6 Tips On Eating Healthy While Traveling
Nothing will pop a cap in your nutrition faster than travel plans. I know this from experience. Hong Kong March 2015. Oh dear. I'll save that story for another time :-/ Anyway, when you are travelling, your schedule changes and feeling of foodie freedom can quickly having you doubling, even tripling, (or quadrupling - seriously!) calories without batting an eyelash. So before you saddle-up to the tasty European bakery and give yourself a one-way ticket to feeling bloated, set yourself some healthy, sustainable boundaries.
1) GOOGLE IT
Travel is for adventure-lovers, of course, but the one surprise you don’t want is a selection of restaurants that will enlarge your waistline. This is especially important if you just started eating healthier, since old habits can lurk around every taco shop and food truck. After booking your accommodation, start Googling or Yelping healthy restaurants in the area, and if the hotel has a concierge, or you have a host - simply ask for suggestions! You can also pop the big Q on your social media channels to get feedback from friends who’ve traveled in the area.
2) PACK IT
Stash your own almonds, sugar-free protein bars and snacks. Though you can’t pack water across security gates, bring a bunch of mini water bottles that you can fill at your destination – that way you stay hydrated and satiated between meals. And make sure you start your day right! Breakfast staples like oatmeal, chia and flax seeds, and hemp seeds are all low maintenance dry goods that are easily stowed in any overhead compartment.
3) ROLL WITH YOUR HOMIES
Share your nutrition plans with all your travel companions to ensure everyone supports your goals. Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, low-calorie, high-protein – all types of eaters literally deserve a place at the table! Even when compromise is inevitable, you can at least be assured that there are leaner options at the calorie-busting restaurant your besties insist on visiting.
4) CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF
Keep your goals on hand at all times or have an accountability partner who you check in with daily basis (works even better if that person is a travel companion!) Write down where you currently are in your nutrition goals and where you want to be in the near future, then review your intentions and values each morning. When all else fails, take a pre-vacation photo of yourself to stay on track and remind yourself of your wellness journey.
5) HYDRATION NATION
Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. Oh, and drink water. This is especially true when you go out for cocktails – drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage to ensure you don’t fill-up on empty calories while dehydrating yourself and derailing your healthy diet. Water will also help flush out all that excess sodium which retains water and is another reason your pants are tighter.
6) BE CONSCIOUS
Airplanes, ferries, and bus rides: they all haul foods that pack on the pounds. Drop the hoagie and ask for healthier options, when available. Starved but stumped on what to get? Plain almonds and real fruit juice (and I mean real. None of that bottled Minute Maid stuff) are always a safe bet, even when the pickings are slim. Sports arenas are also butter-soaked, heart-attack inducing spaces of irony – you go for the athletics and you leave with a dumpy ass! Buy a kids meal or small fries but avoid covering your lap in a tray of hot dogs and plastic-tasting nachos. And tourist traps are notorious for simple sugary snacks that can cause insulin crashes downs, which is why I always recommend carrying almonds or some sort of nut on all excursions.
I’m not saying do not enjoy yourself. By all means, if you’re in Florence, eat the damn gelato (just like Tara)– just don’t eat 20 cones a day! Healthy eating isn’t just about vanity and aesthetics, it’s about fueling your body in the best way possible so you have the energy to enjoy your journey. So make sure you fuel-right to feel good no matter where life takes you!