One of the most common questions I get asked is about is how to eat healthy while traveling. It’s definitely a challenge, but totally doable.
Several years ago, I was suffering from some pretty terrible digestive issues, so my diet became very restrictive and I didn’t really have an option for what food I could eat. Which meant traveling was a lot more challenging and took a lot more planning.
Even though this was a challenging time, I believe it was a gift in the way that it forced me to find easy, simple ways to eat healthy while on-the-go. Now I know what restaurants to look for, what grocery stores to go to, what snacks to prepare before a trip, and how much time I need to prepare.
For me, the best plan for eating healthy while traveling is to have lots and lots of snacks with you. At all times. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve had to skip a meal and my snacks saved the day. Sometimes flights are delayed or there’s traffic and you are late to airport so don’t have time to buy any food.
Always be prepared with your snacks.
Find snacks that are durable; for this reason, bananas aren’t the best travel snack: Most of the time, when you’re traveling you have a snack bag or your snacks are thrown into a diaper bag and then those bags get thrown around and stepped on. You want to take snacks that can withstand the constant flurry and movement that travels entails.
Limit foods that need to be refrigerated: even if you eventually have access to a refrigerator, you will mostly likely forget to transfer your snacks to the refrigerator once you arrive to your destination. And the last thing you want is spoiled snacks.
Have a variety: travel is tiring and the last thing you want is to be hungry, without a snack that sounds good to you. So, the best thing you can do for yourself is bring all different types of snacks to make sure you have something no matter what you’re craving.
Pick snacks that are packed with nutrients: the key to traveling while being healthy is to have snacks that will actually satiate your hunger. You want to bring snacks that have a good balance of carbs, protein and fat. These are the three macronutrients that make up food and the best way to make sure you’re eat a balanced, healthy diet is to make sure these nutrients show up in your snacks. That will help you feel full and energized.
Larabars, RX Bars, apples, grapes, carrot sticks, trail mix, organic kettle corn or popcorn, gluten free banana muffins, cheese sticks (if it’s a short drive), applesauce packets, veggie chips, fruit leather bars, power balls, gluten free cookies.
Healthy Meals while Traveling
The best way to ensure you stay healthy while traveling is to not stress about it. Give yourself some freedom to not eat perfectly. The stress does nothing to help you.
So, now that you’ve let the stress go, it’s time to just do the best with that you’ve been given.
When possible, pick restaurants that have healthy options. My go-to meal when I am traveling, is finding a meal that can be turned into a salad with lean protein and vegetables. This is the easiest way to make a healthy swap when you’re traveling.
Other tips to help you stay on track:
Skip fried food as much as you can
Drink lots of water
Pack on the greens
Don’t skip meals
Let go of stress
Suggest healthy restaurants to family members
Do your research before a trip to find a healthy grocery store or restaurants
Supplement meals with nutrient packed snacks.
My go-to travel meal plan:
Whenever we arrive at our location, we find a health food store. Not just a grocery store. A local health food store or a Whole Foods Market. These places typically have buffets where I can find a easy, healthy meal. They also carry on-the-go snacks that are jam packed with nutrients. We try to make sure we buy breakfast and lunch options at the grocery store, so we only have to eat out for one meal.
The next thing we do is scout out some restaurant options and look at menus for places that have a variety of food and healthy options. For a long time my diet was strictly gluten free, dairy free, so we always had to do a lot of research before trips and now we are just in the habit of doing that.
If you can try to implement some of these tips on your next trip, you’re on your way to healthier traveling! It takes time to find your groove and go-to snacks, but once you have the rhythm down, you’ll be all set. Don’t give up and don’t forget to give yourself lots of grace!