As a full time New Yorker, I look forward to ditching the cold and visiting the sunshine state every February. The warm weather and heated pool are a welcome change to the snow and ice in the Northeast.
But the main reason for my trip is to visit my beautiful mom who spends her winters in a senior community in South Florida. It’s all about Maj Jong, clubhouse gatherings and trips to the local casino. It’s like a charming episode of Seinfeld and I play the dynamic daughter from New York!
Although I have my food habits on track when I travel for business, eating well and staying active can be challenging when staying with relatives, especially with “mom”. I wanted to share a few tips and tricks on how to stay on your healthy food plan when visiting mom (at any age).
Must Have Meal Upon Arrival
After a long day of traveling, it’s easy to fall victim to “grabbing” a fist full of cookies or chips upon entering your host’s home. Since I was arriving late in the evening, (too late to take my mom out for local fare), she decided to prepare a “lite” and nutritious meal.
Always try to have a discussion with your host before you arrive or arrange to pick up a healthy meal choice en-route to your destination. My mom prepared a delicious and eye appealing salad.
Have a plan to exercise. I mapped out my walk/run the day before so I was familiar with the route. Safety is very important especially when you are walking in an unfamiliar neighborhood. You can use a pedometer, a smartphone app or a wearable device to track your distance and keep track of your progress. Don’t overdo it! Remember small steps lead to big changes.
Just as you would apply sun screen and wear a big floppy hat before sitting outside in the blazing Florida sun, it’s important to purchase or bring some of the foods that you will need to stay on track with your healthy eating plan.
The best thing to do is to bring your own non-perishable snacks (like pre-counted unsalted nuts). You can purchase additional snacks and food after you arrive as needed.
Whip Up Some Healthy Snacks The morning after my arrival, my mom and I ventured out to the local market to pick up several items on my shopping list. She and I both love baked apples so we picked up some Rome apples, cinnamon and seltzer. Don’t these look great! They were delicious warm and cold. We topped them off with some plain Greek yogurt. Outstanding!
Know Your Boundaries
Although my mom enjoys healthy foods and is aware of my food tastes and preferences, I also respect the fact that I am visiting HER home. I never walk into her kitchen and comment on her inventory of food, or attempt to rearrange her cabinets. Remember to politely discuss your needs before your arrival, and be flexible when it comes to your host’s food habits.
My mom and I enjoyed eating together in her apartment as well as dining out at local restaurants. Every moment we spend together is a precious memory which I continue to cherish. Please share your thoughts and comments.
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