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Celebrating Healthfully Away From Home

lunch plans

It’s the holiday season, and the travel and festive gatherings take us out of our routines and comfort zones. Unhealthy food is everywhere, and temptation becomes greater when we are away from our home supply of healthful foods. But with a little preparation ahead of time, you can successfully navigate holiday parties, gatherings, and travel without compromising your health:

  • Eat a healthful meal at home before going out to a restaurant or dinner party. You will be less likely to graze on unhealthy foods on a full stomach.
  • Many parties and holidays focus a lot on the food and eating. Make efforts to focus more on the other reasons to celebrate and enjoy spending quality time with family and friends.
  • If you are going to a gathering with food, offer to bring a healthy dish; then you will know that there is at least one healthful option, even if everything else is junk food. Also, if you are hosting or planning a gathering, make the focus of the event an activity rather than eating together.
  • If a gathering is held at a restaurant, choose restaurants that are known to have a large salad bar or a variety of salad options if possible. Check the menu ahead of time for  healthy alternatives, and don’t be afraid to make a special request. Many restaurants are pleased to accommodate customers with a double order of salad, a double order of steamed vegetables without salt, butter or oil, or a vegetable stir fry sautéed in water.
  • Take healthy foods such as raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds when you are traveling. When traveling a long distance by car, pack bowls, silverware, a can opener, and other items to facilitate eating away from home. Then buy frozen and fresh vegetables, unsalted canned beans, and fruit at a local grocery store to create meals in the hotel room. Make sure to put a cooler in the car to keep your grocery food purchases cool.
  • Remember to eat only when hungry and stop eating before you are full. This is applicable all the time, of course, but being away from home in social environments, one may be more likely to forget this important rule.
  • In advance, make sure that your family and friends know about the exciting plan that you have for your own health. Most likely they will want to support you in any way that they can. Don’t pass guilt on family and friends at the holiday dinner table when you choose to eat differently than they do.  Instead, by simply being a shining example of excellent health, you will likely inspire others to eat more healthfully.

Plan, plan, plan ahead!  Enjoy the holiday celebrations in great health!

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