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September 2006 Newsletter

Start Your Day Right

Dear Fellow Business Traveler,

This month's newsletter discusses how to start each day right with a healthy breakfast, even if you are eating out.

Be sure to check out the newest additions to our Fit Hotels directory, including the Marriott Dulles Suites in suburban Washington, the Seaport Hotel in Boston, and the Quality Inn in suburban Phoenix.

To Your Health, 
Customer Service, Healthy Travel Network and Chief Fitness Officer

squareStart Your Day Right

Your mother was right: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy, balanced breakfast provides a number of benefits:

:: Provides fuel for your brain and body--Your brain and body need energy for the day ahead. Skip breakfast and you're likely to feel lousy and not be as sharp for that important meeting.

:: Fires up your metabolism--It's true! Eating first thing in the morning helps rev up your metabolism for the day.

:: Keeps you away from the junk food--Show up for your meeting on a full stomach and you'll be less likely to indulge in the empty calories found in donuts, pastries, and bagels.

:: Provides a mental "win"--By eating well at breakfast, you'll feel that you've done something good for yourself and will be less likely to undo that goodness throughout the day.

So how do you eat a breakfast of champions when you have to eat out? Here are some pointers to keep in mind.

Balance Your Energy
A healthy meal is a nutritionally balanced meal. Whatever you eat, be sure it includes a portion of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Eating carbohydrates in the morning is critical for brain function. Your brain gets its energy from the carbohydrates that you’ve recently eaten; it’s not capable of using your body’s energy stores. Travelers following fad “low-carb” diets will find they often get headaches and lack focus in the morning. And yes, you even need fat in your meal. Eating fat will help you feel full and satiated. Without it, you’ll quickly grown hungry and will be tempted to snack on unhealthy foods.

Make the Calories Count
Choose your foods wisely, making every calorie count. Look for complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads (not whole wheat, which is basically white flour with brown coloring), whole grain cereals, or fresh fruit. Ask your server if the restaurant has cooked oatmeal rather than instant. Old fashioned, slow cooked oatmeal has more fiber and protein, with far less sugar. Instant oatmeal is largely refined sugars.
For protein sources, choose eggs, low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk, or peanut butter (preferably a no-sugar-added variety). Skip items high in saturated fats like bacon and sausage, or at least limit your intake of these. Ask your server to prepare your eggs without butter or oil, a common calorie culprit.

For fat sources, select foods with unsaturated fats. For example, choose 2% milk rather than skim or whole milk. Similarly, unless cholesterol is a problem for you, choose real eggs rather than egg substitutes. Skip foods high in saturated fats such as butter, cheese, coffee creamer.

Bring Your Own
If possible, consider bringing your own breakfast. Foods that you prepare are almost always going to be healthier than what you can get in a restaurant. You can control exactly what goes into your meal, and tailor it to your needs and tastes.

For example, bring a baggie of your favorite whole grain cereal and supplement it with low-fat milk and a banana. If you’re going to be eating on the go, bring a whole grain bagel and a homemade mixture of no-sugar-added dried fruit and nuts.

With some forethought and wise planning, you can start each travel day right with a healthy breakfast.

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