5 Easy Ways To Eat Well While Traveling

 

In the last decade I have focused on two main things in my life, traveling and studying health. My travel adventures include everything from half year solo excursions in the depths of South America and living abroad to extensive road trips all around this beautiful diverse country. Of course the more I understood health the better I wanted to eat, which can be challenging while being out of your routine and personal environment. So here are 5 ways I’ve learned to eat healthy on the road…

 

  1. Pack Ahead

If traveling in a car, pack a cooler. Fill it with what you like so when choices are limited, which is very common on the road, you have healthy food you know and like. Ideas are apples and almond butter, hard boiled eggs, nuts, lots of fruit, cheese and crackers, homemade oatmeal or energy bars, pita chips with hummus, fresh berries with homemade cashew cream… Sometimes when I’m on the road for a long time or camping I’ll precook things like rice and vegetables, soups, or a large batch of quinoa. Things that are ok cold or that can easily be reheated over a campfire.


2. Indulge a Little

Traveling is all about tasting the experience. The smell, the food, the environment, the way people live their daily lives different from what you’re accustomed to. No doubt, part of experiencing a different culture is by tasting new foods and sampling what they eat. Use your judgement on what you are willing to feed yourself and more importantly, indulge without over-indulging. I’m sure you are not on vacation to eat an overly restricted diet nor do I recommend feeling that way even at home. Over restriction usually leads to overindulgence.

On that note, in my travels I have definitely been to some places where looking at the culture and the people I thought, I don’t want to eat what they’re eating! In that case I stuck closer to the grocery stores if I could find one and often ventured out of those towns for more options.

 

  1. Know Before You Go

Research the areas you will be traveling for restaurants and grocers that carry organic. Urbanspoon app is great for that, I personally use it all the time when in new places. There are other great apps as well like Food Tripping and Healthy Out. If you’re on a road trip, look ahead a few hours down the road for restaurants so you expand your options. If you wait until you are starving you will have far less to choose from. I have personally driven to all corners of the country and there are many places we call food deserts where sadly, healthy food just doesn’t exist. We will cover more on those areas and how to prepare for them in another article.

 

  1. Quick Foods

Whether you’re on a business trip, road trip or far off on vacation sometimes eating on the fly is inevitable and healthier choices become harder to find. Use your judgement and make the best choices for what you have available. Avoid fast food places and overly processed foods like white breads, deli meats and fried foods.

Look for simple more nutritious foods. Go for variety. As a general rule, if you see a variety of colors on your plate, you are consuming a variety of nutrients. ‘Quick food’ places like Chipotle, Panera Bread and places similar to are a much better option for eating on the fly than the typical ‘fast food’ places we see on every corner. Look for local grocers to grab healthier foods you can take with you and get snacks for later.

*More importantly, make time to feed yourself well. We tend to do this at home and on the road. We pack our days so tight that we don’t plan to eat. Practice scheduling time for real meals or healthy snacks on your busy schedule or traveling agenda if you know it’s going to be tight. Your body deserves it. Maybe being on vacation is a good place to practice that.

 

  1. Stay Well Hydrated

Staying hydrated is vital and easy to forget while on the road. You are out of your routine, eating different foods, moving your body differently and maybe consuming more alcohol than usual. I almost fainted on a private jet while traveling for business because I let myself get so dehydrated! (It was scary but how EMBARRASSING!!) I had been traveling in cold weather and out of my routine and element. I completely lost track of the fact I was hardly drinking water. (That stays between us by the way…shhh).

Also, I continually stress the importance of drinking out of glass instead of plastic when possible. The chemicals and stabilizers in plastic seep into your drinking water, especially when left in the heat.  However, if your choice is water out of a plastic bottle or going dehydrated, get the plastic water bottle and stay hydrated. People end up in the hospital from dehydration. Just try not to leave it in the heat.

 

Bonus: Check out their local markets!

This is also a great way to experience a different culture, try their foods and stock up on health foods for later. You always meet warm people and often get to taste hand crafted specialties by the locals! Last fall I did a video for you of the coolest local market in a small village in England. You can check it out here!

 

Your turn!

Leave a comment below to share where you have been as well as some of your healthy travel tips!

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*Keep an eye of for our upcoming 

7 Day Whole Food Challenge (1)

this Spring!