Tips on How to Eat Healthy While Traveling
This past week my family and I went on vacation outside of the country. Knowing that traveling can often derail a clean, healthy diet, I did some planning and was able to (mostly) stay on track! Here are some tips on things that worked well for me. Whether you are traveling for work or for fun, you CAN eat well. It just takes a little planning!
1. Bring Your Own.
You will be hard pressed to find anything at the airport that isn’t highly processed and full of food chemicals. Rather than resorting to a bag of skittles or a fast food meal, make sure you are prepared with healthy snacks you can take on the plane. I love to make homemade trail mix with raw almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried fruit, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. Put it in a small Ziplock back to bring in your carry on.
Firm fruit that won’t get smashed is also a great option, or cut up raw veggies like carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, and jícama. Just remember that if you are traveling out of the country, you’ll want to make sure you eat it and dispose of the waste before heading through customs, as most places do not allow you to bring in produce from another country. If you are traveling domestic, you can pack a small cooler to bring with you filled with fresh and healthy options.
Another option is prepackaged organic fruit/veggie leather such as Veggie-Go’s or individual packs of nut butter. These are small and easy to travel with and will hold you over in a pinch. I also bring an empty thermos with tea bags or some sliced ginger for ginger tea and then ask for hot water at a coffee shop. This makes it easy to avoid the sodas or sugary juices offered in flight. I also bring an empty glass water bottle with me and make sure to have it filled once past security.
2. Find a Grocery Store.
When traveling I try to make as many of my meals myself as possible. Most hotel breakfast buffets are sorely lacking in healthy options. Easy meals like breakfast and lunch can be easily made from food at a local grocery store. I like to find hotels that include a full kitchen, and most hotel rooms at least have a fridge. Making some meals yourself rather than going out to eat can also help reduce how much you spend on your trip.
An easy option for breakfast is oatmeal. I make my own oatmeal with plain oats, raisins, nuts, and a little coconut sugar. You can even prepare individual servings in Ziplock bags and then just ask the hotel for some hot water and a ceramic bowl or mug. For lunch an easy option would be wraps with hummus and veggies. Also consider bringing individual portions of coconut oil or another healthy oil for cooking meat or veggies in if you have access to a kitchen.
3. When Eating Out, Ask!
One thing I have learned is that most restaurants can prepare things differently for you, if you just ask. For example, sometimes I will ask for a side of steamed veggies, even if it isn’t something on the menu. Be gracious and tip accordingly, but don’t be afraid to order off the menu.
Try to avoid food chains you recognize and, if you are traveling abroad, try some local cuisine. Small, privately owned restaurants are more likely to have minimally processed and locally sourced ingredients. Plus it is a great way to experience the local culture. While eating out can be challenging, just remember to stick to whole foods. My rule is that if I can’t picture it growing on a plant or running through a field, I don’t eat it!
4. Bring Your Supplements.
While you don’t always have control over what food is available to you, you can make sure to bring quality supplements on your trip. I always make sure I bring my multivitamin (derived from whole foods, as synthetic vitamins do not provide the same benefits), pharmaceutical grade fish oil, and a quality probiotic supplement. I also bring a green super food powder which you can just mix with water and drink. It’s a good option when you are in a pinch and don’t have access to fresh produce.
So next time you are planning to take a trip, make sure to spend a little extra time planning and shopping for food so you are prepared with healthy options. It is especially important to eat well while traveling so that your immune system is at its best. I hope these tips were helpful, and if you have any other suggestions on how to eat healthy while traveling, please leave a comment below!