Here are some tips on how to maintain your healthy lifestyle by eating healthy when traveling. These tips will be helpful to you on any trip you might go on!
Every year Jordan and I go for a road trip somewhere. It just so happens every year we end up going to Maine. It’s just so beautiful there! This year we camped out on Mount Desert Island near Acadia National Park for a whole week! Every year prior to this we never planned much of the trip at all. We would simply pack up the essentials and go. We even slept in my Jeep a few times. This year, there was no way we could be that spontaneous if we wanted to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So we planned for once – and it was great! Here are some useful tips of mine that are sure to help you on your travels too.
1. Bring your own snacks. You are going to get hungry and get the munchies while traveling. It’s just a given. I know as soon as we get on the road I am reaching for road snacks. Even if you’re traveling on a plane or a train, snacks are essential. You don’t want to be without healthy snacks and forced to pick up something unhealthy from a gas station. Pack things like raw nuts and seeds or dried fruit. Raw veggies are great too. If you need to keep things cold, pack a small lunch box or cooler with ice packs or ice.
What we packed: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, almond butter, hard boiled eggs, home made almond butter balls.
2. Plan ahead. This sort of goes without saying, but it is so incredibly important. You plan ahead when you are eating healthy at home, right? Well, the same goes for traveling, only it requires even a bit more planning. It requires thinking and prioritizing. Where are you going? Where are you going to store produce when you get there? Is there a fridge where you are going? How are you going to prepare the food? Will you have a place for cooking? Where will you store vegetables? Try and make these questions, and answers to them, a priority. Stay in a place with a fridge and have access to a cooking area. For camping, that might mean bringing appliances for cooking. If you are staying in a hotel, try to get a hotel room with a kitchen that you can use. Also try and bring your own healthy cooking oils!
What we did: We searched for a campground with either electrical hook-up or a place where we could plug in our own mini-fridge. Fortunately we found a campground that had a Rec Room where they were kind enough to allow us to keep our mini fridge. We brought a mini grill and a single burner propane stove as well as a few camping cooking essentials so we could cook our own meals! It was so easy and so much better (and cheaper!) than dining out all the time.
This was probably my favorite dinner we made. We used all local ingredients (aside from the almonds). It included grilled bell pepper, grilled grass fed organic beef burgers with grilled eggplant and tomato wrapped in collards, parsnips, cherry tomatoes, and a delicious salad of baby kale, celery greens, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, topped with kimchi!
3. Plan your stay near a food market, co-op, or farmer’s market. Again, this means you are putting your health first which is great! Do a web search of the area you are staying in and see where the nearest co-ops are and when and where the farmer’s markets are. If there are none (bummer!), at least look for grocery stores or markets where they will have produce and veggies. Most likely you will need to re-stock up on healthy foods while you are there.
What we did: We knew we were going to Mount Desert Island, ME, so we searched the web for “farmer’s markets on Mount Desert Island”, and “co-ops on Mount Desert Island”. We found the one co-op on the island as well as found out when and where the farmer’s markets were. This allowed us to better plan our stay around how we were going to eat while we were there. We went to two farmer’s markets and stopped at the co-op numerous times. We ate fresh organic local veggies and meats every day!
4. Pick healthy places for dining out. Although I prefer doing my own cooking, while traveling it is nearly impossible to do all the cooking yourself. Eventually you will go out to eat somewhere. When you do, look for a restaurant with a generally healthy menu. You will most likely have to filter through the pizza places, sandwich shops, and fast food joints, but eventually you will find something that at least has a good salad selection if not more. If all you can find is a place with salads, try and bring your own home-made dressing or eat your salad without dressing. Dressings provided by most restaurants are usually full of sugar and ingredients your body does not recognize!
What we did: This was very difficult for us. We only went out to eat a few times. We ended up going to the same place twice where I got a salad of veggies topped with lobster meat with no dressing (yum!). Then after walking around and searching for a while we found a great juice bar where we both enjoyed fresh pressed veggie juice!
This was a dinner we made with all local ingredients! Seen here is lamb burgers, parsnips, grilled kohlrabi, carrots, and collards for wrapping the burgers! And of course, kale had to make an appearance!
5. Always have water on hand. Stay hydrated! Especially if you are being active. Also remember that thirst is often mistaken for hunger. This goes for every day life as well!
6. Eat a decent sized, healthy breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. When you eat a good healthy breakfast full of protein, healthy fats, and nutritious vegetables, you will be fueled for the day. For us, breakfast kept us fueled for most of the day until dinner. Throughout the day, carry raw nuts in case you need a little pick-me-up.
What we had for breakfast: Pretty much every day breakfast consisted of two eggs and some sautéed local veggies such as squash, bell peppers, and greens of some kind. These veggies happened to be in season, but you can really throw in whatever veggies you want. Mixing and matching veggies for breakfast is the fun part!
Most of all, have fun! If you are nourishing yourself with nutritious whole foods you should feel great for your travels so you can have the best experiences of your life.
Safe and healthy travels!