Maintaining Your Nutritional Goals While Traveling

There are pockets throughout the year where it just seems like you can’t get into a consistent groove. Whether, your traveling for work or taking a vacation being away from home for long periods of time can really though your healthy lifestyle out of rhythm.  

Just because you are away from home though and are not able to meal prep your way to success does not mean you can’t find ways to hack the system and do a little planning ahead of time to continue your new healthy eating routine.

In this article we are going to take about what the hardest hurdles are when it comes to food while traveling and how to you can continue your success.

Taveling Hurdles

AIRPORTS

The first thing that comes to mind when traveling is tackling the airport. Not only is it stressful to get through security and avoid missing your flight but often times flights interrupt our regular eating schedule. I often get asked what the best thing to eat are in airports and while certain airports are better than others – you just never know what healthy options might be available to you. So here are some ideas you can use:

  1. If you you have the option to make a meal with you – DO IT! Even if you are just able to pack a few snacks it’s better than the chicken nuggets or burger fair your likely to run into. Pack some easy to go snacks like:
    1. Carrots & hummus,
    2. Pita with veggies & deli turkey
    3. Almonds or trail mix
    4. Protein powder and then add water or see if you can find almond milk once you are through security.
  2. If you are short on time and don’t have the option to pack something then look in the airport for some of these:
    1. Yogurt
    2. Fruit – there is almost always stands that include fresh fruit options.
    3. Smoothies – just check the ingredients to make sure there are no unusual ingredients or added flavorings.
    4. Salad w/ lean protein like chicken or a hard boiled egg. Just look to have the dressing on the side so you can control how much you are using.
    5. Nuts & Seeds – for quick grab and go protein.
    6. Oatmeal – most coffee shops have this option!
  3. This is more of what to avoid at all costs:
    1. Heavy, gressy, and fried foods
    2. Raw seafood, buffets, or mayo-based salads.
    3. Super salty snacks
    4. Sugar filled treats and beverages
  4. #1 Thing to do:
    1. Drink Water!!! Flights are super dehydrating so pack a water bottle and fill it up once you get past security.

VACATION

So your on vacation and you just landed in your destination. If you had a long flight – your probably hungry and your first thought is food. The first thing to do to on any trip is to do your research ahead of time and see what you have available to you.

  1. If at all possible when booking your lodging see if you can have a kitchenette or look into Air BnB and book a place with a full kitchen. This will allow you to be able to prepare some meals or at the very least keep some healthy snacks available to prevent munching on processed chips and sugary granola bars. Some helpful items to store in your kitchenette:
    1. Fruit & Veggies
    2. Hummus
    3. Eggs (to make for breakfast or to hard boil for snacks)
    4. Protein Powder
    5. Almond Milk
    6. Sandwich fixings
    7. Rx Bars
    8. Microwave Popcorn
  2. When you are looking to eat out plan ahead!
    1. Read the menu ahead of time
    2. Look for farm to table or organic restaurants when possible
    3. Requesting to cook with olive oil instead of plant based oils is another really good rule of thumb.
    4. Avoid heavy, greasy, & fried foods
    5. Build your plate with veggies, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates
    6. Ask for sauces or salad dressings on the side
    7. Say no to appetizers and dessert
  3. Keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum
    1. I get that it’s your vacation and I certainly think you can enjoy some fun fruity drinks but just know they are packed with sugar so if you can opt for something more straight forward like a Gin & Tonic or Titos & Seltzer than your going to feel way less bloated in your bathing suit.
    2. If you are drinking make sure that you continue to also drink water. It is very easy to get dehydrated or get heat exhaustion if you are drinking in a warm climate. A good rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water or one water bottle in between each drink.
  4. Try to keep your eating schedule similar to at home
    1. Try to eat a balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
    2. Include healthy snacks your keeping in your room when needed
    3. Keep late night snacks & sweet treats to a minimum

BUSINESS TRIPS

To be honest when you are traveling for vacation you have more control over your schedule and when and where you are eating. When you travel for business you often have meetings and are often have little choice over where the food is coming from for some of your major meals. There are some tips you can use from the vacation section that still apply that can be very helpful so if you are able to follow those tips then please do.

  1. Avoid platters and buffets that may be offered to you from business meetings
  2. Drink water throughout your day
  3. Decline coffee past noon
  4. If you have people taking you out to eat to try to stick to choosing a lean protein like chicken or fish with veggies and a complex carbohydrate like potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa.
  5. If drinking is involved try to either decline or stick to one beverage.

Final Thoughts

Traveling can be stressful – there is no doubt. However, just because you are traveling does not mean that all common sense or your goals need to get thrown out the window. I think using some of the tips outlined above you can find balance between being healthy and  also allowing yourself to enjoy your food. Vacation or even traveling for work in new destinations is supposed to be exciting. So take the time to try some of the local cuisine. If the specialize in seafood! Try it – just try to have it baked or grilled instead of battered & deep fried. Little changes like this add up in a big way.

Always ask questions about how your food is prepared. We often don’t want to come off as being that person who is bugging someone. However, it is your servers job to make sure you have a good experience. So please ask them questions about how the food is sourced and prepared so you can make the best decision for you about what you are consuming. We vote with our dollar so make sure you are getting what you body truly deserves, which is good nutritious, food.

Last but not least enjoy your trip! If you want to indulge a little than by all means do so! Vacation or even traveling for work in new destinations is supposed to be exciting. So take the time to try some of the local cuisine. If the specialize in seafood! Try it – just try to have it baked or grilled instead of battered & deep fried.

Little changes like this add up in a big way.

If you want more personalized tips or would like to get started with a meal plan that works with your busy schedule go ahead and click the link below.

 

 

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