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What to Eat Before...

We help you prep for four common activities by telling you what to eat beforehand

. . . HEADING TO THE BAR

A serving of chicken and pasta. Mix 2 cups cooked, warm whole-wheat pasta with 2 cups warm canned, drained chopped tomatoes and 6 ounces cooked cubed chicken.

Why: Low-fat, protein-packed foods like chicken fill you up and help you stay flab-free. Carbs in pasta and tomatoes provide steady all-night energy. They'll also trigger a surge in serotonin, the feel-good brain neurotransmitter that puts you in a positive mood and stamps out the anxiety that might cause you to overdo it.

. . . AN EARLY MORNING MEETING

Hot cereal (microwaving is OK) with milk, topped with sliced strawberries. Or two scrambled eggs plus a cup of coffee.

Why: Cereals like oatmeal and oat bran feed your head. Both give your brain a maximal dose of energizing nutrients to keep it running in peak condition. Milk or eggs will amp up the protein, so you keep fuller for longer. Eggs are also a good source of choline, a raw material the brain uses for storing and recalling information.

. . . WORKING OUT

A 200- to 300-calorie snack with an equal mix of carbs and protein. Ideal options include pretzels and hummus; Greek yogurt and small banana; or a hard-boiled egg and whole-grain crackers.

Why: The protein/carb combo will give your body the pep you need. Sweating muscles will gobble the carbs while you train. Afterward, those exhausted fibers need the amino acids found in protein to repair muscle damage and fuel new growth.

. . . A LONG FLIGHT

Why: Smoked salmon and cream cheese on a whole-wheat bagel, or tuna on whole-grain bread. Pair either with a large salad and an extra-large bottled water.

Why: You don't want to pig out; food is more difficult to digest at high altitudes. Steer clear of gassy choices like soda to avoid so-called jet-bloat (cause when intestinal gases expand above the clouds). Fish also has omega-3 fats to help keep blood flowing when you're sitting for hours.

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