Nutrition Health Review

Summer 2017

Nutrition Health Review provides consumers updates on the latest medical research, news, trends, and products in nutrition and healthy living.

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Page 9 of 23

Nutrition Health Review 10 reported that women who took two o r more vacations per year had lower instances of depression, tension, tiredness, and marital dissatisfaction than women who vacationed only once every two years. 8 With depression accounting for a $23 billion loss in American productivity in 2013, the absolute necessity for vacations is apparent (Gallup). Summer is winding down and Fall is right around the corner, but that doesn't mean you can't take a little time off. Maybe your ideal vacation involves a week of lying about on the couch in your underwear, eating potato chips and watching daytime talk shows. Well, that's better than no vacation at all. However, for those of you ready to seize your vacation in a health-conscious way, we've got some suggestions to help you get the most out of that time off so that you can return to work feeling rejuvenated, both in mind and body, and ready to tackle whatever life throws at you. 1. makE a FEw oF youR owN mEalS. Often, while on vacation, we develop a specific mentality—"No holds barred! Anything goes… because, darn it, I'm on vacation!" This mentality is likely to influence the way you eat during your time off, and while there's nothing wrong with a few indulgences, pigging out on foods high in salt, sugar, and fat too frequently can leave you feeling sluggish and unhappy (Healthline). One way to avoid the junk food blues while on vacation is to balance fast f ood eats and rich restaurant meals with a few meals you prepare yourself. With vacation innovations such as Airbnb (see sidebar on adjacent page), it's easier than ever to score lodgings that come with a complete kitchen, no matter where you go. Cooking a few of your own meals while on vacation can help you remain mindful of portion sizes and nutrition content…and save money. A recent study concluded that families who cooked at home more frequently rated higher on the Healthy Eating Index. These families were not only healthier, but they also spent less money overall on food. 6 After preparing a home-away- from-home-cooked meal in your vacation kitchen, take your vacation nutrition one step further by preparing some healthy, portable snacks for you and your family while you're out seeing the sights. Studies show that planning and packing foods ahead of time lead to a healthier, more nutritionally varied diet. 11 Take pre-packed snacks with you during your romps around town or trips to the beach; with some healthy options on hand, you'll be better prepared to resist the urge to grab that giant soft pretzel after a long museum tour or that fattening ice cream cone from the beachside creamery. Instead, try lightly salted pumpkin seeds or dates blended with almond butter and cashews rolled into bite-sized balls (Greatist). Snacks such as these are quick, easy, and don't require refrigeration. See page 15 for some h ealthy snack recipes you can make ahead of time to take on the road. 2. PlaN aHEad. Before you leave for vacation, Registered Dietician Julie Upton recommends eating healthfully and cutting back on treats two days for every one day you'll be on vacation. So if you're planning a week-long vacation, stick to your healthy diet for the two weeks prior to leaving, in order to make up for those splurges you know you will enjoy while vacationing. While on vacation, cooking your own meals and packing your homemade snacks can be a great way to maintain a balanced diet, but there's no doubt that you're going to be eating out quite a bit, especially if you've chosen a trip destination known for its local fare. The Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics recommends planning ahead before going out to eat by browsing the menus of local restaurants and choosing what you'll order beforehand. The extra time spent researching the menus helps to ensure balanced, thoughtful food choices. In addition, if you know you're heading to Big Bob's Burger Barn for its famous Blue Cheese Bacon Burger, opt for a light salad and lean protein at lunch to keep your day moderately balanced. And, instead of ordering the traditional side of fries to go with that burger, order a side salad or steamed vegetables ( You might also consider Pick lodgings with a kitchen. "Cooking a few of your own meals while on vacation can help you remain mindful of portion sizes and nutrition content...and save money"

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