Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stay Away from Funky: A Proper Travel Diet Can Save Your Vacation

Oh, yeah! You can't wait to step off the plane and experience everything your vacation destination has to offer: sun, sand, golf, tennis, hiking, mountains, snow, history, and, most importantly, food.

After reading an article at TennisMD.com about tennis competitor diets for in preparation for tournament travel, I realized that stomach ailments caused by an improper vacation diet ruins a lot of family trips.

Gorging yourself on the local fare, plus snack foods, soda, and alcohol throughout the day, can end your vacation excitement after Day 1. Even if the food you eat isn't tainted in some way (funky), straying from good dietary habits in favor of vacation "eating exuberance" can confine you to the hotel room.

In the TennisMD.com article, Page Love, a leading US sports nutritionist and a consultant for the US Tennis Association, has some suggestions to help prepare your body for vacation and help you feel great on the golf course, tennis court, on the beach, sightseeing or whatever it is you have planned. Her suggestions are tailored for competitive tennis players, but many of them work for vacationers, as well.

For example, according to Ms. Love, prior to your flights, drink more fluids than usual and avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Make sure to continue consuming fluids throughout your vacation.

Also, limit high intakes of fat and meat, as these have a dehydrating effect. Awareness of your fat consumption in conjunction with adequate fluid intake can ensure you remain well-hydrated. Just because you aren't in a hot climate doesn't mean dehydration can't creep in, especially if you don't have a proper diet.

It's also a good idea to pack some healthy foods to bring with you. Foods like bananas, sandwiches, apples, string cheese, pretzels, raisins, nuts and oranges can help keep your diet, and digestive system, in working order.

Last, but not least, plan ahead for eating out. Try to scout your potential eateries and find out whether others rate them highly. The better your fellow travelers feel about restaurants, the better chances you have of getting a great, healthy meal.

Eat at least three meals per day, consuming plenty of fluids and follow basic dietary guidelines, will help keep you healthy and happy throughout your much needed vacation.

You can go Anthony Zimmern "Bizarre" with your food, even go Man vs. Wild, just do it in moderation, and cook thoroughly.

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