Happy Monday, friends. As we enter into the busiest travel season of the year, I come to you today with some healthy reminders. Every year we hear the reports, “The average person gains between five and ten 10 pounds during the holidays.” Well, I’m here to tell you that one big old turkey dinner with all the fixings on Thanksgiving, a spiral ham feast on Christmas and some eggnog along the way is not going to cost you five to ten pounds.

Here’s what I think happens….we’re traveling over the river and through the woods, we’re running around making our lists and checking them twice and we’re not preparing, we’re not taking care of ourselves. We’re hitting the airport kiosks and we’re reaching for a diet coke and a quick bag of m & m’s to hold us over, we’re driving through a drive through on our way to finish our black Friday shopping and we’re grabbing a cookie and a café mocha on our journey to see the in laws. That my friends is what packs on the pounds–not the two or three family feasts over the holiday season. So, whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile or staying local and hitting up shop after shop, and relative after relative, here are some healthy reminders.

Drink lots of water. Water fills you up, it flushes out your system, and it prevents bloating. Especially if you are traveling by air, drink lots of water.

Pack snacks. My family literally makes fun of me for the bags of tricks that they find in my purse. I never leave home without my snack packs and this is a life saver. Whether I’m going on an airplane or simply know I’m going to be out of the house all day, I always pack snacks. This way, I’m never starving and in a position to make bad food choices at the last minute. What you’ll usually find in my bag: home popped popcorn (made in olive oil) and separated into little snack bags for the week, a mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (roasted or raw), NuGo Fiber d’Lish bars (my favorite on the go meal bar), raisins and unsalted peanuts, GG Scandinavian Bran Crisp bread, low fat string cheese, and fruit. I’ve mentioned this before but if I’m traveling by plane I always pack my meals ahead of time in air-tight containers: salads with dressing on the side, low fat turkey and cheese roll ups, hard boiled eggs. There’s no reason that you can’t do the same thing if you’re headed out on a long car ride. Pack ahead so you don’t pack on the pounds. My kids always tease me but guess who always eats my snacks?

Shop Smart. I’m well aware that not everyone has the time to pack ahead. If you must grab food on the go, I encourage you to read labels and buy as clean as possible.  Skip the sugary drinks and reach for the water, fresh fruit is always a good option, read labels….some meal replacement bars are great and some can be filled with a lot of garbage, unnecessary calories and fat: my favorite bars are the above mentioned NuGo bars, Lara bars, RX bars, and Kind bars.  Skip the salty chips, you’ll be retaining water from simply seating still for so long already, this will just make matters worse. Eat lots of small things during the day, stay full on healthy food so you don’t reach for a poor choice.

Indulge a little: Enjoy yourself. Have the extra cocktail but make it something clear and low in calories, have a small cookie but skip the café mocha, have some stuffing but lay off the mashed potatoes. Everything in moderation.

That’s it my friends….a little thought can go a long way. Prepare so that you don’t pack on the pounds, and enjoy yourself but don’t over indulge. I wish you a healthy, happy, Thanksgiving. Xx Janine