Eating Healthy While Traveling – Part 1

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A few weeks ago I wrote on the topic of finding your fitness home. That post was inspired by a class I took while on a business trip, and that, in turn, inspired me to write a short series of posts about eating healthy while traveling. As someone who travels with some frequency for both work and pleasure, I’ve built up an arsenal of tips and tricks that help me feel most like myself even when I’m far from home. The focus of this post is how to prepare yourself to snack healthfully when you’re on the go and traveling, and in subsequent posts I’ll dive into some strategies for healthier restaurant dining and some ways to get your sweat on, even if you’re in a new environment or tight on time.

So now let’s talk about eating healthy while traveling in planes, trains, and automobiles. One of the biggest keys to ongoing nutrition success is preparation, and in my experience, this rule stands when it comes to noshing on the road, too. Fortunately, many airports now have healthier food options available, but I always like to pack a few fail-safe snacks during a travel day to avoid finding myself devoid of choices that aren’t fast food, and to make sure I’m covered if I’m running late to catch a flight or a train. Some of my portable favorites include string cheese, almonds, crackers, popcorn, hardboiled eggs, single-serving nut butter packets, and Greek yogurt cups. For produce, I focus on hearty options that can stand up to travel. Fruits like pears, apples, and oranges are great choices, and for veggies, a couple tablespoons of hummus paired with celery and carrot sticks is a quick and easy option.

Especially if I’m traveling for work, it’s likely that I’ll be on the go for many hours at a time, making eating healthy while traveling very difficult, and nobody likes a “hangry” travel companion. If I know I can hit up a grocery store easily upon reaching my destination, I usually plan to make a quick stop to stock up on the essentials for my stay. If not, I stash a few extra non-perishable snacks, like nuts, dried fruit, and bars with a good mix of protein and carbs in my suitcase. A quick side bar on, ahem, bars: while they’re one of the most convenient options for travel snacks, most are loaded with sugar and aren’t much better nutritionally than a candy bar; so if you’re interested in eating healthy while traveling, they may not be the best option. Quest Bars from Quest Nutrition have lots of interesting flavors and are much lower on sugar than some others I’ve tried. I make it my goal to find bars that contain less than 10g of sugar whenever possible.

One final (and very important) tip for eating healthy while traveling: drink up! Plane travel is dehydrating, so I make sure to fill up my reusable water bottle before boarding and always request water during the in-flight beverage service. Staying well hydrated will help your skin look fresher, improve your energy levels, and help prevent sickness.

Be sure to check out Eating Healthy While Traveling – Part 2!

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