Living Well: Eating While Traveling

One of the toughest things to do while trying to lose or maintain weight is eating while traveling. Especially when you are a foodie or traveling for a week or more without a fridge.

This happened to me last week, and I thought it might be good to open discussion on travel eating tips. Here are the ones I have…but then I have some questions, too. Definitely looking for comments on this post!

– Plan Ahead. I brought snacks with me, especially protein. Knowing I didn’t have a fridge, it had to be a lot of processed foods (boo) and nuts. Bulk granola, dried fruit, peanut butter, and oatmeal came along, too. I wish I had brought more fruit once I got to my destination, but live and learn.

– Protein. Have it at every meal. It will give you a lot more energy than empty carbs, coffee, or caffeine. Before this last trip, I thought protein cravings were a thing only I experienced, but I found others who feel this way, too. Listen to your body!

– Take snacks with you while at meetings, sightseeing, flying, or in the car. You may not have control over when a snack or meal is offered. Or, if your conference runs out of lunches an hour before they should have. I’ve been there, and I am not a happy person without my food.

– Portion Control. I’ve traveled to places with great food. I’ve sampled food. It is all about keeping portions in check to stay on track.

– Hydrate. I drink lots, and amp it up while traveling. I still dry out like a crocodile and it is not pretty.

– How do you handle eating in time zone changes? Traveling from east to west coast definitely messed with my head and body.

– What snacks do you bring along?

– Do you keep the activity balanced to the food? (I ran twice and logged almost 20k steps a day.)

Healthy Dining Finder

With kids, it’s very easy to quickly fall into the “grab and go” wins of fast food. Unfortunately, these options may not always present the healthiest of dining (especially when you’re trying hard to stay on a weight-loss journey and instill good habits in your kids all while balancing all the things). This summer, I was introduced to Healthy Dining Finder as a way to help me make better decisions for the kids (and us adults) when we have to give in to eating dinner on the go.

Healthy Dining Finder
Source: Healthy Dining Finder

Being faced with the decision of “what’s for dinner” is hard enough. simply makes it easier for parents to make the “what’s the healthy choice” decision by offering selections are nearby restaurants that would be appropriate choices. Here’s how it works:

1. Go to and enter your zip code (I used my work zip code for options to meet up with my family at lunchtime).




2. Review your options from the results. They make it super easy by noting the number of healthy options for adults, choices for those watching sodium, and healthy kids meals. (The options are based on meeting certain requirements. According to the site, “To be listed on the website, Kids LiveWell dishes must (a) meet defined nutrition criteria and (b) contain at least two of the following: a lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lower-fat dairy.”)

3. Head to your restaurant of choice and make the healthy selection.

Since I started losing weight, I’ve learned two great lessons to help me be successful – 1) plan ahead 2) give the kids healthy choices, too. Healthy Dining Finder helps me with both of those lessons, so I’m thankful to have it.

There is one thing I don’t like, though. There are not nearly enough restaurants in my area that are either registered with the site OR providing healthy options. Do you know what that tells me? America is not quite on the same page that I am as a parent…but companies like Healthy Dining Finder and their partnering restaurants are on-board and helping us get there. That’s something I can swallow!


On, you can find the Kids LiveWell choices I mentioned, plus:

  • Search for dietitian-recommended restaurant menu choices near you
  • Enter to win $25 restaurant gift cards in the weekly giveaway
  • Find restaurant recipes to try at home
  • Ask our dietitians your own nutrition-related restaurant dining questions
  • Learn more about eating for health, weight loss, specific concerns like diabetes and more
  • Sneak a peek at your favorite restaurants in our restaurant reviews

I invite you to check them out on their site and connect with them via FacebookTwitter and Pinterest for more information, recipes, and fun with food.


Disclosure: I was asked to consider a review of Healthy Dining Finder on my blog and decided to take part. I was not compensated for the review. All opinions, however, are 100% my own.

Enjoying The Big Picnic on 9/22 #bigpicnic

On September 22, ChopChop (and partners) will be hosting The Big Picnic across the nation. They’ve asked my family to join in, and I am extending the invitation to you, too!

Disclosure: I’m sharing this post as part of a program with The Mission List. I received a ChopChop cookbook  and magazine subscription for culinary inspiration; all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Source: ChopChop


What is The Big Picnic? ChopChop is encouraging families to participate in a one-of-a-kind picnic, virtually. They are asking for families to participate by sharing photos of their families enjoying a picnic together and to spread the joy of healthy cooking. The Big Picnic is in recognition of September’s National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – an awareness month that is near and dear to my heart. (As an adult who has been winning the battle against obesity for the last two years, I am committed to ensuring my kids will have the resources to live the healthiest lives they can.)

How can you join us for The Big Picnic? My family will be enjoying a home-cooked meal, picnic-style. We’ll probably give Chicken Salad Sandwiches, devied eggs, Purple Cabbage Slaw, and Banana Bread from the ChopChop Cookbook a try. Is your mouth watering? Great, that was the plan. Now that you’re convinced, all you have to do is take your family for a picnic on Sunday, September 22 and share photos and videos of your cooking or picnic (using #bigpicnic). The goal is  to help spread the joy of cooking and share our hope for healthy kids everywhere. You can invite others to join you, too!

Source: ChopChop

Why should I participate in The Big Picnic? Here’s the facts – ChopChop is on a mission to get kids interested in eating real food, and to do so with their families. My kids LOVE to do this – they are very interested in helping in the kitchen and garden. They are working to reverse the current trend of obesity (1 in 3 U.S. kids are obese) and diabetes (1 in 400 U.S. kids have diabetes) by making it easy for us parents to provide healthy meals. They encourage fresh, nutritious ingredients (and the cookbook is chock full of kid-friendly foods – they aren’t about scaring us from foods). To spread their mission, they need our help as parents, bloggers, and social media mavens. We’re the best role models are kids can have, right?

What’s in it for me? You’re spreading the word about being healthy! In all seriousness, that’s the #1 reward. But, The Big Picnic and ChopChop will be handing out prizes on September 22, including subscriptions to ChopChop magazine, copies of the ChopChop cookbook, and other prizes. It’s easy to enter, just join the conversation via #bigpicnic. (Additionally, I have a giveaway, below!)

Before the fun begins on September 22 (look for my photo shares!), ChopChop has generously provided me with a copy of the ChopChop cookbook +a one-year ChopChop Magazine subscription for one lucky reader. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 23.

The Rules: 

  • Entry via comment – two options!
  1. Leave a comment on this post – will you be joining us for The Big Picnic? What do you plan to cook with your kids?
  2. Share this post on your favorite social media (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+) and leave me the URL (you can do this once per media per day) Hint — use those buttons below to help you out or this message: “I am joining @lilburghers and @chopchopmag for #bigpicnic on 9/22. Join us?”.
  • Winner must be 18+, US Resident and respond to my “YOU WON!” email within 48 hours of sent notice.
  • Contest entries must be complete by Sunday, September 22 at 11:59 PM.



Some facts about ChopChop: 

ChopChop is a non-profit and relies on the support of sponsors and subscribers. ChopChop Magazine is distributed quarterly via subscription and newsstand sales, as well as through pediatricians’ offices, hospitals, schools, public health departments, and youth groups. Each issue is available in English and Spanish. ChopChop supporters include the American Academy of Pediatrics, The White House’s “Let’s Move” campaign, the New Balance Foundation, Partnership for a Healthier America, and authors Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, and Mollie Katzen. ChopChop was named 2013 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation + winner of the 2013 Parents’ Choice Magazine Award (gold).

Thirty Days of Thankful and NaBloPoMo Day 7: Healthy Eating

It’s funny that I am writing a blog post today about being thankful for Healthy Eating when, admittedly, I enjoyed part of a very delicious apple from Applelicious (, a local gourmet chocolate apple company. Ahem.

Anyways, I am thankful that a ‘lil over a year ago I began a journey of healthy eating and exercise that has made me feel and look better. You know, healthy eating isn’t all that awful. I enjoy so many delicious recipes, and have even found ways to enjoy my favorite foods without feeling guilty. (Like that apple…I just will exercise more and accommodate by adjusting my other foods when I eat like that.)

Today is National Healthy Eating Day (through the American Heart Association), and they are sharing 5 Goals to Healthy Eating which are actually goals that I’ve been using to do what I’ve done so far:

1.     Eat more fruits and vegetables.

2.     Eat more whole-grain foods.

3.     Use olive, canola or safflower oil as your main kitchen fat.

4.     Eat more chicken, fish and beans than other meats.

5.     Read food labels to help you choose healthy foods.


Simple ways to be healthy, things that I am thankful for!


This post is part of NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Eating for Two: My Year Long Struggle

About a year ago now, we found out we were pregnant with baby number two and about 4 weeks later (or 7 weeks in), my body began its cycle of “I HATE YOU BEING PREGNANT”. I had food aversions to every.single.thing.I.loved. There was no more chicken. No more ice cream. No more fries. Pretty much, I was destined to eat crackers and popsicles like I did with my first baby.

After about 5 months, I had lost 20 pounds, the amount I had lost by my 39 week appointment with Miss A. Like my first pregnancy, my OB was not concerned with my weight loss because the baby was healthy and my measurements kept up with my due date. They said it was ok because I was overweight in the first place, so not to worry. Then, out of nowhere, my appetite came back but the nausea did not go away. I had to rely on Zofran to get through my days without being sick. This let me gain back the 20 pounds and birth a 9 pound 1 ounce healthy baby boy.

Even though I struggled with nursing my daughter, I wanted to try again with Lil Man. Thank goodness I did, because this little one is a comfort nurser (more to come on that in the future!). He was wanting to eat all the time, so what did I want to do? Eat ALL.THE.TIME. It was like my body was making up for what it couldn’t do during the nine months I was pregnant.

I did some research and joined online weight trackers because not only did I want to try to lose baby weight, I wanted to lose post-single life weight, post-college weight, post-high school weight…etc. Well, all of the trackers told me I could eat more calories per day because I was feeding him. But because I somewhere deep inside DO love my body (even if society doesn’t), I wanted to make sure what I was putting in it was good for me and good for him.

This wellness kick was really jump started about 2 months ago when I joined a Wellness Challenge at work. For me, the biggest thing is getting active, but also making healthier decisions. To be honest, I have not lost any weight since joining (I go up and down each week), but I do have a few crutches–I still don’t feel like I am eating enough to eat for him and me both, I am suffering from a bad case of vertigo and exercising hasn’t been friendly, and work has been extremely busy. Excuses aside, I try to eat healthy for Lil Man and I while I do indulge on a few delights every once in awhile.

My go-to treats have been:

Salads–I try to eat two a day if I can–with the Wishbone spray dressings (10 sprays=10 calories and PLENTY of dressing for my salads)
Cottage Cheese–1%, even though I CRAZY crave 4%!
Water–lots and lots and lots of it.

Lil Man and I are benefiting from my choices, and I have to constantly remind myself of that with every single bite that goes into my mouth. It is hard, but not impossible. What are your favorite “good for you” foods? How do you keep a balance?

I chose to write this post as part of Life With Levi’s Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is Healthy Eating. Enjoy!