Whether you are traveling on vacation or for work, it’s not easy to maintain your healthy ways on the road. And unless you are going on a wellness retreat to Rancho La Puerta or the Ranch in Malibu, you aren’t likely to start a health regime on the road either.
So much of being on vacation is about letting go and enjoying yourself, which often means letting go of your good habits. If traveling for work, it likely involves lunch meetings with el grande sandwiches, pasta salad and afternoon cookies followed by indulgent dinners on expense budgets. So how do you make good choices while traveling such that you aren’t kicking yourself when you get home and set yourself up to “have your cake and eat it too?”
Since travel involves both how to stay healthy on your way there and then what to do once you get there, I thought I would address both.
Whether you are traveling by plane or auto, the key is to think ahead – yes, just like you planned your trip, you need to give this one a little thought as well. Once you are dialed in the first time, you are good to go for all future trips.
If by car:
Avoid the fast food and think ahead. Seriously guys. Aren’t we done with that?
Well…maybe not if you don’t think ahead — Confession time! On my last family trip this summer with my kids, we ended up at Pizza Hut and CPK in the middle of nowhere in Colorado because I didn’t plan ahead. YIKES!!! Let me just say that this was the last time my kids will ever eat fast food as they all felt so bad afterwards that I no longer have to preach why we don’t eat it. We are officially done with that and for the rest of our very long road trip, we stocked up at Whole Foods everywhere we went.
So how do you avoid being in the situation I was just in? Grab a cooler and fill it with fresh fruit, healthy snacks, rice crackers or rice chips, trail mix, cut veggies, sliced organic cheese or meats, salad, wraps or any other healthy options that you would eat at home. Easy peasy.
If by plane:
While I will acknowledge that the airlines have definitely improved their food options with “healthier snack box options” (albeit we now pay for them), the key is “er” in that you could probably pack yourself some better options. If you happen to be at one of the newly renovated glammed airports with some much better healthy food options, grab yourself a salad, cut veggies or some trail mix. Want to be more in control and make sure you aren’t left eating a bag of dorritos? Here are some great, easy snack ideas to bring with you so you’re well prepared and start your trip off right:
- Trail mix – Living Intentions has some of my favorites – available at Whole Foods or Beaming or other specialty markets – I love their Mango Fire mix.
- Apple or pear – low glycemic and the crunch alone curbs appetite
- Tea bags of your favorite tea – the warmth of tea will curb appetite and keep you enjoying your movie and not giving into your unhealthy cravings
- Kale chips or other veggie chip (Alive and Radiant has some great ones) – just beware, these snacks can pack on the calories so choose a portion control to minimize over snacking
- Protein bars – all protein bars are NOT created equal btw and are filled with sugars, hydrogenated oils and GMO processed soy or whey proteins. Before buying your next protein bar, start looking at the ingredients – if you can’t spell or pronounce them or it sounds like it came from a lab, it did! Since I was so frustrated with finding a clean protein bar, I took it upon myself to find the best, most natural ones on the market and now sell these at Beaming. Here are some of my favorites – available online, at Beaming and some at Whole Foods:
- Raw Crunch
- Earthling Organics
- Raw Revolution
- Good On Ya Superhero Bar
- Nii Bars
- BEAMING Protein Bite – packed with over 32 superfoods, 6 grams of protein and 130 calories, these are AMAZING. Only trick is you have to keep the cold. Available at Beaming Del Mar (and future locations) as well as through our cleanse programs.
- Beaming Superfood Protein Packs – an delicious, easy way to add 12g of (plant based) protein and tons of nutrition in one fell swoop. Add to water, almond milk or coconut water and you have a protein drink that will keep you well nourished and energized.
- Water water and more water– will flush the toxins from the air and help minimize swelling, dehydration and exhaustion from travel.
My top 11 HEALTHY travel tips once you get there:
- Scope out the nearby healthy restaurants, cafes and juice bars. Ask the concierge that may be nearby and definitely take the time ahead of time to scope out some great options. Healthy is the new “in” so there are more and more options popping up everywhere – even in smaller towns.
- Stock the mini bar from a local healthy market. If the option exists, stock your mini bar from a healthy market such as Whole Foods or other local favorite – grab some green drinks, perhaps some yogurt or hard boiled eggs, avocado, fruit or whatever you may want in the morning to start your day healthy.
- Be mindful of portions. Remember, if you are eating out, the portions are likely double or more what you would eat at home. And since you aren’t the one making the food, its almost certain that they use more butter or olive oil than you would use in a week which means calories, fat, calories, fat.
- Pass on the bread at lunch or dinner. Unless it’s the most insanely delicious bread you have ever seen, it’s not worth it. Save your calories for something else.
- Drink lots of water before each meal and add lemon to your water to alkalize. I ask for a plate of lemons at every meal. Lemons also help to curb appetite and are optimal for alkalizing your body. As your body is likely fairly acidic from the travel as well as wine, animal proteins, bread and other, the lemon will help to balance your PH.
- Drink warm tea during my meals. This is one of my greatest tricks as hot tea will curb your appetite and satisfy the oral need to drink and eat likely resulting in less of both.
- Go for salads but beware of the dressing. Yes, salads are a great option but beware of the dressing as it can often have more calories than fettuccine alfredo. Also beware of the nuts, croutons, bacon and dressing served with many salads. I always ask for dressing on the side which allows me to control the amount so its not drenched. I often drizzle lemon and sea salt which allows me to use less dressing, adds flavor and has no calories.
- Lean protein and veggies at every meal. You can never go wrong with this choice at least for lunch and dinner. It’s starches like French Fries, bread, potatoes and other calorie rich, nutrition-less foods that get us in trouble.
- Your cake and eat it too….Dessert! Lets face it, it just tastes better on vacation and you’ve earned it! My suggestion – make a choice, perhaps its dessert over the wine or, like me, I love tastes so I will often order the dessert and limit myself to 1 or 2 bites. Its enough to satisfy and feel like I indulged without feeling like crap because I ate too much and then feel gross. I often think of Kate Moss’s quote – “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” – a quote not to argue over as much as it does make me think twice about how much I really need that dessert….
- Choose low sugar alcohol. Whether on vacation or work travel, its likely a part of your dinner and one that we look forward to. Again, everything in moderation. If you are going to drink, choose wine or alcohol such as vodka, gin or tequila that is low in sugar. More importantly, choose low sugar mixers such as soda, lime and lemon. The less sugar the better which also means no hangover…wink wink.
- Nutribullet time for Superfood Smoothies on the road! I know, random that I added one more tip to make it 11 but I couldn’t resist sharing one of my favorite tricks that is a must have for me while traveling! If you can fit it in your bag, it’s worth investing in a nutribullet allowing you to make smoothies on the road — they have travel size and I think even Target and Costco sell them! What a great way to get in your greens and guarantee at least one super healthy meal! Bring Beaming Superfood Plant Protein with Greens and if you can, pick up some almond milk, coconut water and whatever veggies and fruits you love and voila, you have packed your body with protein, superfood greens and so much good that your body will thrive. Just by incorporating something like this or even a green juice each day, keeps your body balanced in the midst of the inevitable and much appreciated indulgences of travel.
Safe travels and enjoy!
We always love hearing from you so let us know how you stay healthy when traveling. Find these tips healthy, share with a friend?!