How to eat healthy while travelling

We’re in full summer swing and whether it’s a family vacation, work travel, conference attendance, exotic adventure or shopping road trip, whatever your summer travel looks like, one of the most difficult aspects is staying healthy while traveling.

I get asked about this a lot and have developed a few considerations to help you stick to your healthy lifestyle on the road.

Prior to travel

  • The type of travel you are doing will determine what and how much you can bring with you. It’ll be different whether you are on a road trip, conference in a hotel, or flying to a destination.
  • A few days in advance start preparing foods that can be frozen or stored. Things like grain-free energy bars, healthy cookies, trail mix and granola.
  • Before you go do some online research — check out health food stores, co-ops, farmers’ markets, smoothie and juice bars and healthy restaurants in the area you’re going to be visiting.
  • If you’re staying in a hotel, always ask for a refrigerator or a small kitchenette so you can bring food items with you and prepare them in your room.
  • If possible you could pack a small blender like a Magic Bullet to make smoothies in the hotel room.
  • Bring along some small baggies for leftovers and for packing up snacks, bring water bottles, thermoses, reusable tea or coffee mugs.
  • A day before your trip gather and start to pack fresh more perishable foods like chopped veggies, salsa, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, salads, healthy muffins, fruit, etc.
  • If going on a road trip you will want to pack things like reusable utensils, napkins etc.

When you arrive

  • Visit the local health food store and stock up on breakfast foods and snacks to keep in your hotel room.
  • At least if you have healthy breakfast options you’ll to get your day off to a good start. Pouches of cereals like Holy Crap or homemade granola, a dairy milk alternative (almond, hemp or coconut), some fruit, nuts and seeds.
  • Snacks — don’t leave your hotel room without them. Always have something in your bag or purse. Healthy snack bars, protein-dense cookies, cut up veggies, nuts & seeds and fruits.

Eating out

  • Read restaurant menus before you arrive to ensure there is something you can eat — even call in advance to speak to someone if you have very specific dietary restrictions.
  • Let servers know you have special dietary needs and preferences — they are usually very accommodating — ask for their help and mix and match menu items.
  • Restaurants are very accommodating and usually welcome the challenge of creating a meal that works for you.
  • Make wise decisions — don’t eat the bread and stick to simple, plain selections — order baked or poached fish and steamed veggies, stay away from creams and sauces, salads are good choices (ask what’s in the dressing or order lemon juice and olive oil).
  • Most of all be gentle with yourself. You are on vacation so now is your time to have those small indulgences and really enjoy yourself. Make wise decisions for the most part and eat the treats guilt-free.

Over to you. What are some of your favourite tips for eating healthy while travelling? Please share in the comments below.

If you’d like some support around eating healthy this summer and/or while travelling, I can help. I’ve put together a special summer coaching package with a 90-minute session to develop your action plan and then two follow up check-ins to provide accountability. Book your session today. Special ends June 30th.

This post first appeared here in the Herald Community on June 19, 2013

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