Choices out there for healthful eating on the road

It is that time of year again for fitting into the teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini. It may be difficult to stay in your summer wear all season while eating out on the road. This year seemed promising since I have had success with Weight Watchers. I enrolled in Weight Watchers at Work six months ago at North Mississippi Medical Center to shed extra pounds. My goal was to fit into my clothes, weigh less than my husband and become healthier.
I found changing even for positive results took time and preparation. Early on in the program I was eyeing my Doberman’s dog food and thinking if I added some water, yes gravy, yummy! Finally I was able to take control and consider the changing of my diet as an adventure. My goal is to keep adhering to my lifestyle while enjoying the food opportunities of “road trips.”
Here are some helpful ways to navigate a healthy diet routine while on the road.
Pack a cooler with ice for the perishable foods and refill with ice as needed.
n Breakfast choices in the car: low fat milk, granola bars, oatmeal bars, yogurt topped with fruit and granola, dry cereal in zip-top bags, fresh and dried fruits, grapes, strawberries, raisins, blueberries, cut up oranges, apples prunes.
n Breakfast choices at a restaurant: oatmeal and low fat milk, dry cereal and low fat milk, English muffins, whole wheat toast, Egg Beaters, vegetable omelet, small breakfast burrito.
n Snack choices: fresh and dried fruits, fresh vegetables and low fat dip, string cheese, snack-size low calorie cheese, low-fat popcorn, low-fat wheat crackers with peanut butter or low fat cheese, nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, animal crackers, graham crackers, baked chips and salsa, low-fat oatmeal cookie.
n Drink choices: bottled water (plain or with sugar-free powder flavor packet added), V-8 juice, low sodium V-8 juice, 100 percent juice in small individual serving containers
n Lunch/supper choices in the car: fresh cut fruits and vegetables with low fat dip, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, low fat tortilla sandwich (assembled at mealtime with baked chicken strips and raw vegetables with low fat dip), tuna (in foil pack), low fat luncheon meat.
n Lunch/supper choices at a restaurant: broth based soup and half a sandwich, salad with low fat meat and low-fat dressing on the side, vegetable pizza, split a low fat entree with your dining partner or put leftovers in the cooler for next meal, order from the lunch menu when possible, small low-fat sub sandwich.
Hope you enjoy this recipe and a trim waistline during your travels.

Granola
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
1/2 to 1 cup each of almonds, walnuts and pecans
3/4 cup safflower oil
3/4 cup light syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir all the dry ingredients together. Whisk wet ingredients together and then pour over dry ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pans and bake in 10 minute intervals (take out to stir) for total of 30 minutes (longer for crunchy granola).

Tali Landrum is a clinical dietitian at North Mississippi Medical Center.

Ginna Parsons