Tips for Traveling Healthy {Part 2}

{By Samantha Roose}

Waiting in line for dinner, I suddenly panic as I approach the front of the line.  What am I going to eat.  I’m starving.  Breakfast was cereal and biscuits—the only thing I could eat was some yogurt.  Lunch was a sandwich with white bread—I only ate the meat.  And, dinner is spaghetti, white garlic bread, and salad.  I can’t get away from white carbs!…   

Packing supplements and snacks is great but they are of little use if you don’t know how and when to incorporate them.

A key to utilizing your suitcase stocked with alternative is knowing your boundaries and basic daily nutritional.  I like to keep things simple.  Constantly measuring my food and taking a guess as to it’s calorie count stresses me out.  This is my rendition on daily nutrition:  A basic guideline for daily food would be an amount of carbs equaling 1-2 pieces of bread at each meal.  This guideline will vary depending on your metabolism, physical activity and allergies.  Doctors encourage some amount of protein with each meal.  And, I am personally, devoted to LARGE amounts of raw fruits and vegetables, at EVERY meal, including snacks! Finally, limit your sugar and desserts to ONCE a day.  At home it’s a little easier to balance desserts but when I’m away I feel like there’s dessert after every single meal (even breakfast) and candy in between, which makes one feel very loved until they’re gone for 5-8 weeks out of the semester.

When you’re in line next run through this list in your mind and then ask yourself the following:

Quick Breakdown for each Meal

Carbs – an amount equaling 1-2 pieces of WHOLEGRAIN/WHOLEWHEAT bread.

Protein – health professionals dispute this, but protein does last longer and help boost your metabolism (beans are a great source of protein to add to about any meal).

Fruits/Vegetables – lots!

Sugar – only what naturally is in your food, or a natural substitute like stevia or, my personal favorite, truvia.

  • What can I eat from what is being served and still balance my diet?
  • What do I have in my packed that I can supplement with and complete my meal?

I will often eat one or two things served and then supplement with what I have.  These are some ways I frequently alter menu:


If there is yogurt, I usually take it.  I always skip the cereal.  Frequently, I will make myself one of my instant oatmeal packages (recipe below).  If there’s a large and favorable assortment of fruit it goes great with a handful of nuts.  If we’re stopping at a restaurant I will opt for a breakfast burrito. And when I’m pressed for time, protein bars come to the rescue!


More often than not sandwiches are served for lunch.  In that case I take the sandwich and use one of the carbs that I packed to supplement – roll the meat up in a tortilla, or eat the meat with crackers.  When I’m at a restaurant, I’ll go for a wrap, soup or salad.  However, if it’s a road trip and we stop at fast food, I don’t even bother.  Out comes my crackers and tuna (or salmon).


This is where fruit leathers, nuts, trailmix, and an occasional protein bar come in handy!


Often salad is served at dinner and I always take them up on the offer.  Depending on the meat/protein offered I will take it or provide my own.  Rarely have I found them to offer wholewheat/grain carbs.  If rice or potatoes are an option enjoy them, otherwise I will incorporate my tortillas or crackers yet again.


Don’t be a fraid to enjoy some desserts while you’re traveling, especially, if your host went out of their way to make something special.  However, never forget to let moderation be your friend—one day she’ll be your hero!  If my host didn’t prepare a special dessert, but I want to participate in dessert with my friends, I will get my fruit leathers or trailmix.  But, if I can skip it I do.

…Mentally, running through my options I skip the pasta line and serve myself a large salad.  Setting my plate down with some friends I reached into my purse and pulled out a package of salmon.  Ceasar salad, salmon and parmeasan is one of my favorite meals especially coupled with my favorite wholegrain crackers.