Five Tips To Healthy Eating When On The Road
Going on the road doesn’t have to mean taking a vacation from healthy eating. A little preparation and investigation can go a long way.
Here are five tips to help you eat healthfully while you’re traveling or vacationing this summer and year-round:
1. Healthy eating should start where you stop.
When you are on the road, refrain from stopping at fast-food restaurants, where your food choices will typically be limited to greasy and processed foods. Instead, stop at a grocery store that offers whole or healthy foods, such as Whole Foods, Sprouts or a local co-op in the area. These stores offer hot and cold food bars with healthier choices, such as grass-fed burgers, stir fries, salads, fruits, nuts and other healthy fare.
2. Eat plenty of protein.
Eating protein helps stabilize blood sugar and enhance concentration, while contributing to a lean and strong body. Be sure to eat some protein with each meal (such as meat, poultry, eggs, yogurt or seafood) as well as with snacks (such as beef/turkey jerky and nuts). Many stores carry protein powder that can be mixed with water or smoothies if you need a quick fix.
While on vacation recently, I found this Paleo Granola at a Whole Foods (http://paleonola.myshopify.com/collections/featured/products/chocolate-fix) and mixed it with unsweetened coconut yogurt and fruit as a snack. It was absolutely delicious!
3. Pack snacks so you’re not skipping meals.
Often when we’re traveling, we don’t have access to food at regular intervals, or we skip meals. This makes for low blood sugar, bad moods (“LBS”, or Low Blood Sugar, as we say with our kids) and often cravings for unhealthy foods. Ultimately this leads to stopping at fast food joints and making poor choices.
To keep your mind and body humming, pack healthy snacks in your car or backpack, such as nuts, raw vegetables and hummus or guacamole, yogurt and berries, fresh and dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, smoked salmon and all-natural jerky. My kids also like seaweed and kale chips.
4. Avoid “feel bad” foods.
These are foods you crave (often when you blood sugar is low), that often leave you feeling sick or depleted. Some foods to avoid include: (1) simple carbohydrates or high glycemic foods, such as fruit juices, sodas, refined grain products, or sugary snacks; (2) anything deep fried; (3) nonfat desserts and sweeteners, which are loaded with chemicals that your body can’t easily metabolize; (4) anything partially hydrogenated (this includes non-dairy creamer, Jiffy-style peanut butter, margarine, and most packaged baked goods); and (5) excess alcohol.
5. Drink lots of water.
Your body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Drinking enough water helps with detoxification, keeps your skin clear, and help you to eat less. Keeping hydrated can also help you avoid travel lag, symptoms of overexposure to the heat or sun, and junk-food cravings. Many of the unhealthy cravings we experience can be satisfied with a cool glass of water.
- Call your hotel and see if they can put a fridge in your room so you can store fresh/whole foods
- Find out where the Whole Foods or local co-op is
- Choose healthier fast food places, like Chipotle
- Find out where the healthier restaurants are before you get to your destination. Try searching online under “farm to table restaurant” + the name of your destination
- Pack a cooler for your car or small cooler bag for the plane ride with one or two kid-sized ice packs
By following these tips during your vacation, you can use an ounce or preparation to prevent a pound of post travel frustration!