I’m writing this post on the plane flying back from a trip to Tampa with my wife and kids. We went to visit my mother-in-law and made a quick stop at Universal Studios in Orlando. I did not plan on going to the gym this trip just wanted to walk easy for an hour each morning and planned on watching my carbohydrate and sodium intake while try to eat as healthy as possible. I knew eating healthy would be a challenge but I did not realize how hard it would be.
We were running late and had no time to eat at home before the flight. As soon as I got to the airport, I knew I made my first mistake. Trying to find something healthy to eat at the airport is almost impossible. There is processed fast food everywhere with some seemingly healthy foods like yogurt with fruit, but the yogurt was flavored and loaded with sugar. There were some salads with grilled chicken from Wolfgang Puck, but there was 2,700 mg of sodium in one small salad. Another choice was a turkey whole wheat sandwich but this was loaded with sodium, as well. I don’t eat more than 1,000mg of sodium in a whole day so those seemingly healthy foods are not for me. The only thing I found healthy to eat was a piece of fruit and a bag of raw unsalted almonds that I had to pay a ridiculous price for. I did not want to eat on the plane because we were flying Jet Blue who only serves snacks such as cookies, potato chips, Doritos, Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzels, salted nuts and animal Crackers. I concluded you have to make sure you have enough time to eat a full meal at home before going to the airport or bring some healthy non perishable snacks with you like fruit, unsalted nuts, low sodium beef jerky and a protein bar or fiber bar depending how long the flight is.
When we were at my mother- in-laws we ate well. She’s a great cook who prepares whole foods and watches her sodium intake like I do. But when we left and went to Universal Studios for a couple a days the eating healthy challenge was on again. Trying to eat healthy at Universal Studios reminded me of being in the airport. Only fast food, and anything that could pass for being healthy was loaded with sodium. Like the popular turkey legs you see everyone eating. I’m not sure how much sodium is in them but I took a bit of one and all I could taste was salt. When we went back to the park the next day I was prepared. I went to the supermarket the night before and bought GNU fibers bars, low sodium trail mix made up of raisins and nuts, low sodium beef jerky, grapes, organic baby carrots and plenty of water. The kids were just as happy with these snacks along with some ice cream we had at the park, and I felt so much better not eating junk all day.
Eating healthy when you’re away can be a challenge. You have to anticipate when and where you might get stuck with only poor food choices. You want to have fun when you’re away but taking a little extra time and going to the supermarket or health food store could keep you from gaining those five unwanted pounds most people gain on vacation.
If you have any tips for eating healthy on vacation, let me know.
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Best – Mike Cola