Looking Ahead to Healthy Summer Fun

Melissa Vajas, a member of DHS Group’s Health Education team, returns to the blog this week to talk about some ways to stay healthy while taking off on summer travel – previously, Melissa shared about making healthy choices during the summer months and the value of investing in your health. In addition to holding a B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics, Melissa is a Registered Dietitian through the Commission of Dietetic Registration. Through her work, Melissa’s goal is to help her clients make the small changes they need to make that will add up to greater overall impact on their health and wellness.

Whether you are traveling for work or a fun filled family vacation, having nutritious meals and snacks on the road can be a challenge.  The good news is that a little bit of planning before your trip will not only save you calories, but also can save you some money.

To start, an easy switch-up that can save you in more ways than one, enjoy your favorite foods, but try going out to eat for one or two meals instead of all three. Taking steps towards being prepared will help you cut down on your intake of saturated and trans-fat (the not-so healthy fats) and sodium. Your heart will thank you!

Going on a road trip? Pack healthy snacks like fresh fruit, no sugar added dried fruit (raisins and apricots), unsweetened applesauce, or individual packets of peanut butter. Having these healthy choices on the road with you will help you resist the urge to grab empty calorie snacks like chips or crackers and you’ll they will keep you energized for your adventure.

Melissa recently hiked Haleakala National Park in Maui!

Melissa recently hiked Haleakala National Park in Maui!

Need some more ideas? Check out my suggestions below:

Energizing Snacks/Small Meal Ideas

  • A small handful/ individual bag of unsalted or lightly salted nuts paired with a piece of fruit (apples, pears, oranges, and bananas are great for road trips).

  • Pack a small cooler with individual containers of low-fat Greek yogurt, string cheese, or cottage cheese to have with a piece of fruit or fruit cups in 100% juice.

  • Take a bag of baby carrots or pre-cut celery with single serve hummus containers.  

  • Prepare a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich (go easy on the amount of jelly that you use) on whole wheat bread for a quick lunch instead of stopping at a fast food restaurant.

  • Grab a box of higher fiber crackers to have with peanut butter or a low-fat string cheese instead of buying pre-made “sandwich crackers.”

Power Up with Breakfast

  • Start by utilizing the free continental breakfast at the hotel, but be sure to make mindful choices -- the healthier foods will give you energy for a great day ahead!  

  • Instead of having sausage and waffles with maple syrup (full of empty calories), fuel your body with nutrient packed foods like whole wheat bread with peanut butter, plain oatmeal, and fresh fruit.

  • Ditch the sugary cereal and flavored oatmeal packets that are loaded with added sugar. Try a cup of unsweetened cereal (plain Cheerios, for example) with skim or 1% milk and a piece of fruit. You can add a punch of flavor to plain oatmeal by incorporating cinnamon, raisins, nuts or peanut butter. Take it a step further by eating the oatmeal with serving of fiber packed fruit (banana or apple) on the side.

  • A hard-boiled egg with a whole wheat English muffin with a piece of fruit.

  • A serving of cottage cheese with sliced fruit.

Tips for Lunch & Dinner

Indulge in your favorite meal or treat once a day while on vacation, but try to make healthier choices for the other meals or snacks during the day. A simple technique to help you build a balanced meal that can help you save calories is separating your plate into three sections.

  • Fill half of your plate with fruits and veggies – which are good sources of fiber, which can help you feel full faster and assist in any weight management goals.

  • Grains and starches (pasta, rice, corn, and potatoes) should fill a quarter of the plate.

  • Meat, poultry, and fish should fill the other quarter of the plate.

Still need a few more ideas? Try one of my favorite recipes below for quick and easy snacks or breakfast to make before you leave for vacation, so you can have access to nutritious choices.

Healthy Almond and Coconut Trail Mix

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe

Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Chewy Bars Recipe

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Ready to start investing in the health of your employees by putting the expertise of dietitians like Melissa to work? Learn about DHS Group’s HealthSpective program in less than two minutes in this quick video and then fill out this form to schedule a chat with one of DHS Group’s Business Development Managers.