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snacksWhether you’re an occasional shopper like me, or if shopping is one of your favorite activities ever, chances are you’re going to be heading to the stores at some point this holiday season!  If I’m going from store to hunting for that special gift for someone (or—ahem—for me), I try to keep my energy up.  I know that if I shop when I’m hungry, I’m much more likely to grab a snack that isn’t very healthy.  Besides, that extra money could be better spent on a gift!

Here are some tips for staying healthy during your shopping outings:

  • Eat before you go: Before heading to the mall, I eat a filling meal that will keep me energized while shopping and help me avoid some of the unhealthy options found in food courts and restaurants.
  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important while you’re on the run, to avoid confusing hunger with thirst.
  • Go prepared: I pack some healthy snacks–a piece of fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, cheese or a handful of nuts–in my bag before I hit the stores.
  • I try to stay away from the food court, where many items are fried or high in fat, sugar and calories. If I’m desperate for something to eat and that’s the only option, I’ll choose a salad, grilled meats and vegetables, or a non-fat frozen yogurt topped with fruit.
  • If I stop for a beverage, I choose tea or flavored coffees instead of a latte with whipped cream.

There are enough holiday gatherings happening this season where making healthy food choices can be a challenge, or where I’ll want to splurge a little.  Shopping isn’t one of them!

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