How Do I Eat Healthy While Traveling?
Last summer, I went on a road trip with my bestie and it had some unexpected challenges. We made the best of it, of course, but if we were not mentally prepared for the possibility that things go go wrong, it could have destroyed our entire trip, had we let it.
To make the most of any trip, you have to be prepared. That doesn’t mean every moment needs to be scheduled ahead of time. Not by any means. It does mean that you need to consider what you may encounter on a trip that may take you out of your comfort zone. That means for everything, including eating healthy.
How do you continue your healthy eating habits while on vacation or a work trip?
Below you will find some easy to follow tips that will help you stay on the healthy food track, but still allow you to eat your local favorites.
Once You Get To Your Destination, Go To The Market
It doesn’t matter if you are taking a road trip visiting a different city every day, are hanging out on a beach for a week, or you are spending a month in the desert - either way, you need to stock up on healthy snacks.
One thing I will tell you is to make getting through airport security easier, don’t take any fluids. I suggest buying your snacks once you get to your destination, instead of trying to bring them with you. But understandably, depending on where you are going, what you want may not be available.
If you are staying at with its own kitchen, a la AirBnb or HomeAway, you are winning! All the good behaviors you have at home will be at your fingertips by cooking your own meals, and making your own snacks. That’s probably the best way to optimize your health while on a trip.
If you will have a hotel room with a fridge, stock up on consumables such as yogurt, almond milk, cheese, etc. If you won’t have a place to keep things cold, purchase nuts, or good quality high protein snacks such as Krave Jerky. (My favorite brand because they are delicious, tender, and all natural, with no artificial ingredients!)
Bottles of water, or flavored seltzer is great. Just stay away from Soda, Juice or or any other high calorie beverage.
For sweets, try to stick to light fruits - apples, or berries of any kind. Stay away from bananas because they are have a lot of starch and can mess up your stomach if you are not used to eating them regularly.
If you are road tripping it, buy a cheap cooler to keep everything together and away from bugs or rodents. Also, you can fill it with ice to keep beverages cold on those hot summer drives.
Oh, and remember, you may need plastic baggies, utensils, and disposable cups (plastic or paper - never styrofoam; or you can cheap ones that you don’t mind tossing at the end of your trip. And bring an empty water bottle.
Healthy Snack Options:
Hard Boiled Eggs
Know What’s Available
Google Maps has quickly become my favorite traveling companion. Once you know where you’ll be laying your head, scope out what eating options are available near you. Are there eateries that specialize in vegetarian or low-carb meals?
If possible, check out restaurant menus online, this way you know what to order when you go. This will also allow you to know how much you are going to spend, and what places you absolutely must stay away from.
When eating out, the same rules apply that you would stick to when at home - salads with dressing on the side, stay away from excess fats and carbs, limit your sugary drinks, etc, etc.
Here’s a tip - if you can find a gym close to where you will be staying, I guarantee you will find a healthy cafe very close to it. Just ask the gym manager
Allow yourself a treat or two
When you travel, it’s important to eat locally. If you are in San Diego, for example, you ABSOLUTELY MUST try some Mexican food in Old Town. However, that does not mean you need to avail yourself of the entire menu!
Try splurging at lunch. You are less likely to overeat, and oftentimes, restaurants provide smaller servings during the lunch rush.
Or even better, try appetizers - smaller plates of your guilty pleasure. Whatever you do, the key is to NOT overeat. Doing so not only adds extra calories and fat, but makes you feel sluggish and you won’t be able to enjoy the rest of your day.
Splurge on the things you might not be able to get at home. Don’t be afraid of the unique, the unusual, even the questionable. Just enjoy your trip, experience everything your temporary home has to offer.