Do Not Allow an Extended Stay Away from Home to Disrupt a Nutrition Plan
Nutrition plans are most important for diabetics, the obese and those recovering from high blood pressure. Folk recovering from long spells of illness and those advised to put on weight need to eat and drink to a plan as well. It is easier to stick with a nutrition plan when eating out of known kitchens, than to choose from exotic restaurant menus on a long trip away from home, either on vacation or on a long business trip.
The joys of a fine meal from an entirely new school of cuisine can quickly turn in to a nightmare, as the number of days away from the comforting security of home food and the family dining table grow. Most people are quick to start counting their blessings of the loving care of a spouse who keeps tabs on calories and recommended daily intakes, when left to fend on their own in a strange place! Having to choose meals from lavish buffet tables, or from menus which are not in English, can wreck a nutrition plan beyond repair!
It need not be so. Just as a nutrition expert plans meals for patients convalescing in hospital, you too can eat well and wisely in a foreign place. It does need a bit of prior planning and research though! Working on how you will stay with the essentials of your nutrition plan can make the anticipation of your sojourn in a new place all the more exciting! You can always ask the nutrition and diet expert to work things out for you, but you may well find that it is fun to work on at least parts of the plan on your own.
Here are some tips on how you can eat and drink well in a new place without affecting the calorie values and nutrition balance of your diet:
1. Separate socializing and experimenting from the serious business of eating meals! Take tiny portions of food which you do not know, when you are with friends and associates. People may force you to taste exotic dishes, the exchange values of which you do not know. You may also wish to sample attractive plating out of sheer curiosity. This is fine, but keep a stock of packaged foods which are either ready to eat, or which can be just heated and served. Make it a point to build a sufficient inventory of familiar food with comprehensive labeling before you leave town. Eat regular meals of known calorie and nutrition values on the sly, on your own, before or after every social meal. Hosts may feel hurt if they come to know, but your health counts for more than their feelings! Besides, you can always present your special health condition as a justification for carrying your own food. It is really no different from carrying your own clothes on a trip!
2. Foods to choose: barbecues and all forms of food preparation that are finished in your presence, are best when it comes to social eating in a strange place. You can always ask the chef to go easy with the oil or fat and the spices as well! Hot, freshly prepared food is safe and relatively nutritious, no matter where you are in the world! Large portions of vegetables and small ones of white meat, with a variety of local seasoning, should see you through a long session of dining with little harm to your overall diet for the day. Do take small morsels in your mouth at a time, and chew on them like a cow, to make your plate last for ever! Join in every snatch of conversation, so that there is little time left to gorge on any delicious stuff!
3. The best beverages: you simply cannot go wrong with herbal tea, since roasted coffee beans of the kind you get at home, are rare. Each community has its own way of brewing coffee, and some milky and sugary tastes take time to acquire! Do keep a pack of sugar substitute globules in a pocket, for the brand that suits your palate may not be globally distributed. Sampling wine is great if you are in France, California or Long Island, but it is diplomatically wise to opt to nurse a beer in the midst of upstarts who think that they know their wine! Unsweetened fruit juice is fair game by day, but be wary of squashes and concentrates diluted with water of uncertain quality. Make it a point to hydrate your body with all the reliable bottled water you can find when you cross time zones, for it will help you overcome the stress with speed. This is especially important when you take a trans-continental flight, spending many hours in a chamber with compressed and heated air.
4. Red lights: it is common knowledge to stay away from stale food, but attractive plates of cold cuts and fresh salads may hide denizens of microscopic bugs that can play havoc with your digestion. Each community acquires a degree of immunity to local microbes, but that is a part of ethnic culture that you do not need to imbibe! Scurrying to the toilet can be a most embarrassing and inconvenient disappointment to the most eagerly awaited trip to a new place; every precaution to avoid this is worth your while. Stay away from thick gravies, no matter which genre of cuisine you encounter, and steel yourself to use the smallest dessert spoons anywhere, if you cannot resist the dessert. Straight to coffee after an entrée is the way to go!
5. Correcting excess: there is no perfection in life, and it is human to err. The longest sermon can be forgotten in the right surroundings, and a persuasive host or hostess may break the strongest resolve! How do you atone for sinful eating? Skip regular diet that you have packed as we discussed earlier, to make up for indulgences that you could not avoid. Make up with fluids though, for your body still needs plenty of water when dealing with a skipped meal. A pack of high fiber biscuits will always come in handy, as will fresh fruit which has been duly washed and cleaned. Remember that a heavy meal takes time and effort to digest, so you will need at least one extra hour for sleep ‘the night after’. Low intensity, long duration exercise in fresh air, works wonders as well!
Long trips away from home, whether for pleasure or business, are important for us to achieve important goals in life. Planning to keep your nutrition in good order is amongst the most important things that should be on your agenda. Expert advice, careful thought and a detailed shopping list for your supermarket, will last you years of good health, and could be your most valuable investment in the forthcoming event.