Don’t take a vacation from healthy eating

By Carrie Johnson • Published: July 29th, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

So you’re packing up the family and hitting the road this summer. Don’t use the break from your day-to-day routine as an excuse to load up on fattening or sugary foods. Sure, you want to enjoy your vacation. But with good judgment and a little extra effort, you can stay healthy while having a good time.

First of all, it’s important to cut back on calories during long car trips. Driving all day cuts the amount of calories you burn by about four hundred. So you’re definitely going to want to avoid the fast-food restaurants that line every highway exit. A better choice? Pull into a grocery store, instead. Look for heart-healthy options such as turkey on whole wheat, and grab an apple and some yogurt instead of potato chips.

And you might want to use the break to take a brief stroll… not only will you stretch your legs, you might also work off a little lunch while you’re at it.

The lure of pulling through a drive-thru too great? Pick up a guide to help you make smarter choices while you’re on the move. Several books are currently available that list heart-healthy dining options for travelers, and there is certainly no shortage of helpful sites of the Web, such as nutrition dot gov [].

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. The recirculated air in a car can make you thirsty, which many people mistake for hunger. Pack plenty of fluids, along with healthy snacks that are loaded with protein, such as apple slices and peanut butter or low-fat string cheese. The protein will help you feel fuller longer.

Remember: Don’t undo all your good work when you reach your destination. Load up on fruits and veggies and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Your heart… and your waistline… will thank you later.