It’s the busiest, hustle-bustle time of the year and millions of people are traveling here and there and everywhere! Dr. Mimi Secor, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, offers some advice on the kinds of foods and drink to have while traveling to see family and friends this holiday season.
Drink lots of water
Water Prevents bloating, headache, fatigue. Also, AVOID caffeine and alcohol because both can cause headaches, fatigue, irritability, and contribute to jet lag, and poor sleep. If I’m craving alcohol or a soda, I order club soda with lemon or lime.
Eat lean, protein
This reduces hunger and cravings for junk food, and helps maintain a steady blood sugar. Protein also reduces the risk of bloating as long as added salt is avoided. Traveling with tuna foil packets is easy, convenient and available in many flavors. When healthy fresh food is unavailable, pack quality, high-protein bars. They are high in protein and fiber, and low in carbs. I always pack a few for flights in case of various delays we sometimes encounter while flying.
Pack fresh fruit such as apples or oranges
These provide a healthy snack, with vitamins, nutrients, fiber and fluids—and are lower in calories than fruit juices or junk-food snacks.
Avoid airplane food and snacks
They tend to be high in sodium, calories, and preservatives, and are low in nutrients like protein and vitamins. Excessive sodium can lead to bloating, headaches, and irritability.
Never board an airplane hungry and without healthy food you packed ahead of time or purchased at the airport
In the airport, look for healthy salads with lean protein. Also, do your best to avoid excessive salad dressing, as it is usually high in calories and often high in sodium. I avoid most high-calorie toppings such as croutons, cheese, and all but a few nuts. These are calorically dense and often high in sodium. Eat slowly and enjoy the flavor of the greens and vegetables. Remember, it takes 20 minutes after eating before your body notices and becomes satiated.
Dr. Mimi Secor is a popular National Speaker and Consultant, educating advanced practice clinicians and consumers around the country and the world. She is the author of the book, Debut a New You: Transforming Your Life at Any Age.