can fill-up once you get through the security line at the airport. If you’re traveling by car, keep a cooler on hand, and don’t forget to keep a case of water available for your journey.
- Workout Wardrobe
Pack an extra pair of sneakers, work-out clothes (including a bathing suit) and anything else you may need to stay active while traveling. Always take along extra underwear and socks, in case you fit in an extra work-out and want to stay fresh! I am packing my “stretch out band”, and plan to use it before my day begins and before I hit the sack for the evening.
- Restaurant Review
Check out the local cuisine before you travel. Use an app on your smart phone or look up the menu online before you arrive. You’ll be less overwhelmed when it’s time to order if you know your options ahead of time. Order first so you’re not influenced by other diners and try to stay away from the bread basket. Mimic the portion sizes you eat at home. Remember, you don’t usually have an appetizer at home (unless it’s a salad), and you probably don’t indulge in a decadent dessert every night. If you want dessert, consider sharing your portion. You’ll be glad you did!
- Portion Distortion
Restaurant portions are enormous! And restaurant sized plates can be a huge as a turkey platter on Thanksgiving. Request an appetizer size plate (or use the small bread plate), and spoon a portion of your entrée on to the smaller plate. This will help you keep your portions on track and you’ll cut back on eating excess calories.
As I pack for my trip to Israel, I am thinking about the sights, sounds and delicious tastes of this beautiful and historic country. I hope to share my experiences and travel tips along the way. Looking forward to hearing your travel tips and suggestions. Bon Voyage!