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Planes, trains and automobiles: eating healthy on-the-go

Grant Foreman

Here's what to pick, and what to ditch, when eating while traveling. 

San Diego is packed with healthy options for eating; from well equipped grocery stores, restaurants and even 7-11 with its Perfect Food bars or prosciutto wrapped mozzarella sticks. 

But how can you keep this up with the traveling you have planned during the holiday season?

Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring eating if you know what to be looking for and what to avoid. 

Understand that just a couple "cheat" meals can put you thousands of calories over your maintenance level for the week; that means weight gain and probably not the good kind. 

Airports are getting better; with options away from the usual Cinnabon and McDonalds fare. 

On a menu, use protein as your filter while you look over the options. This means find the items with chicken, steak, or beans as the focus. 

Then narrow it down further by what the protein is accompanied with and how it is dressed. The simpler the better! 

You may be better off with the chicken sandwich as opposed to the chicken caesar.

Don't view the bread as the enemy when the other option is 400 calories in dressing instead of 150 in bread. 

Part of the problem with travel-foods is the way it was produced, not just total calories. Our bodies respond better to grandma's cooking than Nabisco's. 

If you could imagine making it in your own kitchen, with ingredients that are basic and natural, and think the product has done the same, then great!

If a factory was involved, and an ingredients list contains things you wouldn't carry in your cupboard, steer clear! 

Search out the bags of nuts (protein) at Quicks-Stops (avoid ones with chocolate or candied fruit mixed in). 

Look for string cheese, fruit and grab a water as the AC in planes and airports dries you out; NO SODA! 

If you need a travel-treat go for Peanut M&M's. They have lower sugar and a simpler ingredient list than other candy; it's a good compromise. 

If a treat, or a cheat, is followed by five more of these indulgences, it's the just the way you eat now and your body will respond accordingly. 

Absolutely avoid any soda. The sugars not only pack in calories but also spike your insulin levels (this means that the food calories you eat are more readily stored as fat instead of a measured release of energy). 

Even better than sifting through substandard choices is packing snacks. 

Avoid the battle of making good choices once you're already hangry and save a ton of money.

That bag of nuts or jerky costs $10 at the airport but $5 at Trader Joe's. 

Think, "simpler is better."

Save the splurges for the fun dinner with friends at your destination! 

Let me know if you need any help with planning for upcoming trips at writegf@gmail.com