How to Eat Healthy When Traveling (aka How to Avoid Crappy Food)
Getting ready for one last summer vacation? Even if you are just going away for a quick weekend, traveling can pose quite a challenge for anyone who is trying to eat healthy. If you are traveling for business or pleasure, eating healthy is HARD! Between airport delays, long car rides, being dependent on someone else organizing meals or having to visit restaurants that are not focused on healthy eating, it can be exhausting trying to find good, healthy food to eat.
I have a five tips I use when traveling, that I am going to share with you. I am unwilling to compromise healthy eating simply because I am not at home. I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and even when on vacation, I may splurge here and there, but once your body gets used to good healthy food, it will tell you when it is not happy with your food choices!
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TIP #1 CARRY HEALTHY SNACKS
Ok - you may be thinking - duh - but I can't tell you how many times a healthy snack has saved me until I can find real food. There are pre-packaged nut packs, dried fruit & nut packs, as well as protein bars that travel well. It does require some planning to have healthy snacks since you may have to buy them at the store or via an internet site. A couple of recommendations:
The Mix & Go has a nice surprise - dark chocolate nibs in the mix! The 22 Days Plant Protein bar is a new find - I like that it is plant based and it is soft, which goes nicely with a cup of tea. The above links are affiliate links, just in case you click through and buy one of them.
TIP #2 LOOK FOR HEALTHY AIRPORT OPTIONS
Stuck with a lay-over or a delay? This is when I start wandering around the airport in search of something healthy. Sometimes, there is an Asian food stand in a food court. This is a very healthy option because the choices are a-la-cart. This means I choose the veggies without meat or rice/noodles.
Recently, I was in Midway Chicago airport on a lay-over and I found a veggie burger that I added avocado on top. It was really good! So start wandering the airport (after you found your gate) if you are stuck at the airport. Don't forget to drink lot's of water since flying is dehydrating. I've started to notice more airports have a water bottle refill station to help keep you hydrated. This is also great since you don't have to buy bottles of water.
TIP #3 ASK FOR VEGETARIAN OPTIONS
Whenever I go on a business trip, whoever the organizer is, I ask for vegetarian options. This helps ensure that I will have something healthy to eat at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'd be amazed how many times the "non-vegetarians" often go for the vegetarian options as well.
TIP #4 LOOK FOR HEALTHY DRINKS
I was pleasantly surprised to find KEVITA Kombucha at the airport recently. Not only did this help me do something healthy for my body but it helped to keep my digestive track steady. Let's face it, when traveling you can come in contact with a lot of people who may or may not be harboring a cold.
Also, traveling and not being able to keep to your regular routine may upset your stomach. Kombucha is widely known for it's ability to help keep your digestive system on track, but it also provides immune system support and can boost your energy. (Source: WideOpenEats)
TIP #5 LOOK FOR SMALL PORTIONS
So what if you can't find a healthy meal and you are really hungry? My next tip is to find something to eat that is a small portion. Instead of ordering a huge burger with fries, maybe sliders are an option? Or maybe you can get an appetizer size of a meal?
One tip I am not shy about is trying to split a meal with someone - even if I am at a business dinner. You'd be amazed how many times someone else is not looking forward to a BIG meal that they will never finish.
Plus, this helps avoid food waste. Most of the times when I am traveling I do not have a place to take left-overs. So I always feel really bad about not finishing the meal. Food Waste is a serious problem but not the focus of this post. I will be writing about that in the future. So make sure to look for that post at a later date.
I hope the above tips inspire you to think about how to eat healthy when traveling. If you try any of the above, leave me a comment below on what worked and did not work for you. I love hearing your feedback.