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Five Tips for Healthy Summer Vacations

girlsjetty.jpgThe temptation to abandon healthy eating habits is especially strong during vacations, when we are diverted from our normal routines. With even a small amount of planning, you can eat healthy and feel great! Here are some valuable tips to help you make the best choices this summer.

girlsjetty.jpgThe temptation to abandon healthy eating habits is especially strong during vacations, when we are diverted from our normal routines. Away from home and on the go, it's so easy to grab a candy bar from a vending machine or stop at a fast-food drive-thru for a burger and fries. With even a small amount of planning, however, you can continue to eat healthy and feel great! Here are some valuable tips to help you make the best choices this summer. Remember, family members will mimic what you do, so it's important to lead by example.

Stock your hotel fridge
The simplest tip for avoiding unhealthy munching is not to have bad-for-you snacks around. Make a shopping list and take just a few extra minutes to head out to the local grocery store to fill your hotel mini fridge or beach house pantry with choices that are still delicious and satisfying for the entire family. Snacks such as Del Monte Fruit Naturals Red Grapefruit, crackers and nuts, will ensure you're arming your family with healthy snacks that will help fight off junk food temptations!

"Fruit Naturals are a convenient and portable way to get just one more serving of fruits into your diet and to help you meet the recommendations for the daily value of vitamin C" according to Laura Molseed, MS, RD, LDN, and nutritionist for Del Monte Foods. Fruit Naturals are available in seven varieties including Red Grapefruit. "Research also suggests red grapefruit may help to fight certain types of cancer, as well as have an effect on weight loss."

Drink lots of H20
Experts recommend drinking at least six glasses (48 ounces) of water per day and eight glasses (64 ounces) if you are active or exercising. Long trips on airplanes, car rides to distant destinations, or busy days at the beach, however, often prevent us from getting enough fluids. A good tip is to start hydrating in advance and keep plenty of water on hand throughout the day.

"Airplanes tend to be extremely dry, with an average of 10 percent humidity -- that's drier than the Sahara desert," says Trisha Calvo, executive editor of Shape magazine. When you are on a plane, be sure to drink at least one cup of water per hour of flight. As soon as you land, buy another bottle of water to drink while you wait for your baggage or during the ride to the hotel." For a different twist, Calvo recommends adding a slice of lemon or lime for flavor, or trying a seltzer or club soda (zero sodium only) as a great alternative to soda.

Never skip meals
Vacation is an ideal time to catch up on sleep or read a book. But for most of today's busy families, it means spending long days chasing the kids around the amusement park -- where meals are missed or fast food is the only available option. Regardless of your plans, don't forego regular meals. This doesn't mean you have to eat according to the clock -- physical hunger is our body's way of telling us its time to eat. However, listen to your body's signals -- keep your energy level up throughout the day by adding three healthy, on-the-go snacks such as nuts, which are filled with fiber to satisfy your hunger. Unlike candy or chips, these types of snacks help prevent energy crashes and avoid playing havoc with your blood sugar.

Dine smart
Don't panic! You don't have to give up healthful eating or feel threatened because you are trying new and unfamiliar restaurants. Simply learn how to make the best choices when dining out, and have a truly rewarding experience.

For example, try local fare including organic vegetables, exotic fruits and fresh fish. Always stick to baked and grilled foods, which are typically lower in fat and sodium than fried choices. Furthermore, portion control is extremely important, as well as eating slowly and mindfully. Ask your waiter to bring a take home container along with your meal, and immediately put half of it away. "If an appetizer or extravagant dessert is calling your name, order it for the entire table to share," Shape's Trisha Calvo advises. "Limit yourself to three bites and savor them slowly, one at a time. It's OK to indulge a sweet tooth once in awhile. You can actually prevent cravings that may later lead you down the wrong path."

Move more
Who needs rest? Even on vacation, it's crucial to get your heart pumping for at least 20 minutes every day. Most hotels and resorts have fitness centers, pools, tennis courts and golf courses. But movement can also be accomplished by long walks at sunset with your spouse, or during a day of sightseeing with the kids. In both instances, you also benefit from building lasting memories.

Bring an easy-to-pack pedometer to track your daily progress; if you and your family can cover approximately 10,000 steps a day, you'll be doing great! "Cardio is important because it helps keep your mind alert so you can enjoy your vacation more,"

Bottom line: whether you are heading off for a week at the seashore or a month-long adventure across the United States, always stay hydrated, plan meals ahead, make smart choices, exercise, and last but not least -- have fun! You'll definitely feel the satisfaction of knowing you followed a healthy living plan along the way.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Categories: Health & Wellness, Newsletter,

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