Friday, December 7, 2012

Tips For Successful Low Carb Eating On The Road

When eating out at a sit down restaurant, it's rather easy to make good choices for your low carb diet. It appears restauranteurs have picked up the idea of healthy eating rather quickly and are offering menu choices that suit the needs of the low carb dieter. Why not? They want our business, too!

But what about when you're driving through fast food places? These establishments have been a bit slower in figuring out that we want fast AND low carb. But, we keep going. Why? Because it’s so convenient to stop on the way home and grab burgers, tacos, or something similar for the kids, especially after spending hours on the road chauffeuring between school, sports, music, dance, and 'ad infinitum.'

One of the reasons obesity is on the rise in America is because we don't take time to make smart food choices, especially when we're in a hurry... and when aren't we in a hurry? I am here to tell you that even in a hurry, you can choose low carb alternatives.

The Fast Dash

When you pull up to place your order, what jumps out at you? Buns, bread, breading, and everything BUT fresh. If you're like me, you're trying to stay on track with a low carb mantra like; “veggies, protein, veggies, protein, veggies, protein...” and nothing on the menu looks like it fits. What can you do?

The best bet, and the one I usually turn to, is the salad, but not one smothered in creamy dressing or with breaded chicken on top. Choose an oil and vinegar dressing (or none at all) and the grilled chicken. You can also choose a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato and throw out the bun. Tell them to skip the creamy spread, and you've got nothing but protein and veggies. Your low carb diet is still intact. Be prepared to have the server look at you like you are nuts, like the time I had to repeat myself three times because the server kept saying, “You don’t want the BUN?”

Your Own Take Out

However, the best bet if you are on the go is to bring food with you. Yes, skip the drive-thru altogether. You'll need to plan ahead, but this is a great method for having food available for you and your family as you drive hither-and-yon. Find a small cooler and keep it in your car. Place a few frozen-gel packs in your freezer, or just freeze a couple bottles of water. Then, PLAN AHEAD and prepare a supply of food and snacks to keep in the cooler as you travel through your day.

Grab a supply of ziploc bags or plastic food containers and fill them with cheese, nuts, veggies, and a variety of cooked meats. Make rollups using sliced turkey and cream cheese with cucumbers. Cut some chicken cutlets into thin slices, coat with almond meal, and oven fry them for 'chicken fingers.' Mix cream cheese and smoked salmon and roll in romaine lettuce leaves. All these snacks can go in your cooler and will be ready when hunger hits. The trick is to have these snacks ready ahead of time so you can grab them and throw them in the cooler with ice as you run to get the kids and hit the road.

Low carb dieting is not about starving yourself. It's about eating foods that turn into energy, not fat. It's about feeling better, looking better, and getting healthier. Yes, you can eat on the road without succumbing to sugar and starch laden foods. Choose wisely, plan ahead, and you CAN eat healthy on the road!

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