How to Eat Healthy While Traveling
Traveling soon during the holidays? Perhaps a long-awaited vacation? Business trip? Something completely different?
No matter where you’re going, you’re probably going to appreciate some quick and easy healthy food ideas. These can help you stay on track and help you bring and find real food. These tips are great at home too, but they are super important while you are traveling. We tend to eat more processed foods and eat out a lot more while traveling. That means more sugars, salt and unhealthy fats. Not to mention the extra volume that is hard to keep track of. Traveling can throw your regular healthy habits off when you’re skipping time zones or even just being in a different place.
As a functional medicine health coach, I have such a sense of pride when my clients skip junky, convenience foods. It’s important to have some treats once in a while, so you don’t want to feel deprived, but there are some great ways to eat healthier during the holidays or while traveling. Here are some great strategies.
*Pro Tip: When booking your hotel room, ask if you can have one with a mini-fridge. This will help you store some of your healthy snacks and groceries while you’re there.
Bring Your Own Healthy Snacks
Well, this is important because not only will it keep you from becoming a “hangry junk-seeker,” but it can also hold you off until you’re able to stop at a proper grocery store for say...actual, real food!
Here are my favorite on-the-go snacks to have on hand in your bag and/or cooler:
If you’re going to have a cooler, or eat them within a couple of hours, try fresh fruit or boiled eggs (don’t forget the ice packs).
Unsalted nuts and seeds (I love walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds myself - limit to 2 Tbsp. or about 12 nuts, though, because calories can add up).
Dried or even freeze-dried fruit (be careful with this one because dried food has a lot of calories. Limit it to 2 Tbsp.)
“Kind Bars” or Organic Bars of your choice (Look for less ingredients and sugars, and avoid soy)
Sliced veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, etc.) with a dip (hummus, guacamole, salad dressing, etc.). You can even buy single-serving packs at many grocery stores and even warehouses like Costco.
Find good quality protein bars, or make your own before heading out (watch for calories and added sugar).
Good quality granola cereal. I love Purely Elizabeth varieties. (Limit to ¼ cup at a time because granola can have a lot of calories and thwart your weight management goals).
Savory snacks like roasted chickpeas.
High-quality protein powder to make your own smoothies (I like Amazing Grass). Be sure to also pack a shaker or a mini blender, like a Magic Bullet, if needed.
And don’t forget your drinks. Bring some water with you. Or if you’re flying, choose water in the airport and on the plane. It’s a lot cleaner and safer to bring your own pure lemon concentrate packets with you to enhance your water. I keep these in my purse.
How To Find Healthy Food At Your Destination
Of course, you can always Google your destination and search for grocery stores or healthy restaurants. And be sure to check my blog on how to make healthy choices at restaurants. Here are a couple of websites and apps that may also be helpful for you.
HealthyOut - An app that helps you find restaurants that cater to your dietary preferences (gluten-free, lactose-free, low-calorie, low-carb, etc.)
Food Tripping - Designed for road trips, this app helps you find alternatives to fast food.
Traveling often comes with unnecessary junk food that can derail your healthy lifestyle. Planning ahead and being prepared can be simple and keep your health goals on track even during the holidays and any time you’re are traveling.