Dinner diva: diet-friendly snack ideas and restaurant tips

Dinner DivaBy Leanne Ely

If one is traveling or on vacation, as many people are this time of year, there are easy ways to “stay on plan” without feeling deprived.

Nature has provided us with plenty of healthy grab-and-go options, though we seem to think that suitable food for traveling involves a plastic wrapper.

Here are some of my favorite snacks for traveling:

  •         Boiled eggs
  •         Beef jerky
  •         Bananas
  •         Apples
  •         Oranges (don’t forget to bring some wet wipes)
  •         Nuts
  •         Berries
  •         Seeds
  •         Carrot sticks
  •         Water
  •         Kombucha

Any of these items can be easily toted along for car rides, and most of them are readily available at gas stations, convenience stores and airport shops.

And, yes, I also travel with my little portable blender so that I can make my smoothies anywhere, even in the airport! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

If you’re vacationing at a place where you can’t bring your own food with you and you must eat at restaurants, you’ll find that most chefs are quite accommodating, if you are able to speak the language! The following menu items are generally safe bets as far as nutrition goes:

  •         Salad (order with the dressing on the side)
  •         White fish (grilled)
  •         Grilled chicken or steak
  •         Antipasto platter
  •         Charcuterie platter (just go easy on the bread and cheese)
  •         Steamed mussels
  •         Grilled shrimp

Swap the starch for extra veggies. When they bring the bread basket, ask them to remove it (easier to avoid if it’s not looking at you).

If gluten is an issue, it’s okay to tell the server that you have a reaction to gluten so the server will be extra careful about making sure the foods you choose don’t contain any.

Remember, these are tips about how you can stay on track when traveling, but the truth is, you can allow yourself to just loosen up and enjoy while you’re on holiday.

Make sure the foods you choose to indulge in are worth the splurge. Enjoy and move on. So if you’re in Italy, have the pizza and the gelato, but balance it out with a salad and drinking lots of water!

A note for international travel: Food prep is very different in other countries. You might find that North American chefs are more accommodating than in other places. Before you book your tickets, look into their food culture.

 

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