healthy eating traveling

Healthy Eating While Traveling

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Bags are packed.

All shoes, jewelry, children are accounted for.

Didn’t forget the toothpaste this time.

Nice job.

You throw a protein bar in your purse.

“That’ll hold me over”.

Get dropped off at the airport.

Cue chaos.

Whether it’s getting through TSA in one piece and in time, debating whether it’s worth it to spend $5 on a water bottle or do you just wait until you touch down and reach a 7-11?, making sure your family is still in one piece, you get it. You’ve been there.

Besides the increased stress and emotions associated with travel, our bodies take a hit physically as well.

  • We’re prone to becoming dehydrated easily during travel whether we are flying or simply don’t drink as much as we should on a road trip for attempts to minimize bathroom breaks as well as lack of resources. You don’t typically see anyone running around carrying a gallon jug to ensure they’re properly hydrated.
  • Cue bloat, constipation, headache, fatigue.
  • Our circadian rhythm is thrown off with time changes, jet lag, etc.
  • Then, what do you possibly eat? Besides the endless amounts of potential fast food stops, gas station pick ups – you likely will be eating out at restaurants during your travels. The whole point of being away is not having to be in the grocery store or kitchen, right??

So we tend to get shaken up a bit. Our bodies take a hit from the increased stress and fall out of our daily patterns – which we’ve worked so hard to build up and master. Basically, we’re out of control.

Firstly, can we agree it’s okay?

Life happens. It’s going to keep happening. How we approach times like this, out of our comfort zones, is what truly shape us, help us develop a better relationship with ourselves, food, and allow us to be fully present.

Okay cool. Now we can move on to some tips and tricks I use to prepare myself for some sort of control of not only the food I eat, but my food budget, and overall sanity, when I’m traveling.

Flying/Road Tripping

Make packing snacks a priority.

TSA allows food to be brought through the check point. (Trust me, I brought a poke bowl from the night before through). This will help you stay ahead of your hunger and keep blood sugar levels stable.

My carry on usually has:
Almonds/pistachios (messier)
Jerky sticks
GF pretzels (because I recently was reminded how gross the plane ones are- why you gotta put this crap in pretzels?!)
Packets of salmon or tuna in water
To-go nut butters (squeeze packets or dips)
Fruits & vegs (think banana, apple, clementines, pre-cut carrots, celery)
Individual oatmeals – ask flight attendant for hot water to mix
*I put all of these things into a separate “food” bag in the off chance of spilling.

Put protein powder in a shaker bottle -don’t add water until you’re through TSA**

Stay hydrated! Bring your own water bottle and fill up once you’re through TSA. This will ensure you’re mindful of needing to hydrate continually. Will also save you some $$.

Check out my instagram post on which supplements I take before, during, and after a flight!

Staying in Hotel

If snacks as mentioned above can fit into your checked bags, bring em!

I usually bring a tub of protein powder, jar of peanut butter, bags of nuts in my suitcase.

Make it a point to stop at a grocery store as soon as you’re settled.
This has been a crucial step that tends to be forgotten with the hustle of traveling and getting to our next destination. I like to make sure I get to a store, even a small, local place, to grab some fruit and usually breakfast items (individual oatmeals, yogurt). I’ll also grab a case of water bottles or a gallon or two to fill up my personal water bottle.

This eliminates me needing to spend $15 on a better quality breakfast sandwich, going to the equivalent Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or wherever the next morning. I get more time to sleep, save money, and get to avoid feeling crappy with the alternative breakfast food choices. 

Fast Food/Pit stops

It is totally possible to eat well even when your only options are McDonalds, Wendy’s, and all the other Southern-named fast food places.

  • Focus on having some sort of protein source (chicken, beans), top it with a healthy fat (think avocado, nuts, seeds), and something green!
  • Grab a Kombucha for the road – will give you the sparkling zest of soda but also benefit your belly/digestive health.
  • Gas stations will have some sort of fruit, jerky, and nuts.

Eating Out

This is one of the best parts of traveling, right?? Someone else does the cooking, cleaning, shopping. And it somehow always tastes SO good!? Like, why can’t I make this at home??

It just tastes different being away.

So can we also agree, we’re going to keep this feeling. The comfort, social feeling we get when it comes to eating out. Trying different delicacies and enjoying your meal.

There’s a lot of guilt, confusion, and anxiety that comes along with eating out at restaurants when you’re on your healing or weight loss journey. Again, that sense of control is not there.

What are our options? Do we have to eat “healthy” every time because that Alfredo looks to die for…

  • Scope out restaurants beforehand. Having an idea of where you’re going and what’s around will help put your mind at ease knowing you’ve already peeked at your options. I tend to type in the words “healthy” or “vegetarian” to help narrow some of the search on google maps, Yelp, etc.
  • Shoot to have a vegetable at each meal. That’s our goal for traveling. Add the side of roasted Brussels sprouts to your order.

Won’t Travel Without Supplements

Probiotic

Digestive enzymes

Ashwaghanda

Glutathione

Aloe juice

Pycnogenol

+  Greens powder – to ensure I got my veggies in.

This is a big part of how I stay sane and feel most like ‘myself’ during travel.  Plus, the increased stress and environmental factors call for a little more love and support.

Most importantly – enjoy yourself! Allow yourself to explore and try new things. Plan ahead so when you get there, you can enjoy all of the things your destination has to offer without being preoccupied with food.

Happy travels!