Friday, April 13, 2012


Hey yall, it's that time again..time to take to the friendly skies and having to pack food to last a few days. Eating healthy while on the road is NOT an easy thing. It takes alot of planning, hard work, and dedication.The big challenge is to be able to pack alot of food in a small space. It takes alot of creativity, AND finding and investing in the items that you need to accomplish that. It's a trial and error situation until the find the right items that will work for you. For me, this time I will be using my trusty salad dressing holder. And since my "refrigerator" cooler is back east in Philly, I have purchased a medium sized cooler to hold food that will last me a few days. I made some chicken salad ,quinoa boiled eggs, a pack of salad greens, crackers, protein powder, low fat chocolate milk, and a few other things. Hmmm.. so how am I going to fit all this into a cooler? that is NOT the size of Manhattan? Well my containers of course. And the size and type of your containers are very important. I usually use the disposable Glad, or Ziplock, Dollar Store brand. But they either lose their shape,dont seal securely, or are too big, or too small for what I want to store..
Well I finally found the perfect containers! I found them at a Japanese dollar store in El Cerrito,Ca called Ichiban Kan. They sell all Japanese items. I found my bananna holder there, they have sushi sets, tea sets, and they have a section for containers to hold your food to take to work. Their containers are a bit smaller than our average containers. They are made to hold a lunch size portion of rice, noodles, sushi, soup, ect. As Americans, we eat large portions, the Japanese eat smaller portions, so these containers are totally AWESOME!!. And they are cute! They come in many sizes and are secure when closed. And the most important thing is that they are PORTION SIZE! I am able to get 7 containers in my cooler! Plus a bag of lettuce and my salad dressing holder. And thats only the stuff that I need to keep cold!
Anyway, for those of my flying partners that happen to overnight in SanFrancisco, you're in luck! There is an Ichiban Kan in SanFrancisco! It's in Japan town in the Miyoko Mall ( between Post and Laguna streets). The address is 22 Peace Plaza #540 SanFrancisco,Ca 94115 . Their number is 415-409-0472. There is also one in San Bruno for my Peninsula peeps. I will post photo's and links at the end of this article. For those of you who are wondering, "where can I get these items if I dont live in the SanFrancisco Bay Area?" There is a website that I found
They sell many of the containers that I purchased. But they sell them in bulk..BUT really cheap! Check it out.

Well it's time for me to start packing up my food. I hope you all found this info helpful. And if you cannot find the smaller containers, just keep on the look out for containers that will work for YOU! That's all that matters!
Take care, stay fit, and happy travels!!

Those Pesky Cravings

Did you ever have a moment when you're walking through the airport, or through a hotel lobby and then the aroma of chicken wings, or pizza comes over you?  Your mouth starts to water, and then all of a sudden you're hungry and craving food. Not just any food, but those of which you've just inhaled? You  just cant get the thought of devouring those chicken wings, or pizza out of your head.  It happens ALL the time to me. And the bad thing is sometimes that's all there is around to eat. It's not possible to get a salad, or  cereal. Depending on where you are, the time of day, or how much time you have, your healthy choices are very limited. And because of that, you could easily fall prey to your cravings. My cravings are pizza, chicken wings,and barbeque ribs.  My fondness for chicken wings makes my late night hotel arrivals very,very difficult. It actually makes MOST of my hotel stays difficult. Especially if they have awesome wings( like they do at our hotel in San Juan).  Most hotels offer chicken wings , and  some type of personal pizza on their late night menu. .As for the pizza it's a bit easier  for me to resist because I only consider getting pizza when I'm in Philadelphia, or New York ( and maybe New Jersey !). My excuse is because I live in California.and it's hard to find a place that makes great pizza. So when I'm back in Philadelphia at my crashpad , I will have a slice, or two sometimes( strong emphasis on "sometimes"). There are several pizza places that deliver, AND I just found one within walking distance! And when I'm in New York City I cannot resist getting a slice of pizza from Ray's pizza...there is a Ray's pizza on just about every corner in Manhattan! And the trick is to find the "Original Ray's". They all taste good!  Now I dont do it often, but when I do..I enjoy every bite!
And to be honest, it's cannot deny yourself of your cravings. I'm not saying that it's ok to eat them every day , but if you can control it , it's ok to have that slice of pizza, or that order of chicken wings. Or if you're at a cook-out and all there is are hotdogs and hamburgers, and you like hotdogs and hamburgers,  it's ok to partake. The trade-off is that  the next day you have to eat really clean, AND add an extra 10-20 minutes to your cardio activity. , That could be taking the stairs all day, running 10 extra minutes, walking 20min more, ect. Now for those of you who dont have the willpower to do that and cannot stop at eating one slice (or two), I'd just  refrain from entertaining your cravings altogether and follow my suggestions below. It's ok to eat what you like sometimes. You're not doing it everyday, so every once in a while is ok. If you deny yourself , you'll binge on what you're craving when you do lose your willpower. Then you'll feel guilty about it and fall off the diet and excercise routine that you worked so hard to maintain. .
Now for those  times when you have to be good, there are  ways to handle those cravings and satiate your tummy. What I  always carry  is packet of tuna,  tortilla wraps, an avocado and  oatmeal , along with protein powder , a pint of shelf chocolate organic low fat milk, and a piece of fruit like an apple or bananna. I also carry some sort of protien bar, turkey jerky, and almonds. I have all these items in my cooler. These items  dont require any refrigeration , so you can leave them in your cooler and forget about them ( except for the avocado and fruit)With these items you have breakfast, lunch, and a snack or two.  The tuna ( which I like the  flavored ones like Lemon pepper or Sweet and Spicey) can be combined with a couple packets of mayo, half of the avocado, and wrapped inside the tortilla to create a Tuna wrap, which can be eaten for lunch or dinner. The protein powder and aseptic chocolate milk makes an awesome protein shake which can be had for breakfast, along with the piece of fruit. And if you have more time, you can put some salad greens in a plastic container, and some in a baggy ( for later).You can add the lettuce to your wrap, or put the tuna on top of your lettuce and have an awesome salad. And if you're not a big fan of tuna, you can get chicken in a can or pouch and do the same thing. Also, the grilled chicken strips that come in a resealable pouch are "da Bomb", wrapped up with lettuce and a bit of dressing. But just remember that the chicken strips must be refrigerated.Starkist also makes tuna and salmon fillets in a pouch than you can throw on top of your lettuce, heat up, or throw into your tortilla and they dont have to be refrigerated either.
Also dont forget to drink your water. And if you're tired of plain water, I recommend MIO liquid to flavor your water. It comes in many flavors and you can squirt a little into a glass of water, or bottle of water for just a hint of flavor, or more for a refreshing beverage. But drink your water, or some will help to get over that craving.
Take car, stay fit, and happy travels!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Calorie Intake..And A Prize!!!

Twas the night before Easter and all through the house..not a creature was stirring, not even a.....Well here in the Braxton household my mother is still up..It's midnight and she's dyeing Easter eggs. She has every year since I was a kid some 40 plus years ago, in the same metal mugs . She did them when she lived alone, she did them when I was very sick a few years ago, and even tonight, at midnight, she's coloring her eggs. Why , you say , does this have to do with fitness, and travel. Well it's called habit. That is her habit..which she has many, and so do I . To lose weight , to live a healthy lifestyle, and to stick with it , you need to develope "habits". And in this case "new" habits. The biggest one, besides excercising, is to change your eating habits. It's really hard to do so on the road, thats why I pack a lunch. Another way, if you have a smart phone or an Ipad, is to download an app to track what you eat. I have on mine ( which they have an app on Apple) and Tap "n" Track. You'd be amazed at how logging what you eat, makes you more aware of what you eat and how much.They both have you log not only what you eat, but your physical activity as well. How it works is that you set a goal loss ( how much weight you want to lose each week, neither app lets you set of goal of more than 2lbs a week) , and then with your height and current weight, the app determines how many calories you need to take in a day to achieve your goal.  You also log in your physical activity as well, whether it's a work out session, housecleaning, or walking your dog. It keeps it real. Eventually it becomes a habit. You automatically look at the labels on the food that you consume, and are aware of what you eat, because you have to track it. It becomes a habit...a good one. After a while you dont need the app because , in your head, you know what your daily calorie consumption is and can track in your head what you have eaten.
So tonight, I'll go to bed . knowing that in the morning my Easter Bunny ( my mom) has made me a splendid Easter Basket..the same way that she has been doing for over 45 years.....her habit, and I will wake up with the enthusiasm of a 4year old..looking forward to see my basket.

Now I want you all to get into the "habit" of tracking what you eat, and reading labels. Go to either one of the favorite is ..or Tap N Track and set your goal. For the first 3 people to do so and track for 3 get a prize! E-mail me your progress @
Happy travels, and stay fit!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How do you carry liquids when you cant?

Being a Flight Attendant , we can carry over 3oz of liquids, so traveling with water, salad dressings, yogurts, ect is not a problem for us. Some places overseas require us to adhere to the limit of 3oz or 75ml like everybody a baggy that seals shut. So I do feel your pain. But here in the states, as a traveler..there are ways to travel with your own food. First and foremost is the issue of water. Like I said in my earlier post, you MUST drink 8oz of H2O per hour of flight..MINIMUM. Yes, it's easier to have a big bottle of water on hand, BUT, you cant bring it through screening. Now they do sell bottled water at the many concession stands in the airports, but there are those that dont want to pay $2-$3 for a bottle of water. Now I have found a way to get around that. I carry soft/collapsible water bottles. They come in different sizes. You can fill them up AFTER you pass through security. And if you ask while in flight, we dont mind filling up your bottle!. They fold up and tuck inside your purse, and take up NO ROOM!! There are also airports around the country ( SFO is one of them) that have FREE BOTTLED WATER FOUNTAINS! You press a button, and you can fill your bottle, and if you dont have one, you can buy one for $3. Those fountains are available in certain terminals in SFO and other airports around the country. As for mine, I purchased mine at an REI store in Berkeley,CA. They range in price from 7.99 to 12.99 and sizes are 17oz to 27oz. They are PABA free and are very durable and easy to clean. They are called PLATYPUS . . There is a pic of mine posted above. There are  many companies now that make soft water bottles, and I found some at  Dollar Tree They are thinner, but do the job as well! And if you go to their website, you can order them by bulk (48 of them at a time). They come with a clip so you can hang it off the side of your tote bag. Just search under "waterbottles" and they will come up...or just check out your local Dollar Tree store. I found mine by the soda section. They come in many colors and make great gifts. If you find them in your store, buy alot of them ( I bought 10!). There is a pic of one posted below.
Now for you're food. How do you keep it cold. A refillable ice the ones we used as a kid. Fill it with ice before you leave the house to keep your meal cool..then dump the ice before you go into the airport..your food will stay cool. Then once you get through security, go to the nearest concession stand and buy a cup of ice. Once you get onboard, we dont mind giving you ice. Some people use baggies to store their ice. If you double them up, they work just as well. Also put your refillable ice pack in a baggie because it will "sweat" and you'll have a little "puddle" in your cooler.
How do I keep salad dressing? I found the cutest salad dressing holder at Bed Bath and Beyond by Everiholder It's 3oz and it can hold your favorite salad dressing ( enough for one large salad). There is a pic of it below. $3.99.  Also, I have learned to hoard package salad dressing whenever I can find them. They will slip right into your 1quart baggie . And most dont have to be refrigerated. When you see them, grab a few and keep them. Au Bon Pain also sells their salad dressing for 50cent a package.
These are just a few of my tricks. Eating well and staying fit while traveling takes a bit a planning , but the results are well worth it!
Take care, stay fit, and HAPPY TRAVELS!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm fit and flying high!: The Dreaded BLOAT!!!

I'm fit and flying high!: The Dreaded BLOAT!!!: It happens everytime...I come home from flying my trips 5 to 7 lbs heavier....Why you ask? Not because I ate up the whole world, but because...

The Dreaded BLOAT!!!

It happens everytime...I come home from flying my trips 5 to 7 lbs heavier....Why you ask? Not because I ate up the whole world, but because of water and gas retention. It's something that affects EVERY flier. For me, as a Flight Attendant, the efffects are right away. When I strap into my jumpseat, which we have to adjust so that the belts are's to my fit. When it's time to land, I have to let the belts out a bit , because I have expanded ( because of the gas in my body, that we all have in our bodies)...the longer you're in the air, the more you expand. Now couple that with retaining water, you have the dreaded BLOAT!!!. Once I'm home for a few days, the gas goes away, and the water does too! Being a Flight Attendant, I also know that my body is expanding because of my uniform. We all know. We wear the same thing uniform day in and day's looser when we first start out, then when we get home! LOL!!
Now there are ways to combat this BLOATING. One is to drink LOTS of water!! 8oz for every hour you are in the air. Drinking herbal teas also help...they are a natural diuretic. Another natural diuretic is drinking water with lemon, lots of lemon, or a splash of cranberry or orange juice in water.  The thing you want to do is pee...ALOT. The water is flushing out your system, and hydrating at the same time.
Now I retain alot of water, so much so that it elevated my blood pressure for a while and they put my on a mild diuretic( prescription) Hydrochlorothorizide. When I was first put on it 3 years ago, I dropped 12 pounds! I was carrying alot of water!. But even after that, I saw that when I came home, the next day I dropped 7lbs sometime. I went back to my doctor who said that it was normal. That I didnt have to be put on a stronger diuretic called Lasik.  But for those who dont need a prescription water pill, I do recommend
GNC TOTAL LEAN's a supplement that regulates your water balance and has minerals and electrolytes. I take it as well and I have noticed a difference in my water retention.
The other thing to do is try and eat fresh veggies and fruits while traveling. Pass up on ALL processed foods! Meaning if they are offering a choice on the plane, at the hotel, or at the aiport concession stand, of something cooked, processed, or a salad, take the salad. Those other items are loaded with sodium and they will BLOAT you up! Have a fruit salad for breakfast, salad for lunch, and apple for a snack, then another salad for dinner, AND only if you're off the plane, you can add chicken to the salad, or have chicken breast, or fish for dinner with fresh veggies.You must watch your sodium intake! Anything else, and you will have the BLOAT.
Well I hope that information helps...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

What to eat!!!

Well I'm leaving for work tomorrow and I used to have a problem packing my clothes...Now it's my food, and since I'm using a smaller cooler.. I have to be more prudent. Over the years I've realized that certain types of lettuce travel very well. Now when I'm talking travel, I dont mean to work and back ( 9-5)..I mean from California, to Madrid, and back ( I eat it on the flight back, so three days in a cooler).  I'm not a big Kale fan ( well raw Kale) but it holds up really well. I am developing a taste for Arugula. It has a strong taste to it that does well with an equally strong viniagrette. I have packed with it mini hierloom tomatoes, and avocados. And i have a lemon viniagrette. I found a reusable single serve salad dressing holder at Bed Bath and Beyond that I'll have to list later, as well as what I'm taking with me today. I have also packed my banana, peanut butter, pears, and some edamame seeds.
It's hard to eat on the road, and especially when you spend most of your time on airplanes, in airports, and hotels. I love food, so my weaknesses are great, and my will-power not so good. But my goal to stay in a two-piece well into my 50's keeps me in check ( plus my good readings at my check-ups with the doctor).
Anyway, I hope you keep's a short night tonight and I have to go, but I will eloborate tomorrow on what you need to do to stay fit, and wow in that bikini! Good Nite