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As you know, it’s important to not let your travel plans get in the way of your fitness goals. But what about your diet? The best option for traveling is to bring your own meals and snacks, at least for the airport. However, no matter how prepared you may try to be, there will always be a time when planning ahead and bringing snacks just can’t happen. Here are some options covering the best healthy food at the airport to help you stay on track.

  • Trail Mix: Choose the ones with just nuts and fruit, and make sure you only eat one portion at a time. One handful = one serving. (One serving is 1/4 cup, roughly 200 calories.)
  • Smoothies: With a little searching, you can usually find a Jamba Juice or another smoothie joint. Ask for one with more vegetables than fruit and <20 grams of sugar (no added sugar). Be sure to add protein to help keep you full longer!
  • Starbucks Bistro Boxes: It’s important to notice these are usually full meals in terms of calories, not snacks. However, it’s a great choice if you’re stuck in the airport during mealtimes or to bring with you on the plane.
  • Salads with grilled protein: This is always an okay option when you must eat at a restaurant. Opt out of the croutons, cheese, and bacon and measure out 1 tablespoon (about your thumb size) of dressing. Choose all the non-starchy vegetables you want!

As for those snacks to bring from home? Good options include whole fruit, mixed nuts and seeds and cut-up veggies, which can go a long way in saving calories and money while in transit. As an easy and inexpensive meal, bring a sandwich on whole grain bread or an “adult lunchable” with cheese, hummus, veggies and a hard boiled egg!

Related: to schedule a free consultation with a registered dietitian at FFC, click here!

Post written by FFC Oak Park Registered Dietitian Amy Silver.

Meal planning. The concept seems so simple, yet can be very daunting when you’re up to your ears in Tupperware and can’t possibly seem to find the time to make a grocery store run.

It may appear easier to revert back to the old ways of winging it during the week, but trust us when we say meal planning will make eating healthy much easier and save your sanity down the road. Here are 5 tips to implement to actually make planning and meal prep a staple of your weekly routine.

Step 1 – Dedicate the time.

Dedicate a specific time each week (preferably a consistent time) for meal planning, grocery shopping, and prepping (at least a little bit) in advance. This will save you time and money during the week.

Step 2 –  Create and save meal ideas.

Look through your cabinets to see what ingredients you already have and check what’s on sale at your grocery store to get the wheels turning on what to cook for the week. Also, use Pinterest, cookbooks, and other websites to bookmark your favorite recipes. All these tools can help you come up with ideas for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. If it helps you, write out which days you will eat which meals.

Remember: it’s okay to repeat some meals during the week. Keep it simple by having similar breakfasts during the week, or making extras at dinner for lunch the next day.

Related: set up a free 30-minute nutrition consultation with one of FFC’s on-site registered dietitians – click here!

Step 3 – Make a list.

Using your meal ideas as an outline, create a list of the items you still need (remember to check if you have any of the ingredients already before you go!) Make sure you write down amounts from the recipes so you don’t buy too much extra.

Step 4 – Hit the store.

Now that you have your list, make a trip to the store and vow to only buy what’s on your list. (I dare you!) Easier said than done, but if you have it written down already you’ll be more likely to stick to only what you need.

Step 5 – Prep a few items.

Cooking protein ahead of time, chopping vegetables so they’re ready to be cooked, or putting together lunches in separate containers so they’re all ready to go are all time savers once the week gets under way.

There you have it, 5 easy ways to make sure you’re set up for success! Now it’s your turn – give meal planning a try this week and let us know how it goes by leaving a comment or tagging #FFCChicago!

Post written by FFC Registered Dietitian Amy Silver.

 

Inflammation” is the new buzzword, and for an important reason – it’s often a good indicator to us that something is going on we need to attend to. For example, inflammation can happen as a result of injury.

Additionally, if it’s happening on the inside of our bodies, it may feel like bloating – and it can cause heart disease, diabetes and other issues. So how can we prevent or reverse this inflammation? Food is our best bet.

As people who are trying to be healthy, we need to stop thinking of food as the enemy. Food can be our best friend if we choose the right kinds, the right amounts and use it in a way that is nice to our bodies. Here are 3 tips to reduce inflammation in your diet and the diseases it may cause!

  1. Eat a diet chock full of fruits and vegetables.

Aim to fill half your plate at each meal with these nutrient-dense items, about 5-7 servings per day. One serving is 1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked. As I tell my clients, non-starchy vegetables are “free” – eat as many as you’d like! These are great for snacking or for the stress-relieving crunch we all desire. Make sure you eat the rainbow, meaning you chose many different colors each day. The different colors of produce give them different nutrients and antioxidant properties. Also, a variety of foods in our diet can improve the health of our gut, leading to great health overall.

How-To: I turn vegetables into comfort food by spiralizing them into noodles, blending them into smoothies or pancakes, dipping them in a homemade yogurt dip, or making fried rice with cauliflower “rice”. I also enjoy fruit as a dessert by sprinkling cinnamon on it and baking it.

  1. Season your food with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices!

Flavor is key to keeping healthy eating interesting, so why not flavor your foods AND add healthy properties? Use the following herbs and spices to get the best anti-inflammatory benefits: ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. You can also practice mindful eating by focusing on the different flavors while you eat!

How-To: I love to add rosemary and thyme to chicken breasts, ginger to my morning tea, and cinnamon to just about everything!

Related: click here to schedule a free 30-minute nutrition consultation with one of FFC’s on-site registered dietitians!

  1. Drink water, lots of it.

Water helps flush out your system throughout the day, it helps you stay full, and it has zero calories! Aim to drink half your bodyweight in ounces (i.e. 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces water). For more tips on how to stay hydrated, check out this post!

How-To: I like to add lemon to my water, but you can also choose lime, cucumbers, mint, or even ice. Please don’t add sweeteners – natural or artificial – as these will cause you to crave more sweets later.

Which of these tips have you tried?! Which are your favorite? Let us know in the comments or share on social using the tag #trainingforlife!

Post written by FFC Oak Park Registered Dietitian Amy Silver.