Looking for how to stay healthy while traveling and avoid all junks? Don’t worry, here’s the solution.
When it comes to eating healthy while traveling, the struggle is real. While you’re traveling your diet might take a drive and the delicious foods which are unhealthy for your body will attract you the most.
You might worry that eating healthy while traveling is not possible, but the good news is that you can eat healthy while traveling without much hazard. There are some simple, yet effective strategies that will help you to continue with your healthy diet plan. At first, you’ll tend to make a lot of mistakes, but through trial and error you will figure out how to prepare and how to do things during the trip to make eating healthy simple and easy. A little planning can go a long way. Plan beforehand, what foods are a big ‘no-no’ for you and what foods are you willing to depend on. For me, the no-no is sweets and deep fried food because I tend to feel lethargic, I prefer foods with less amount of sugar, and I try to avoid gluten. I focus more on foods which are digestible and will not cause indigestion while traveling.
When you figure the main areas of your concern you’ll tend to make fewer mistakes. You’ll also be able to plan ahead better.
Research shows that even the most health-conscious travelers struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling. People who travel for business purposes tend to have an unhealthy lifestyle because of their busy schedule. They even tend to skip meals and thereafter when they are hungry; they consume a large amount of food and are all bloated up, thus leading to indigestion.
To avoid these unnecessary situations one should always plan a healthy diet beforehand and should always try to stick to it.
1. Avoid Fast Food
The very first step is to avoid fast food as it’s very tempting to grab something quick and easy while traveling. Avoid the lure of fast food. When you start eating healthy, you yourself will understand the benefit of it. You’re active and less lethargic; you don’t get tired very often.
2. Carry Food along with Yourself
If you’re a frequent traveler, then you should always carry food with yourself, don’t leave your house without carrying food. Even if you’re not a frequent traveler, you should still carry a few food items with you, so that yore far less likely to grab something unhealthy. You can carry whole fruit such as apples, orange, cucumber; seasonal fruits; nuts already portioned in a quarter cup serving sizes pumpkin seeds and roasted edamame; dried fruits. Stock up food items according to your duration of the trip.
3. Pack Snacks
When you’re traveling and you’re in a new city or on the road, avoid stopping at a fast food joint, rather visit a grocery store and stock up food items which are healthy and that you’ll prefer to eat.
If you’re traveling by car, take a cooler or take a cooler ‘shoulder bag’ along with gel ice packs so about to keep foods cold during your travel time and stock up mess free foods like hard boiled eggs, nut butter, sandwiches, or homemade juice.
You don’t always have to carry a cooler with you; you can also go for non-perishable food items which do not need immediate refrigeration. Options for non-perishable food items are –
- Bars like Milky bar, KitKat bars, Snickers, Lara bars
- Jerkies like beef jerky or chicken jerky
- Nuts and seeds or pre tail mixes (cashew, raisins, almonds etc)
- Dried or freeze-dried food items like apple chips, banana chips, dried mango
- Individual packets of peanut butter and almond butter
- Wild-caught salmon
- Fresh fruits like apples, oranges, cucumber, and avocado
Often when you’re traveling you don’t have access to food items at regular intervals. So, you can also pack food items like dark chocolate chips, cookies, small sliced cake packets, raw veggies and hummus, yogurt and berries and many more.
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4. Don’t skip meals
Try not to skip meals and make it a point of at least of not skipping breakfast and dinner. Breakfast and dinner are the two most important meals of the day. One should always start with a healthy breakfast and should end the day with a minimum amount of healthy supper. Dinner meals should be of fewer amounts as compared to our breakfast and lunch. But dinner is also an important meal, which you should never skip. Skipping this meal will result in a very large gap between your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day, thus leading to ravenous hunger, acidity, nausea, and blackouts to name some.
5. Use Food Dehydrator
Dehydrating food with food dehydrator will also expand your options to carry food with yourself. It makes many fruits and vegetables fit for snacking by retaining much of their nutritional value. It is also the best way to bring out the strongest flavors of herbs and spices. Dehydrators are huge, chunky and cost-effective, so below are the few alternate methods to dehydrate food items
- Use your oven: Turn your oven into the lower setting and cut your veggies and fruits into ¼ inch slices and place them in the oven on a lined sheet pan for as long as they require, usually 6-8 hours.
- Use your toaster oven: Another effective option is using your toaster oven. Toaster ovens timing will depend. Put the toaster oven in the lower setting and keep it open so as to avoid condensation. Keep a check on the food you’re dehydrating. You can also prepare perfect jerky in your toaster oven.
- Nuke them in Microwave: You can also use a microwave to dehydrate your food. Stick to items that dehydrate faster such as herbs and apples. In the beginning, you’ll make a lot of mistakes but through trial and error, you’ll learn the perfect method.
- Sundry them: This is the best option to dehydrate your items though it works better on certain food items. You can sundry tomatoes and herbs.
6. Eat Frequently
It is always recommended to consume small portions of food while you’re traveling every 2-3 hours. It doesn’t have to be much; you can have nuts or dried fruits, or a sandwich with hummus and cucumber.
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7. Avoid Foods that drain your Energy
When you’re on the road, it’s important for you to avoid foods that will drain your energy and deflate your mood. It’s absolutely natural for you to crave for these kinds of food items while traveling and after you have them they leave you feeling sick and depleted.
Foods to avoid that drain your energy-
- Non-fat desserts and sweeteners contain chemicals which reduces the metabolism rate of your body.
- Simple carbohydrates or hypoglycemic foods, such as fruit juices, sodas, sugary snacks
- Avoid packaged baked goods
- Avoid deep fried food items as they’re the food that makes you lethargic
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol
8. Eating out
When you’re traveling for a vacation or for a business trip, you tend to dine out daily. Experiencing new local cuisines or street food items can be the highlight of any place.
- While you’re visiting a restaurant, tell your waiter that you’re on a gluten-free diet or whatever you’re trying to avoid and would appreciate their help. Let the chef know your sensitivity. Most of the time, they’ll make immediate recommendations.
- You can order any burger dish by asking them to hold the bun or replace the bun with lettuce leaves and leave any sauce on the side. If you’d like to avoid the items fried in vegetable oils, sub out the fries and go for grilled vegetables.
- You can also order any entrée dish and ask for ‘double veggies’ or anything which you prefer.
- To avoid vegetable oils, ask if there is an option to have your meat or vegetables cooked in butter instead of the typical oil
9. Drink plenty of Water
Always carry water with yourself and make it a point of consuming a large amount of water while you’re traveling. Drink about 8 ounces of water every hour to prevent dehydration. The body needs water to function. Drinking plenty of water will help in keeping you hydrated and will also flush off toxins from your body, it will also help you to avoid travel lag, symptoms of overexposure to sun heat and also reduce junk-food craving. Thirst often masquerades hunger.
Following the above steps will help you to travel with less worry. Try not to stress about food imperfection. You can also carry your travel-friendly accessories like reusable forks, small sharp knife, plates. Carry your own reusable water bottle or coffee mug. While you’re traveling you have to empty your water bottle before security check. Eat most nutrient dense food items.
In general, enjoy yourself while traveling but always prioritize your health, think twice before consuming any food item whether it is healthy or not.
There were some of the tips for a healthy lifestyle while travelling. How do you keep yourself stay healthy, let us know in the comment section.