SparkPeople Blogs  •  fitness  •  diet

Georgia on My Mind: How a Dietitian Stays Healthy on the Go

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Georgia was on my mind recently when I attended a nutrition convention with about 250 other Registered Dietitians in lovely Savannah, Georgia.  While I was surrounded by southern comfort foods, hospitality and charm, thank heavens SparkPeople was also on my mind to keep me on target.

Trip Highlights:
  • A rainy morning in Cincinnati and Atlanta resulted in a delay of my flight leaving Cincinnati as well as being able to land in Atlanta.  Of course, this left me with a grand total of 12 minutes to catch my next flight. Thank heavens I've been doing Coach Nicole’s 28 Day Boot Camp and was in ample shape to run through the airport and arrive with 3 minutes to spare!
  • Grits are now my best friend. Yea, I know that grits aren’t a whole grain and they can be slathered with butter or syrup or cheese or shrimp or a combination.  But dang, is this ever a southern comfort food ! Thank heavens there is no such thing as ''good-food, bad-food'' at SparkPeople.   Since all foods can fit, I plan to enjoy these grits again on my next trip south.  It is still all about portion control and how often the food occurs in your meal plan.  A vital lesson for all to learn! Deprivation does not belong in your weight loss vocabulary.
  • While in Savannah, I discovered that this is the ''Year of the Girl,'' and I’m proud to have been a Girl Scout. Thank heavens for Juliette Gordon Low, Savannah native and founder of the Girl Scouts in the United States. This woman was not only a skilled painter and sculptor; but also a strong swimmer, captain of her rowing team, and enjoyed canoeing and tennis as an adult.  She never let her deafness, back problems or cancer keep her from full participation in life.  She was a woman with a mission and a vision. (SparkPeople’s founder, Chris Downie, would be proud.)  Low encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking, but also for future roles as professional women.  What started on March 12, 1912 with just 18 girls has grown to 3.7 million members…primarily without computer, cell phones, internet, Facebook and social networking.  I was inspired!  This is the YEAR OF THE GIRL!   
  • Savannah knows the way omega-3’s should be served. Yes, this city is known for its deep-fried seafood and everything else, but thank heavens for the mouth-watering grilled salmon that I had at several of the Savannah restaurants.  I can already feel the omega-3 fatty acids boosting my immune system, my brain and my mood….and with no ''fishy burps'' or aftertaste.  This is why one should select real food over fish supplements.  I look forward to my continued intake of omega-3 fatty acids with Chef Meg’s recipe for Maple-Glazed Roasted Salmon. 
  • From overcoming poverty to dealing with her diabetes, Paula Deen, queen of southern cooking, is an American icon. While I didn’t get the chance to eat at her restaurant (The Lady and Sons), I was able to check it out while touring Savannah’s historical district.  Paula was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, and informed the public of her medical condition early in 2012.  She took some knocks for ''hiding'' the disease while still promoting her high-fat, sugary creations. Thank heavens our members at SparkPeople understand the need for privacy when dealing with difficult times.   If Paula ever needs some daily support and encouragement, I hope she checks out SparkPeople’s diabetes center and our popular SparkTeams.
  • Designed in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Squares of Savannah are a walker's dream today. Thank heavens for General James Oglethorpe’s design for Savannah in 1733.  Each of the 24 squares is planted with beautiful shrubbery and magnificent oaks.  At the center of each square is a monument, statue, fountain or gazebo.  Walkers have the right-of-way so that a person can walk from square to square to square, crossing street after street without having to stop for a car. This Sparker walked for miles without the worry of being hit, while taking in the breath-taking sites, especially Chippewa Square, famous for its appearance in the film Forrest Gump. What a great way to get extra exercise on a trip!
I really enjoyed my time in Savannah and it was fun to look back and realize how much I incorporated my healthy SparkPeople lifestyle into my trip. Thanks to both Georgia and SparkPeople for an experience I won't soon forget!

Is SparkPeople on your mind when you go on a trip? How do you incorporate healthy living into your day when you're out of town or on vacation?