If you travel for work or pleasure, you know that healthy food can sometimes be hard to come by. Or I should at least say there are so many temptations out there that the healthy options seem few and far between. Being prepared is 75% of the battle when it comes to eating healthy while traveling. It definitely requires a little planning and a special nutritional strategy. Luckily, you can adhere to your healthy eating plan with a little extra work. These 8 tips for healthy eating while traveling provide some solid ideas to staying on track while on the go.
1. Location - When you're choosing where to stay, it's all about location. Let's say you're traveling for work and you'll be in the same location for at least a few days. Finding a spot that's close to healthy resources is key. Is there a grocery store nearby that you can run to for healthy snacks and/or meals? Are there healthy cafes or restaurants within walking distance that you can stop in for a bite to eat? It's easy to make the excuse that you can't eat healthy while on the road if there aren't good options around you. Don't make that your excuse. Choose as wisely as you can to set yourself up for success.
2. Accommodations With A Kitchen or Kitchenette - One of the best ways to ensure healthy eating while traveling is to have access to some type of kitchen. Extended stay hotels, vacation rentals and Air B & B are all great options if convenient to your location. If a kitchen isn't available, having a refrigerator in your hotel room for some healthy options is a great alternative. The point being that if you have either a kitchen or a refrigerator, you have the ability stock up with good snacks and easy meals. Things like fresh fruit and vegetables, bottled water, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, nuts, natural peanut butter, rotisserie chicken and canned fish are fantastic options that are easy to store and don't require a lot of prep work to create a quick meal or snack.
3. Ship Items Before - Another strategy would be to ship your favorite dry goods to your location before hand. Protein powder, beans, nuts, canned tuna, bread and quick cooking oats are all items you could have sent prior to your arrival so that you have some healthy options waiting for you.
4. Carry A Cooler - Tote your health food around with you. Stock a cooler full of your favorite healthy snacks, sandwiches, bottled water and anything you need for the day. This options works well if you can drive to your location and bring your cooler with you. If you're flying, you'll need a collapsible cooler to pack in your suitcase.
5. Research Restaurants In The Area - Do your research before you go. Even if you have access to a kitchen or a refrigerator, you still may want or need to eat for a few meals. Find out what restaurants are in the area and which menus offer healthy options that interest you. You can plan any outings to one of these restaurants and know what you're going to eat when you walk in the door.
6. Protein Powder - Protein is often the hardest thing to come by. Healthy eating on the go is made much easier if you can bring some protein powder with you. Even it it's a back up, you know you have a good protein source to go to if you can't find a viable option. Sometimes your healthy eating strategy might require using a combination of options. For example, finding some fruit and vegetables might be easy but grabbing a protein source might be pretty expensive. In certain cases, protein powder can fill in the gaps.
7. Supergreen Supplement - It's often times very difficult to get the correct amount of vegetables in when traveling. This is the perfect time to incorporate a great supplement like Amazing Grass, Green Defense or Greens +. A supplement is just that - a way to supplement your diet. While this shouldn't be your mainstay to getting in vegetables, it can always be used as a way to up your micronutrient intake and get some greens into your diet.
8. Bring Homemade Snacks - Bring homemade non-perishable snacks with you. Homemade granola or protein bars, protein muffins, kale chips and homemade granola or trail mix are all wonderful options to take with you. If you have healthy food with you, chances are that you'll eat that healthy food rather than seeking out the junky stuff.
If you'll notice (or maybe you already have), the common theme here is that you need to be prepared. If you're committed to a goal of weight loss, a health goal or just want to ensure you're eating good quality meals, you've got to set yourself up for success. Healthy eating while traveling is totally doable but it does require a bit of planning and strategy to make it work.
- Margot Rutgliano