When it comes to thinking about “healthy food while traveling”, most of us would agree that eating healthy is easier to follow when we are in our normal daily routine, and making healthy food choices gets a bit tougher when we are on a holiday or traveling for work.
While keeping a track on your health can be more daunting when traveling, there are ways to foster balance in your travel routine. Instead of turning a blind eye to all your healthy habits when you travel, it’s helpful to show up prepared so that you don’t have to worry about getting your lifestyle “back on track” when you return home every time. As an added benefit, you probably won’t feel as tired or bloated when you get back from your vacation.
We may be confused about what needs to be done before going, how to prepare, and what to do during the trip to make healthy eating simple and easy. The good part is, whether you are traveling for work, vacation, or abroad, there are a number of simple yet effective strategies that can help you stick to your healthy routine while on the move to maintain balance and reduce stress.
Here are some useful tips to boost your health while you’re traveling and on-the-go:
Pack packaged snack items
Often when we’re traveling, we sometimes don’t have access to food at regular intervals or we tend to skip meals. As such, you can easily stock up several wholesome snack options that are not easily damaged or spoiled in transit depending on the length of your trip and the space you have in your bag. Examples include:
- Granola bars
- Dried or freeze-dried fruit (dried mango chips or apples)
- Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, avocados or bananas
- Kale chips
- Dark chocolate
Pack a punch of protein first thing in the morning
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Eating the right amount of protein, one which contains all the essential amino acids that are required by your body to function properly. This helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent energy lags, enhance concentration and keeps you strong and fit. High-quality, lean protein is the best food you can rely on when you need energy for a long hike, a long drive, or a sunny day at the beach. Have a handful of almonds, yogurt with berries, quinoa black bean salad, chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs or oats.
Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water
Our body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Plus drinking lots of water also flushes your body of toxins, keep your skin glowing and help you eat less. It will also help you avoid travel lag, symptoms of overexposure to the heat or sun, and binge eating. Many of the unhealthy junk-food cravings we experience while traveling can be satisfied with just a refreshing sip of pure water.
Eat frequently, and in smaller amounts
Eating small amounts of nutritious food throughout the day sends a signal to your brain that the food supply is plentiful, so it’s totally FINE to burn through those calories quickly. Limiting your calorie intake at a single sitting also gives you a boost of energy. On the other hand, eating too many calories in one meal—even if they’re healthy, sends your brain the message that leaner times must be around the corner, so those calories will get stored as fat and can also make you sluggish and sleepy.
Food that satiates your temporary cravings can sometime leave you feeling sick or depleted after you eat them or they may drain your energy and deflate your mood. Such foods include simple carbohydrates or high glycemic foods like canned fruit juices, sodas, refined grain products, or sugary snacks, anything deep-fried and excess alcohol.
It’s always wise to be prepared if you want to stay healthy while traveling. Having said that, it’s equally welcoming to enjoy the local cuisine and enjoy the food culture wherever you are headed. You may even get your hands on some new flavors and spices to bring back into your own kitchen when you get back home. And, most importantly, enjoy your journey and don’t stress about food imperfection!