I get way too much happiness from good food.
Nutritional integrity can be as easy to lose as your luggage when you head off on an adventure. But there are things you can do to stay the course whether you’re traveling for a nearby picnic or around the world. Why not plan ahead and come back without your body feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation? Here are a few tips to plan, pack, and put into action:
Pack Your Snacks
You can’t always guarantee that you can find clean, unprocessed snacks in airports or anywhere else. But you can leave a little space in your luggage to bring what you need along with you. Many people can’t eat any of the snacks offered by major airlines; things like pretzels, cheese crackers, etc. are all processed, and many are allergic to the peanut fall-back position. So bring your own.
Here are a few samples of foods that travel well during a travel day that you can bring in your carry on:
- baby carrots
- sliced cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers
- hummus for dipping
- dried fruit and nuts
- Ginger CocoNUT Balls click for recipe
Forage for Good Fuel
You never know what you’re going to find as you travel, but you can usually find a few standbys in most airports, and most communities you travel to. Always look for whole foods to eat, and wash your food as thoroughly as possible (using bottled water and small amount of vinegar or straight veg wash if outside the US or Europe.
There are usually a few clean or cleaner options in many airports. Let’s face it, Starbucks is everywhere. If you go for coffee, make it black without adding anything and choose a Protein Bistro Box; 1 hard boiled egg, grapes, apple slices, a couple of cheese slices and a whole grain and raisin bread. Pass on the cheese and bread if you’re Paleo or Vegan. Works in a pinch if you forgot snacks. Otherwise, bananas and apples are more frequently being offered at many in airport cafes. Just know that they are a lot pricier than the ones you might bring from home, and are wrapped in plastic.
A great way to get to know a culture is to visit the local farmer’s market or fresh grocer. Try what the locals enjoy. Travel outside your self for a more authentic experience. Again, do wash your foods wells with vinegar or a veg wash you bring before consuming. That just a smart thing to do.
Rent a Kitchen
These days it’s easier to find a place to stay with a Kitchen included. Using AirBnB, I’ve had more control over the good food I consume while staying in some amazing locations. And the people I’ve met this way have been pretty amazing too! Not your style? Search for hotels or chains that offer kitchenettes. Or, bring your own small set of bowls and utensils and stage a kitchen area on a coffee table or desk in your hotel room. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
More Veggies Please
I always encourage my clients to eat at least 50% veggies, and as much of that as green and cruciferous as possible. This can be very challenging if you’re eating at some restaurants, and is another reason to scope out where the local farmers sell their wares. But DO ask for extra veggies, opting for less proteins, sugars and processed foods. You’ll be doing your health a huge favor and you’ll travel with more energy.
Have Bottle, Refill!!
Make sure you’re well hydrated with clean, purified water. Water treatment has been an increasing issue here and there around the world; sometimes even in the U.S. So avoid tap water, and opt for bottled water on a temporary basis until you can ensure the water you’re drinking is purified. Best if you get water bottled in glass.
Indulgence vs Enjoyment
You’re traveling. You’re on vacation. You’re out of your element. You’re busy on business. You’re visiting relatives. These are all reasons we get into odd nutrition patterns on the road. This makes those snacks you bring yourself CRITICALLY important. A little indulgence is no big deal, but if you’re eating sugar and drinking alcohol daily there will be a waistline and detox issue to deal with once you’re back. It’s your choice. Look at eating consciously and make it your choice one way or another.
Use Your Knowledge
You don’t have to lose your mind unless you choose to do so on vacation. If you aren’t sure you know enough about how to eat clean and improve your nutrition, don’t worry that you’re the only one (you’re not) and don’t be shy. Contact me. I’ll help personalize a plan for you and help you revamp how to cook and eat clean.
Use your nutritional smarts to order well when going to restaurants, and choose wisely the rest of the time. Remember to:
- Ask servers how vegetables are prepared. Do they use Olive Oil?
- Opt for dressing on the side, and request olive oil and lemon, or olive oil and apple cider vinegar only. Balsamic vinegars are full of sugar just as most house dressings are, and red wine vinegar is processed too.
- Get the simple grilled animal protein instead of pastas, meats and foods that are cooked or slathered in tasty, yet sugar enhanced sauces (even the savory ones usually are).
- Order a big green salad without the candied pecans, croutons, etc. Insist on eating whole, unprocessed foods.
Eating clean is a choice. Life is a bowl of cherries. But you have to choose whether those cherries are whole, or maraschino. Right?