Ralph Miller, certified massage therapist and colleague at South Riding Wellness Connection, continues with his personal experience as a participant in the Biggest Loser community challenge. Enjoy his fabulous tips for your own travel adventures this summer! ~ Sarah
We’re on Week 8 of the 14-week Biggest Loser community challenge. This week’s team health challenge involved scoring points for eating in and preparing foods at home as much as possible.
I was out of town from Monday through Thursday, traveling to Wisconsin, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Baltimore, so this was a toughie! I was once a trucker for 20 some odd years, so I know very well the pitfalls of eating while you’re traveling. However, I was determined not to lose ground with my weight loss. Here’s what worked for me. It had mostly to do with planning ahead and remembering my commitment so I could look for the smartest choices.
First, I filled a small cooler with fruits and veggie sticks that I could easily reach and eat while driving. This kept my hunger at bay so I didn’t need to stop at restaurants. When the cooler was empty, I discovered that many rest stops offer 16 ounce fruit and veggie cups, two for $5. I also stopped at grocery stores and stocked up on more fruits and veggies, yogurt, and juices. I used my big thermos and filled it up with lots of water and ice for free. I wasn’t spending extra money on meals, so this was really a win – win!
A lot of rest stops had simple sandwiches. They were prepackaged turkey or ham, so they didn’t have any condiments like mayo or salad dressing. I added ketchup or mustard for flavor instead. So I bent the rules a little and counted buying a sandwich that I could have made at home as a home cooked meal.
In the end, I made only one—yes, only one!—stop at a restaurant my whole trip. There’s a little place called “The Tilted Kilt” just south of Gary, IN. I had a salad, 6 mild chicken wings, broccoli, water, and the best red mashed potatoes I’ve had in a while.
I proved to myself that I can subsist on healthy food on the road, and exercise some restraint. The trick is to plan ahead. If you do stop, keep it simple, find a place that has water and ice, fresh fruits, hopefully some veggies, and a simple sandwich shop. Save yourself for the special restaurant meals, not the fast food, and enjoy it when you do. And when you travel, stop often to stretch and get the blood flowing!
Keep at it!