Six Tips for Eating Healthy Eating While Traveling

Travel may be one of the best ways to shift your perspective and broaden your view, but it isn’t always easy to maintain healthy eating habits when you head out into the great unknown. Away from all the conveniences and routine of life at home, it can be a real challenge to find fresh produce, make your own meals, and avoid eating in restaurants several times a day.  

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the last thing you want to do when you’re on the road is throw all your healthy dietary habits out the window. Fortunately, it only takes a bit of effort to stay on track with good nutrition and avoid wreaking havoc on your digestive system.

Here are some of the best ways you can keep yourself feeling energized without surrendering your health while you’re on the go:  

Pack plenty of healthy snacks

When hunger strikes during your wait in an airport lounge or at a rest stop along the highway, the last thing you want to do is choose from the candy bars, potato chips, and sugary beverages that are usually available in kiosks and vending machines. To avoid this common scenario, pack plenty of healthy, nonperishable snacks so you’ll always have something nutritious to nibble on when hunger strikes.

Whole-grain crackers and single serving packets of almond or peanut butter can keep you satiated for a long time, as can preportioned bags of unsalted nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, or freeze-dried vegetables. If you prefer protein bars, opt for the kind that are made with whole grains, nuts, and fruit, and contain few added sugars.  

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Most people don’t make adequate hydration a priority when they travel — after all, who wants to visit every rest stop along the highway or squish themselves into an airplane bathroom more than absolutely necessary?

Even so, staying well-hydrated is one of the best ways to maintain your energy levels and keep your digestive system happy. Drinking plenty of water also helps you avoid your body’s early dehydration signals, which are often mistaken for hunger pangs.

Anytime you travel, bring a large, refillable water bottle you can carry in your bag or keep within easy reach. If you have to go through airport security, you can dump the water and ask a flight attendant to refill your bottle once you’re on board.

Avoid airplane meals

The meals served on airplanes tend to be highly processed and loaded with sodium, both of which can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated, especially if such foods aren’t a mainstay of your normal diet.

If you don’t have time to eat a light, healthy meal at home or at the airport before you board the plane, bring something healthy to eat on the flight. Good options include sandwiches, cheese and crackers with an apple, a couple of hard-boiled eggs with a fresh fruit salad, cold pasta salad with plenty of veggies, and chilled quinoa salad with avocado and vegetables.

Set yourself up for success

One of the fastest routes to dietary demise away from home is not having any way to prepare healthy meals for yourself. When you’re looking for accommodations in a far-away place, consider booking a furnished apartment or a hotel room with a small kitchenette.

Before you arrive, find out where the nearest grocery store is, so you can pick up any foods you’d like to have on hand on your way into town or first thing in the morning. Even if you plan to be away from your room most of the time, you can still make a healthy breakfast and keep enough perishable produce on hand to make yourself a few fresh salads during your stay.

Eat out wisely

It’s a given that you’re going to eat out a lot — if not nearly the entire time — you’re traveling, so whenever possible, choose restaurants that are more likely to offer healthy options. If you’re stuck with drive-thru food and casual restaurants, choose foods that are grilled, baked, boiled, or steamed instead of fried or sautéed.

When eating sandwiches, opt for whole-grain bread and skip the oil or mayo; when indulging in comfort foods, limit yourself to a healthy (not super-sized) portion. If you have a traveling companion, splitting an oversized restaurant meal can help you both keep your daily calorie and sodium intake under control.

Maintain mindful eating habits

It may seem simple, but making a concerted effort to stay mindful about the foods you eat is one of the best ways to avoid common dietary pitfalls away from home. This means eating only when you’re genuinely hungry, not because you’re bored or the clock says it’s time to eat. It also means taking time to eat slowly, giving your body the opportunity to digest and signal that it’s full, so you don’t overeat.

Mindful eating also includes making occasional allowances to indulge in any local delicacies or treats that whet your appetite. It’s often best to eat such treats in the early afternoon when you still have plenty of time to walk it off before you go to bed.

For more healthy eating tips from the team at 23 Sandstone Body and Mind Spa, call our office in Jackson, Tennessee, or schedule an appointment online any time.


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