Whether you’re traveling for a golf tournament, a business meeting or a family vacation, it can be challenging to find convenient food options that keep you energized and satisfied. Although you’re not likely to find a “par-fect” plate of grass-fed steak, baked sweet potato fries, GMO-free ketchup and a side of organic steamed kale, you can still make healthy and delicious choices. Eating more nutritious foods will help improve your energy, reduce stress and set you up for a restful night’s sleep — all challenges for a golfer living on-the-go. By following the simple tips below, you can improve your daily performance on and off the course.
1. Stay Hydrated
Stick with water as your main beverage. Not only does water support your body, it also prevents you from drinking beverages high in refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and other toxic ingredients. Sparkling water and unsweetened teas are also healthy options. Add lemon wedges, sliced cucumber or flavored stevia for variety.
2. Plan Ahead
Search for grocery stores near your destination for a healthier meal or to stock up on supplies. Research restaurant menus ahead of time to create a meal from the healthier selections. Try combining sides or appetizers, such as two eggs with a side of bacon and a cup of fruit.
3. Protein First
Increase metabolism and decrease appetite by eating protein first. Next, enjoy plenty of non-starchy vegetables with a small amount of natural fat. Lastly, enjoy non-starchy veggies, grains, beans, legumes, and fruits at the end of your meal. Eating foods in this order helps stabilize blood sugar, increase satiation and prevent overeating. For example, you’re much less likely to gorge on a giant potato after you’ve finished a grilled steak with asparagus and butter.
4. Include Veggies
Add vegetables to your meal to increase nutrients with fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. The more veggies (spinach, broccoli, asparagus) on your plate, the less room you’ll have for insulin-spiking refined carbs (bread, white rice, pasta or chips). Boost nutrients with greens instead of grains by choosing salads and lettuce wraps. If you can’t resist bread, select sourdough or “sprouted” varieties and make it a half sandwich.
5. Learn to “Lemonize”
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to water, tea, salads, chicken, fish, and vegetables for extra flavor. Lemons support weight loss, improve digestion, aid detoxification, and provide a decent amount of vitamin C and potassium.
6. Eat Slowly
When you improve how you eat, you’ll naturally improve what you eat. Start by being mindful of your first three bites and practice putting utensils down between bites. It’s this combination of awareness and small changes that produce the most effective results.
Airport breakfast: cheese omelet with spinach, mushrooms, tomato; side of fruit
Road trip cooler: beef/bison jerky, sliced bell pepper, walnuts and a banana.
Grocery grab: rotisserie chicken with cherry tomatoes, guacamole, and an apple.
Drive-thru: lettuce-wrapped double burger with tomato, pickles, and onions.
Cate Ritter is a Certified Nutritionist & Kitchen Coach. Please visit www.catesnutrition.com.