Did you ever travel and feel like your entire goal of eating healthy has come to a halt? Aside a busy work week schedule, one of the top complaints I receive from clients for not eating healthy is lack of healthy food while traveling. What can you do to make sure you’re keen of your health while traveling, and save yourself from having to eat fast food or of the likes? I’ll give you a few tips that my clients have found rather helpful during traveling, whether it’s a family summer vacation or a business trip.
First off, travel prepared. How can you do so? I advise that you pack healthy snacks in your bag including: organic dried fruit, squeezable pouches of organic nut butters (or jars if it’s a long trip), variety of nuts, and clean ingredient snack bars. If you’re road traveling, pack fresh fruits and vegetables and keep them at your hand’s reach. Be sure to place them in a cooler with ice to stay fresh, and save them from perishing before you get a chance to eat them. Having carrots at hand along some nut butters is a great healthy snack that will grant you satiety and satisfy cravings. Nuts are a wonderful snack, full of healthy fats, vitamins, and protein. I enjoy baking a big batch of my organic peanut butter protein cookies before road trips. What’s better than satisfying your sweet tooth without sabotaging your health?
Secondly, do some research. The majority of restaurants have wonderful websites with detailed menus. Research your travel destination and see what restaurants are in your area. Try avoiding fast food by all means. Worst case scenario, if that’s your only option; opt for a salad without their dressing, croutons, or cheese. I know, you might as well walk into a nearby grocery store and purchase some lettuce. It might sound like a joke, but why not?
If I’m traveling for a longer time and am staying in a hotel, I first make sure my hotel has a refrigerator. I then find a local Whole Foods or grocery store, and purchase some fresh organic greens, veggies for salads like avocadoes, red onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes, some good quality nuts (roasted without hydrogenated soybean oils), and fresh fruit. On family vacations, a few other snacks we might get include organic good ingredient chips (like Beanitos or Way Better Snacks), granola, and oatmeal packets. Try staying gear of oatmeal full of sugar and preservatives. I opt for organic oats, and actually purchase gluten-free due to a family member’s gluten intolerance. Bakery on Maine is one of my favorite brands, and carries a number of delicious flavors to choose from. Their oatmeal comes along with quinoa and other gluten-free grains for a boost of nutrients. This oatmeal has saved me on a number of trips when I was looking for a quick yet healthy breakfast.
Next, don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, we should plan ahead and prepare to keep our health in check while traveling. However, not everything always goes as planned, and that’s okay. If you had a treat here and there don’t punish yourself over it. After all, if you’re eating healthy every day of the week and treated yourself while traveling, at a party, or during an occasion, you’re not to worry over it. Having a 90 to 10 percent diet is a great way to eat healthy while leaving room for your favorite treats. If that’s too much for you, try an 80 to 20 percent in which you’re eating your healthy food 80% of your diet, and leaving 20% for goodies. Why do I advise this? Well, many times I have clients who come in fresh and ready for change. If they go hard core and restrict themselves greatly, they’re less likely to reach long term goals. Following a percentage like this allows you to feel like your healthy eating is a part of your lifestyle, not a limited time intense diet. In this case, you’ll be able to stay fit without feeling deprived.
Another great tip is to find out if your hotel has a fitness room. If that’s not possible, look for a nearby park in which you can take time out for exercise. If you are business traveling and know you’ll be sitting in meetings all day long, then it’s extremely important that you put time in your schedule, either before, during or after, for exercise. Even a short walk during your lunch break will help to keep your blood flowing properly, and will actually keep you more energized then if you skipped the walk. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is racing up the hotel stairs. It’s especially exciting when we end up on the 14th floor of the hotel. Make exercise fun and enjoyable activity, not a punishment because you had a bite of a brownie at the event the night before.
Last of all; take pleasure in your vacation. Whether it’s a road trip with the siblings or a summer long vacation, be sure to relax and make it enjoyable. Try implementing one or several of these tips during your next trip, and see the difference you feel in your physical and mental health.
Editor’s Note: Noor Salem is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and is CEO of her own wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition, LLC. Noor specialized in women’s health, weight loss, and food intolerance versus allergies. She offers individual and group health coaching programs, and is a speaker on the topic of holistic health at workshops and seminars. To learn more about her work visit her website at www.holisticnoortrition.com or find her on Twitter, @NoortritionLLC. The views expressed here are her own.