Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

burgerI’ve been commuting between a small town and a large city. The almost four hour rural commute usually requires a meal stop. Here is where the challenge comes. The only food stops on the rural route are fast food restaurants.

The temptation is to grab something fast and keep moving-greasy fries, highly sugared caffeinated drinks and pizza by the slice can become mainstays when you winding your way to a speaking engagement or running through airports to make that training session.

When your job involves traveling, eating well on the road takes intentionality but has a pay off in terms of your overall health and mood,

Food and mood are related and you don’t have to be a dietitian to exercise self-care on the road. There are two basic principles: 1) Eliminate as many refined carbohydrates and sugars as possible and 2) Increase your protein intake. Both of these help to stabilize blood sugar and mood.

The chronic stress of travel, poor sleep and poor eating can create reactive hypoglycemia, an excessive release of of insulin from loading a meal high in refined carbs. Blood sugar drops along with mood and you are irritable and cranky.

So forget the energy drinks, cookies, candies and sodas that tempt your travel and reach for some protein. A protein rich diet will help reduce cravings.

This means you may have to pack snacks high in protein and eat small amounts (two to four ounces) six times a day. Try the packaged carrots, nuts,

Skip the aspartame as it has been linked to headaches and panic among vulnerable people. Use stevia if you need to add a little sweetness.

For digestive health, probiotics help lower stress by regulating GABA via the vagus nerve. Probiotics come in capsule or liquid form NSAID and can be purchased in a health store. They are also found in fermented foods. Yogurt is your best bet in the  road.

Like most things, a little planning and good choices make all the difference. So next time you are on the go, exercise a little self- care and see the difference it makes,

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