Travel Tips

Let’s Have Picnic

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Happy Friday…… I have to admit this is one of my favorite times of the year.  The summer crowds have left the Jersey Shore – well, most of the them, the humidity is gone and the weather is perfect.

Whether you’re looking to have some inexpensive fun with the family, or getting ready to tailgate while watching your favorite football team or looking for some quiet time with some one special…. a picnic is a great option!

Picnics come in all shapes and sizes and, honestly, there is no right or wrong way to do it. The best picnics seem to be the ones handled with a carefree attitude and positive energy. Hanging out with friends (or family)…on a blanket…eating your fave foods is supposed to be fun. Don’t worry about having a cute picnic basket (but a Thirty One thermal always helps).  Not sure what to bring? Don’t fret — food is food and it doesn’t need to be packaged in cutesy DIY wrapping. Picnics are — and should be — the most mellow, fun and relaxing way to hang with friends or family or solo, so your stresses drift away.

Here are 5 super simple things to keep in mind for your next picnic adventure.

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Location.  I remember picnics in the mountains, next to highways, on large boulders, in the backs of trucks, and in tiny backyards. Translation: it doesn’t need to take place in a park or at some epic location. What I would suggest is the space accommodate the amount of people coming. Large parks and beaches are perfect for big groups, whereas just a few people can fit pretty much anywhere.

Food. You can be as elaborate as you want to be when it comes to food. I’m basic making sure I have something everyone likes.  There is always some cheese, seasonal fruits and nuts, a bottle of wine, chips and salsa.  However, summer salads, and deli sandwiches are great too!  For large groups, potluck is fun where each person brings their favorite dish.

Blanket. This is a must!  Of course, these days I usually am making sure there are fold-up chairs or a picnic table close by too.

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Gear.  Maybe the “gear” with all the “right” picnicking stuff is not necessary BUT when you travel with a “bag lady”, you are sure to have lots of options.  You can get a “proper picnic basket” with matching essentials (plate, cups, silverware) or you can create your own.  Depending on what you pack for food, be sure to bring the appropriate tableware. But don’t forget cloth napkins, a cutting board, bottle opener, water, trash bags.

Games. What the heck is a picnic without games? Pack your favorite board games, cards, frisbee and book. Also, consider toting a camera and mobile speaker if you want music.

What else would you add to this list? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Travel Tips

Healthy Eating AND Travel – Better Together

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How many of you think “I’m on vacation, I will worry about eating healthy when I get home”?  The truth is, you can eat healthy and still enjoy your vacation.  For most of us, when we are traveling, nutrition is NOT on the top of our list.

Since dealing with health challenges, I am realizing that knowing what to eat when I travel will not only affect how I enjoy the trip, but it also affects my overall health. I have to be careful not to fall into the fast food trap of fast food, simply because it is convenient.

Here are some tips that help me when I am traveling:

5. Eat Like The Locals.  Watch and see what the locals are eating. Which restaurants have the longest lines? Be careful of street food because it’s not always the healthiest choice, and under-cooked street food can be dangerous to your health.

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4. Foods to Fight Jet Lag.  Whether you are traveling to a foreign country or just across the country, food can contribute to common travel plights such as jet lag. Don’t shoot the messenger BUT you want to avoid anything with caffeine, because they can dehydrate you which is a common cause of jet lag.  Remember to drink plenty of water throughout your travel experience.

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3. Don’t Over Eat.  Foods that are high in fat or salt, or foods that are rich can make travel harder.  Salt not only increase water retention during air travel, but it will make you feel sluggish and tired. Fatty foods are the same as well as any snacks that are high in fat or salt, such as chips or trail mixes. On a LONG flight, water retention can be even more of a problem and can result in swelling.

2. Bring Your Own Food.  I know who wants to bring their own food when they travel, right?  It is actually a good idea – an alternative to airplane food, or healthy snacks while you tour around. Maybe some fruit, peanut butter (or peanut butter sandwich), or a nutrition bar. Can’t bring your own food, plan your meals.

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1. Never Forget Breakfast.  No matter what, make time for breakfast.  It is not only the most important meal of the day when you are home BUT also when you are traveling.  In a hurry, grab something quick like something high in fiber, or full of whole grains, like oatmeal or cold cereal.  The best option is a balanced breakfast, combining carbs with proteins and grains. Stay away from muffins, cookies, and doughnuts. Greasy on the go breakfast foods are a big no-no too.

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What is YOUR best tip for eating healthy when you travel?  I have found that it is so much easier to eat healthy when it is a road trip versus flying but I would love to hear from you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!