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Posts Tagged ‘Packing’

A tupperware lunch'n things container with sliced cucumbers, baby carrots, naan bread, and strawberries

I eat the cucumbers and carrots during the day for snacks, the strawberries are my 3 pm snack (with some form of protein) and the whole wheat Naan bread is my carbs to go with my lunch salad.

 

As a hypoglycemic, I’m always looking for new ways to carry all of my food for the day. I’m a big fan of the Tupperware’s Lunch’n Things container because of its multiple compartments (sadly they only sell it through their fundraising catalogs).

I was in our shared work kitchen and two guys I work with walked-through while I was eating a snack out of it.

“SO HEALTHY,” said one of them (emphasis his)

“It’s like a bento box of antioxidants,” said the other (who, unsurprisingly, works in marketing)

I have to admit, that’s kinda catchy…

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A buffet of desserts on a cruise ship.

Cruises can be a diet killer if you aren’t careful. Photo from Flickr: KLGreenNYC

Last week, I wandered onto a cruise ship with 6 friends for a fun five-day trip to Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico. Not too long after we boarded, one of my good friends announced that she fully planned to walk off of the ship the same weight as she got on. I hadn’t thought much about it (lazy me), but I decided to join her on this mission. Both of us walked off that cruise ship without gaining any weight. In fact, she maintained her weight perfectly, I came back .2 pounds less.

We rock!!!!! Ok anyway, here’s how maintained our weight on the cruise:

Exercise

  • We both agreed that we couldn’t take the elevator and we only broke that rule once (5 flights of stairs in ridiculously high heels for formal night sounded dangerous). My legs were on fire quite a bit due to this rule.
  • I worked out four out of the five days. I did weights twice and cardio twice, each for about an hour.
  • I incorporated exercise into my excursions. I climbed up and down the Mayan Ruins, swam around for a while in a cenote, snorkeled and played volleyball on the beach, etc. I rested too, but I tried to add additional “steps” to my day.

Diet

  • My friend’s other rule was that she was just going to sample, not eat, the rich foods. So, we tried a bit of everything, but we only tried a LITTLE (like two bites) of pretty much everything rich/unhealthy.
  • We took fruit and cereal boxes with us for snacks between meals. We added our protein to keep us full by incorporating cheese and/or protein powder into our snacks.
  • I memorized when different food places closed and planned accordingly. So, for example, if my next snack was at 10 p.m., I was at the buffet line right before it closed at 9:30 p.m. to make myself a plate of fresh fruit and cheese.
  • It wasn’t long into our cruise before I started craving vegetables (I kid you not), so I started filling a salad bowl with cucumbers and carrots (not the iceberg lettuce, that stuff is worthless) and took it back to my room for snacks.
  • They also had a veggie stick snack on the free room service menu, so i ordered that about once a day.
  • A few days in, I started ordering the side of steamed vegetables as my appetizer vs. the fried whatever was on the menu that day.
  • I avoided desserts. I wasn’t perfect, but I stayed FAR FAR away from the dessert bar and I never once touched the round-the-clock ice cream station. Mostly, I’d just ask a friend if I could take ONE BITE of whatever dessert they were having and stop at that.
  • I did order the melted chocolate cake the last night and took a few bites and then asked our waiter to take it away ASAP (yes, I felt bad wasting food).
  • The day of our Mayan excursion, we weren’t going to get lunch because we were to be back by 1, but that’s still a long time, so we ordered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, put them in plastic bags we’d brought, and took them with us so we’d have a decently healthy snack.
  • I still carried protein bars with me and ate those if they were the healthiest option available.
  • I didn’t drink that much. Oh, I know, this one isn’t fun, but it gets easier when you realize one Pina Colada has over 525 calories in it.

 

What’s your best tips for staying healthy while on vacation? Here’s some more of mine:

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

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As a hypoglycemic and as a human being, you really should try to limit your consumption of processed foods. This is especially true if you are trying to lose weight. However, also as a hypoglycemic, you have to carry tons of food with you at all times, so some processed foods, such as protein bars, are inevitable.

One of my stand-by protein bars is the Clif Bar (I particularly like Chocolate Chip). Although they aren’t the tastiest of bars (that honor goes to Zone Perfect Cookie Dough bars), they are quite good and much healthier!

A clif bar

A stand-by of mine for a long time, the Clif bar.

A couple of hints:

  • These are easy to carry with you anywhere! If they get swashed, it doesn’t change the flavor, so pack them in your food bag and go!
  • Because they are made with natural ingredients, the flavor can vary slightly throughout the year.
  • There are a wide variety of flavors, but only certain flavors (mostly Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Brownie, and Crunchy Peanut Butter) are sold in value packs of 10 bars.
  • They are usually found in the diabetic food area in stores. But, in some cases, I’ve found them in the candy section or fitness sections of grocery stores.
  • These are more “substantial” than other protein bars, meaning they are higher in calories, protein, carbs, etc. So, take that into account when you use them. Sometimes, I only eat 1/2 of one at a time depending on my needs.

Other valuable posts:

Outline of a Hypoglycemic Diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

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As a hypoglycemic, I try to prepare a lot of my meals ahead of time, especially lunches. I try to make those once every 1-2 weeks and freeze them (this low fat white chicken chili recipe freezes well).  So, I can definitely relate to this photo from LiveRightFitness on Facebook (except theirs are seriously lacking the carbs hypoglycemics need). Click on the photo to check them out!

A table full of storage containers with portioned food in them.

Click on the photo to see the source.

 

Other valuable posts:

Outline of a Hypoglycemic Diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

 

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As a hypoglycemic and as a human being, you really should try to limit your consumption of processed foods. This is especially true if you are trying to lose weight. However, also as a hypoglycemic, you have to carry tons of food with you at all times, so some processed foods, such as protein bars, are inevitable.

Zone Cookie Dough bars in a box

One of my favorite protein bars.

One of my favorite protein bars is the Zone Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bar. It really DOES taste like cookie dough! The only difference is, you don’t get the grittiness of sugar.

Hints:

  • My only complaint with this bar is that it’s really soft and there is nothing as far as packaging to keep it from being swished in my purse. I contacted Zone to suggest they come up with a carrying case, but haven’t heard back from them (something that drives me nuts as a professional marketer). But, for short-term travel and to up the anty of “real” cookie dough even further, I keep mine in my refrigerator to keep them firm.
  • They are usually in the diabetic section in the pharmacy in most local stores.
  • If you can’t find them at your local grocery store, Target usually carries them.

Overall, two cookie-dough covered thumbs up to these bars!

Other valuable posts:

Outline of a Hypoglycemic Diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

Read Full Post »

My book of lists and my new Michigan State University lunch bag thanks to my friend Andrea!

My book of lists and my new Michigan State University lunch bag thanks to my friend Andrea!

I had a full day of errands the other day and so I packed up my car so that I wouldn’t be stuck without food, be tempted to spend money on food, and be tempted by unhealthy food, during my long day.

So, along with my book of lists and print-outs, I had a new water bottle thanks to my friend Angie (not pictured) and a new lunch bag thanks to my friend Andrea, to help me stay healthy. Both were graduation gifts and thus have the Michigan State University emblem on them!

Anyway, in the lunch bag is the following:

  • A pre-rinsed apple and an individual Babybel cheese for a snack.
  • A Coke Zero (yes, I know, I shouldn’t be drinking caffeine, let alone pop, but honesty….).
  • A Vanilla Myoplex Lite protein shake for my second snack.

My only complaint is that this is a LOT of liquid (water, soda, and protein shake) for being on the go to so much. Maybe I’ll have to rethink that next time.

Other valuable posts:

Outline of a Hypoglycemic Diet

Travel tips for hypoglycemics and healthy eaters

How I lost the weight (and keep it off)!

Read Full Post »

As a hypoglycemic and/or a healthy eater, travel can be very difficult. It requires a significant amount of pre-planning, but these quick tips can help you make the  most out of your experience:

a pile of mixed nuts

Nuts are a great, easy-to-carry snack for traveling. Photo from Flickr: orinoko42

Before your trip:

– Choose your destination carefully. I probably shouldn’t start this post on such a negative, but this one is important. You MUST factor your ability to get food you can eat at your destination into your decision of where to travel. I’ve had opportunities to travel to many exotic places in the world, but some of these trips I turned down because they were going to areas where there were major food shortages. I try to not let it affect my travel choices. But, in reality, it does.

– Pack at least three carb/protein snacks per each day you will be traveling IN YOUR CARRY-ON. My favorites include Clif bars, Emerald 100 calorie packs of nuts, dried soy beans (Edamame), dried turkey jerky (much better for you than the beef version!) dried raisins and cranberries, and Zone Cookie Dough Bars (pack these in a box though, they smash easily).

– Pack a wide variety of these snacks so you don’t get bored and in case there is an issue with one of them. My friend Angie told me about a flight where someone on board had a severe nut allergy and she only had snacks with nuts with her. It was a long, hungry flight for her.

– Pack something healthy to nibble on. Sometimes, you just need a little something to get you until the next meal. Instead of spending tons of money and eating badly by grabbing a bag of chips at the airport, pack a small sandwich bag of baby carrots. True, they won’t last more than a day, but that’s a day less of junk food. I also always purchase a bag of pretzels or similar quasi-healthy snack item to take with me.

– For all of the above snacks, pack them in your carry-on so you have them accessible.

– If you have a choice of hotels, choose one that has a kitchenette. If that isn’t possible, find one with breakfast or, at the very least, a fridge and microwave.

– Research what grocery stores are located near your hotel.

– Pack an empty water bottle.

– Research how to say your medical condition in the language of the country you are going to and provide an overview of what to do if you get sick for all of your travel companions.

– Research customs where you are going about food. Is it common to wait at a restaurant for an hour to be sat? Is healthy food readily available?

-Pack Vitamin C tablets and take them a day before you leave through the day you return.

During your trip:

– Carry a bag with you at all times. I recommend a backpack or a across-the-shoulder bag. My general rule of thumb is to carry 9 hours worth of food (3 protein/carb snacks) with me at all times in my bag while in the U.S. (this just doesn’t mean while traveling, it’s EVERY DAY of my life) and 12 hours (4 snacks) with me while outside my own country.

– For all of the snacks listed in the “Before your trip” section, try to use them sparingly and replenish them as much as possible. Remember, the idea is to keep a good stash of food on you at all times, so don’t deplete your stash too much! You never know when disaster could strike; it could be as simple as a delayed flight or as crazy as being stranded in an airport for 3 days due to a hurricane. But, in all cases, be prepared. Getting into your stash as little as possible takes some pre-planning, but it’s not too difficult. If you walk into your hotel and notice a free bowl of fruit (if not in the lobby, some have it by the gym), grab an apple to eat  later instead of your dried fruit. Or, while grabbing lunch somewhere, purchase a small snack to have for your afternoon snack at the same time and carry it with you.

– Once you reach your destination, assess your room (fridge? microwave?) and then immediately head to the nearest grocery store.  Buy fresh fruit and easily-to-eat vegetables, high protein cereal (I recommend Kashi Go Lean), stuff for sandwiches, and snacks for the room based on how often you will be eating in the room (breakfast? lunch? or just snacks for night?).

– Remember that empty water bottle you packed? Good, now it’ll come in handy. If you are like me, you hate most hotel water and drink a lot of water during the day. So, while at the grocery store, also buy 1-2 gallons of water per person depending on the length of the trip. You can use your water bottle to drink this while in the room and, before you leave the hotel each time, you can fill this bottle with “good” water and take it with you on your daily excursions.

Wear your medical alert at all times (note: you should be doing this anyway!).

– Time zones make it difficult to figure out when your three hours is up and you should eat again. I recommend wearing a watch and keeping it on the same time zone during your trip or, if possible, use a time on your cell phone and set it for 3 hours (not a specific time, just 3 hours), so you won’t have to pay attention to the time.

– When in doubt, or, basically, whenever possible, go ahead an eat. If you gain a few pounds on the trip, fine. Your safety is more important. Just eat healthy and get the weight back off you when you return.

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