Healthy Eating Tips for People On the Go

Get some healthy eating tips for going out or just being on the go this summer.

{Q} How can I make better choices for healthy food when dining out?

More than 50-percent of meals are eaten outside the home and are significantly higher in calories, fat, salt and sugar, so becoming a health-savvy consumer is important. Try to plan ahead and know what you are going to order before getting to the restaurant to avoid temptations.

Think of vegetables and plant-based options first and ask yourself, “How can I add more color to my plate?” Reduce portion sizes by asking for a lunch-sized portion or share an entrée with a friend or family member. Skip buffet style restaurants and fast-food joints. Avoid deep-fried dishes and cream-based recipes. Skip or limit complimentary chips and bread. And for kids, hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets are poor choices that their growing bodies simply do not need to be taking in on a regular basis.

{Q} It’s hard to resist eating ice cream in summer but I want to watch my weight. What are some tasty and healthy alternatives?

Here’s a healthy recipe for Banana Nice Cream. Puree 2 frozen bananas with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter or almond butter in a blender for a quick and delicious treat. Also, I make green smoothies with 6-8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, 6-8 ounces of coconut water, 1-2 bananas, ½ cup of frozen blueberries, ½ cup frozen cherries, a big handful of baby spinach or frozen kale and tablespoon of chia or ground flaxseeds and then I share it with my husband and son.

{Q} How can I stay hydrated without consuming lots of sweeteners and calories?

Dehydration can often cause weakness, fatigue, dry mouth, confusion and headaches. Drink plain mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice or toss in some frozen berries or grapes for ice cubes. Brew antioxidant-rich sun tea using black, green or herbal teas and sweeten naturally with a touch of local raw honey. For a real sports drink free of artificial ingredients and refined sugars, try coconut water, which replenishes your body with important electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. Skip dehydrating beverages like coffee, soda and excess alcohol.

{Q} Can you recommend simple ideas for fast, healthy side dishes that I can bring to cookouts and parties?

Veggies are easy to grill and so flavorful. My favorites include asparagus, bell pepper, corn, eggplant, portabellas and zucchini. Colorful salads made from beans, whole grains or fresh greens and a homemade salad dressing are a quick, delicious way to incorporate seasonal produce items like fresh herbs, bell peppers and tomatoes.

{Q} I see gluten-free products at grocery stores and dishes on restaurant menus. Should I give it a try?

A gluten-free diet is prescribed for people with gluten-related disorders, such as celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-intolerance. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut and products made from these grains. While gluten-free products may be safe for someone with gluten-intolerance to eat, some of these products may be made from highly processed ingredients and starchy fast-acting carbohydrates. On the other hand, some gluten-free products may be more nutrient-dense choices.

For more information about gluten intolerance, consult your healthcare provider.