Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Carb-age" Bad Carbs vs. Good Carbs and Eating On the Road

I recently returned home from a vacation. We took a road trip to visit family in Illinois and Wisconsin, which was a long 2000+ mile car drive there and back again. I did my very best to eat right, but quickly became discouraged because dining out for nearly every meal made it quite difficult to eat low carb, high fiber foods that normally keep my blood glucose levels within an acceptable and healthy range. Even though I often chose salads, fish or chicken dishes, said "no" to the french fries that seemed to come with every meal and tried to eat light snacks in the car, I still managed to gain 4 pounds!!! Except in NY state, the food choices at most rest stops consisted mainly of bad carbs: chips, McDonalds, pizza, ice cream and candy. My husband and I came up with a new term for those bad carbs; we called them "carb-age." I liked that word so much, I've been using it ever since when referring to any empty, over-processed, high-carb, low nutrition foods.

I found a short article on the subject of good carbs verses bad carbs that is worth sharing: http://www.you-on-a-diet.net/goodcarbs_badcarbs.php I think it is a nice, quick overview on the subject that reminds me to always try to make the best choices for the limited number of carbohydrates I can eat in a day and steer away from "carb-age."

My Tips for Traveling:

1. When on the road, it's vital that I plan ahead for snacks in the car or plane. I bring presliced carrots and celery, individually wrapped cheese sticks, small apples, cheese or peanut butter sandwiches made on Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats or Arnold's Sandwich Thins and make my own "trail mix" with mixed nuts and some dried fruit. (I'm careful about dried fruit because it is high in carbs.)

2. Whenever possible, I stop at a grocery store to buy fruit and low-carb snacks instead of relying on the roadside service areas that tend to offer only candy, chips, ice cream and fast food restaurants.

3. On this trip, twice I stopped at farm stands to purchase fresh, locally-grown peaches and apples. Those peaches were heavenly and such a special treat that it made it possible for me to resist my husband's bag of peanut M&M's that he kept in the cup holder to snack on when he felt tired at the wheel.

4. As often as possible, I get out of the car, stretch and walk at rest stops for exercise. When planning our trip and calculating travel time, we included several exercise stops each day in our itinerary.

5. I don't know why, but road trips tend to make me hungry -- maybe it's boredom. In reality, I'm not getting much exercise sitting in a car or plane, so I don't need as much food on travel days. I try to eat small, light meals (especially at dinner) for better blood glucose control.

No comments:

Post a Comment