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Nutrition 101

4 Ways to Eat Healthy When Holiday Shopping

4 Ways to Eat Healthy When Holiday Shopping

In last week’s blog post, I highlighted several ways that you could eat healthier foods while traveling. Now with Thanksgiving behind us, holiday shopping is in full swing. Below are some tips for eating healthy to help you thrive during an all-day shopping excursion:

Incorporate a good balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates when eating out

Eating a balanced meal means more than just eating healthy foods, cutting out not-so-good foods and watching calories. In order to feel satisfied from a meal until the next one, it’s important to eat protein, fiber and healthy fat in addition to carbohydrates. For example, a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a ½ cup of sliced strawberries provide a satisfying balance of macronutrients. The protein and fat from the peanut butter and fiber from the whole grain bread help control blood sugar much better than an unbalanced meal. This will help prevent against -- fatigue both immediately after a meal and later on.

Be prepared with snacks

Meet your dietary needs gradually throughout the day as opposed to eating a couple of large meals. This will help keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating too much which will keep you from crashing when your body finishes processing that meal you just ate. Here’s a list of snacks to have on hand:

  • 1 sandwich bag filled with homemade trail mix. A simple trail mix can be made by mixing unsweetened dried fruit such as cherries and cranberries; peanuts, almonds and walnuts; sunflower or pumpkin seeds; a small amount of dark chocolate chips.  Or, check out our recipe for spiced nuts (pictured).
  • 1-2 packages unsalted edamame (~3 oz)
  • One sandwich (100% whole-wheat with fillings of choice; include 2-3 Tbsp peanut butter or 3 oz lean meat of choice for protein)
  • A piece of fresh fruit or bag of chopped veggies


Other items that require refrigeration but may be available on-the-go include:

  • 1 6 oz cup of nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 individual package of string cheese
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 small package of hummus with pretzels

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is not an all-or-nothing situation. It’s easy to become dehydrated when you’re running between stores! Mild dehydration manifests itself through lethargy, headaches, muscle pain and a general sense of confusion that could easily be misinterpreted for exhaustion. Fortunately, dehydration and its effects on your performance can easily be reversed by developing the habit of carrying around and drinking water.

Be mindful of your caffeine intake

Even though caffeine-containing drinks are a panacea for exhaustion, too much caffeine can backfire and give you a case of “java jitters”. Too much caffeine could also negatively impact your hydration status. So be sure to drink non-caffeinated drinks throughout the day or choose drinks that contain less caffeine, such as green tea.

Feel free to share any of your own healthy eating tips in the comments section below.


nutrition advice, nutrition facts, healthy snacks

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