Road Rules

By Shani Petroff

I love traveling, I love visiting family and friends, and, well, I love to eat. The problem is when I combine the three, I have a tendency to go over my SmartPoints® budget. I’m away from my kitchen, away from the neighborhood fruit stand I frequent, and away from my go-to low SmartPoints value takeout options, and instead encounter situations where it’s easy to use up all my dailies in one sitting. In order to not to see a huge increase on the scale when I’m on the road, I find having a plan helps keep me in check!

Flights/Terminals/Car Rides: If I’m stuck in a plane, airport, or vehicle, I wind up snacking on whatever is easily available. If I’m hungry and someone offers me junk food, I’ll take it — even if it’s not something I normally would munch on. So I’m keeping some smarter-choice snacks in my bag: almonds, an apple, protein bars, and other easy-to-grab, on-the-go foods.

Family Stays: I’m lucky in this respect. My family is working to make healthier choices, so when I visit them, there are usually great options. However, just like traveling can cause you to go overboard, having houseguests can, too. It can be an excuse to make the lavish meal with a decadent dessert. I don’t want to be the cause of my family (or myself) sabotaging their health goals, so we always have a conversation about our plans to stay on track. Last time, we even made a grocery-store run, so I could pick out nutritious items that would help in our endeavors. I plan to do that again!

Restaurants/Functions: I can’t control the kind of food that is served at a restaurant or an event, but I can control what I put in my mouth. So, it comes down to making choices. If I really want the nacho appetizer (and not just one or two bites), and that’s my splurge, then I have to be especially mindful with my main course, and skip the dessert. Or if I really want the dessert, then my plan is to skip the appetizer. Also, if possible, I always try to look at the menu ahead of time and figure out what I’m going to get — this way I have an idea of how many SmartPoints value something is before I decide to eat it.

Coffee Shops: When I need a caffeine boost on the road, an easy solution is a coffee shop. The problem is I’m always drawn to the drinks that look more like a milkshake. However, if I’m honest with myself (and think it out before I walk in the door), I know I’d much rather have an actual milkshake than an imitation one — so I don’t waste my SmartPoints there. I go for something simple like tea (I’m not a coffee drinker) instead and save the splurge for something I really want.

What are your tricks and tips for the road? You can find me on Connect @shani!

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