When you think of eating on the road, is Taco Bell the first thing you think of? Does eating healthy go out the window the second you arrive at the airport? We’re not going to lie — we’ve been culprits of this — but recently we had a change of tune and here’s why: certain foods and meals leave you feeling depleted, bloated, and tired. Not the best formula when you want to make the most of your travels, not to mention adventures! Making better food choices while traveling will not only have a positive impact on your leisure time, but eating healthy and drinking plenty of water also sustains your energy levels, fuels your muscles, and help you recover quickly so you’re up for any activity, anytime. Think of eating healthy while traveling as your passport to making the most of your journey.
Here’s our guide for eating healthy while traveling:
Eat frequent, smaller portions.
Eating too much at one sitting can not only make you feel sluggish and sleepy, it sends a signal to your brain that leaner times are ahead, so those calories will get stored as fat. Eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day, on the other hand, sends tells your brain that the food supply is plentiful, so it can burn through those calories quickly.
Healthy eating starts with where you choose to stop.
Just because it’s called “fast food” doesn’t mean it’s the only choice for “fast” food. If you stop at a grocery store, or even a supermarket, you’ll find your choices are much more plentiful and junk food won’t be as tempting. Items like fresh fruits, bagged carrots, nuts, hummus are good choices. Instead of chips, you can get celery and dip it into peanut butter for a delicious snack.
Nothing slows down the metabolism more than skipping meals. Often when we’re traveling, we don’t have access to food at regular intervals. But when you skip a meal, your body responds as if it’s facing a food shortage. To keep your mind and body strong and stable, pack healthy snacks that you can grab when you need it. Easy-t0-pack and transport items like a bag of almonds or trail mix, or an orange or apple, will tide you over until your next meal.
Get plenty of protein.
When you need energy for a long excursion or day of travel, stock up your body with high-quality, lean protein. Eating the right amount of protein for your body has far-reaching positive effects, from stabilizing blood sugar and enhancing concentration to keeping your muscles strong and lean. Many nutritionists recommend eating a “complete protein,” which means any animal and dairy product or a grain plus a legume (such as whole grain bread with nut butter, or corn tortilla with beans).
Take natural supplements.
We never leave for a trip without oregano oil and grapefruit seed oil supplements. Oregano acts as a natural antibiotic and grapefruit seed helps to ward off any parasites. When you’re traveling, you’re often eating foods your body isn’t used to — taking these daily (follow the label’s instructions or consult your local nutrition store expert) will help keep you feeling healthy while on the road.
Avoid “bad” foods.
When you’re on the road, it’s a good idea to avoid foods that drain your energy and bring you down. Resist the urge from indulging in sodas, fruit juices, refined grains, sugary snacks, anything fried, and artificial sweeteners, all of which aren’t good for you any time, not just when traveling.
We all know flights dehydrate us, but often when on the road, we’re not thinking about carrying with us the water bottle that we’d normally have with us at home. The body needs water for pretty much everything. Drinking plenty of water will help with jet lag, altitude sickness, overexposure to sun, flush your body of toxins, and keep your skin looking fresh.
Consult a mobile app.
When in doubt…there are mobile apps that can help you make better food choices and eat healthy while traveling.
All that said, if you’re a diligent and healthy eater at home, sometimes a road trip is the best excuse to indulge in some of your favorite junk treats too! We’re not saying stop at every fast food chain (please don’t!), but we are saying that if you decide to eat some BBQ Pork Rinds and Gummy Bears (Lanee’s junk food of choice) or Cheese Its and Red Vines (Lindsay’s), we’re not telling anyone… Just be sure to quit the junk food once the drive to your destination is over, and try to soften the blow with some nutritious snacks, like an apple, too.