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Tips on healthy eating for frequent travellers -II

Rohini Diniz

 

This week’s article is gives you more tips on healthy eating while away from home.

If you proceed directly from your place work either for lunch or dinner, upon arrival at the restaurant, drink a glass or two of water so that your stomach is partially full and you do not gorge on drinks or snacks.

As a rule avoid buffet meals and order each item separately (a la carte) to get exactly what you want.

For beverages choose fresh lime soda, fruit juice, lassi, buttermilk or jaljeera without extra added sugar rather than soft drinks.

If you need to drink alcoholic beverages, dilute them with plain water, soda or unsweetened fruit juice rather than with soft drinks. Sip your drink slowly rather and limit the consumption to two pegs.  We fail to count the calories that come from beverages and those calories count too.

Wherever possible skip the starters and directly proceed to the main course, but if you must have starters with the drinks, order light starters such as grilled vegetables or grilled fish instead of deep fried snacks such as chicken lollipops, pakodas or crispy fried vegetables.

When reading the menu, remember that items named fried, au gratin, crispy, scalloped, pan-fried, sautéed, with or in butter, makhni, kadai, creamed, in cheese sauce, with hollandaise sauce, with béarnaise sauce, with mayonnaise, stuffed or a la mode (desserts served with ice cream) are high in fat and calories.

As a rule make your selection from dishes that have been steamed or baked or broiled or grilled or tandoori (without added fat), roasted, poached, lightly sautéed or stir fried.

Balance out calories. If the main course is going to include dishes that contain rich gravies containing cream or coconut, order plain rice or rotis or plain naans instead of biryani, fried rice, butter naans, parathas or puris.

Ask for sauces, dressings, chutneys and dips to be served on the side so you can take as much as you want.

Ask for your dishes to be served with healthier alternatives such as boiled or baked mashed potato without butter instead of French fries, steamed or stir fried vegetables or green salad instead of fried vegetables, boiled noodles instead of crispy fried ones.

Choose your desserts wisely. If you have had a heavy main course, skip the desserts. Desserts such as pastries, mousses, ice-creams, halwas, gulab jamuns contain a lot of sugar, cream, margarine or butter and are high in calories. Healthier dessert options include fresh fruit, fruit sorbet, caramel custard or rasgullas (squeeze out the sugar syrup). If you choose ice-cream for dessert limit yourself to once scoop. Avoid double or triple ice-cream sundaes.

Maintain your fitness
routine while on your trip:

Frequent travelling should not be an excuse not to exercise. With a little pre-planning you can ensure that too.

Wherever possible, book a hotel that has fitness facilities such as a swimming pool and a gymnasium. Check your meeting schedules and appointments so as to fit in some workout time. In case the hotel does not have a fitness facility you can exercise in your room itself. A 20-minute routine that includes push-ups, crunches, squats, and lunges, will help maintain your fitness levels while travelling. Alternatively you could go for a brisk walk along the walking path of the hotel garden. There is nothing more rejuvenating than some outdoor exercise at the end of long day of back to back indoor meetings. It is also a great way to burn some calories before a business dinner.

Wear your comfortable shoes that provide adequate heel and arch support while travelling. While moving from one place to another at airports avoid using moving walkways, and take stairs rather escalators.  If you have a long wait time before boarding, don›t just stay sitting in one place; get up and walk every hour or so. After all, you have hours ahead of you to sit still on the plane, so make the most of the time you have while you wait. If driving, take a break every 2 hours to stretch. While on your business trip, if your hotel is close to your place of work go walking and try and use the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator wherever possible. In that way you will ensure that you are physically active.

To conclude, even if you need to shorten your workout, some activity is always better than none while travelling. So go ahead and enjoy your trip the healthy way.

 

(The writer is a Consultant Nutritionist practising in Panaji and Margao)

 

 

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