Eating Healthy On the Road
I don’t know about you, but eating healthy on the road is a major challenge for me. One thing I don’t like about traveling for an extended period of time is how it can wreak havoc on my routine and my diet, especially when you’re not surrounded by a culture of conscious eating. I’m very much a routine person so I find myself getting a little cranky when I’m on the road for too long and I can’t fix my own food.
Some days you’re only served airplane food or fast food, and other days you find yourself tempted by that room service burger and an extra creme brûlée. I’m not saying I regret all these magical room service moments, but a few, yes. Eating healthy on the road is a challenge, but it’s not impossible – it just takes some planning and willpower. So, here are some tips for eating healthy on the road that works for me!
1. How to Eat Healthy on the Road? Plan Your Food
If you’re going on a road trip, this is a lot easier. But international travel can be a pain in the ass to plan your meals unless you’re staying put in one place for a long time.
But, before your flight, it’s helpful to buy your own food so you don’t have to eat whatever awful stuff is at the airport. Whenever I run out of edible options, that’s when I cave and eat crap, and then I feel worse. I’m shocked at how often I find it hard to find a decent healthy bite at the airport. Seriously, it’s like prison food in most places. But, this is another story!!
Pre-planning your meals or pre-preparing food to take on the airplane isn’t unheard of, at least in Japan. I love pre-preparing my meals because I know what I’m eating and I know it’ll taste good.
In Japan, people use a Bento Box. They’re kinda catching on here in America, but because we live in such a fast-food culture, it’s not as mainstream. This GRUB2Go Bento Box is seriously awesome and allows you to stack different foods and separate your utensils.
Protein bars and health bars are some of the best food to take on the plane and to the airport. Protein helps to keep you full too. But taking the effort to pack a sandwich or a favorite snack will keep you from eating crap while waiting around for your flight.
2. Avoid Temptation
I’m not denying it, I love certain fast foods. Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out burger are delicious, but I rarely eat these meals more than a couple of times a year. I try hard to stay away from their beckoning aroma of greasy delicious fat. Yet when it comes to deliciously bad food, I have the willpower of my dog sitting in front of a sirloin. Road-trips present a greater challenge here as well. If I allow myself to get hungry, I will stop at the next burger joint. Packing healthy snacks is a must, but it’s helpful to stop at supermarkets instead when you get hungry. Avoiding these places from the start is quite helpful.
3. Pack Small Treats
There’s no way in hell I could ever give up chocolate. I have a terrible sweet tooth as well, so I have to pay a lot more attention to the sizes of sweets I eat. If you can find smaller chocolates or bite-sized amounts of treats, these usually are sufficient to hold off larger cravings. The same could be said for all portion sizes.
4. Try to Avoid Stress
Stress is a major killer of all diets. When we’re stressed, we reach for food to comfort us, and studies show that our willpower diminishes significantly in the face of stress. So obviously, not putting ourselves into stressful situations can help us achieve a lot in terms of maintaining healthy eating habits. Traveling with people who don’t stress out is hugely important, but also it helps to prepare and plan as much as you can to prevent any unwanted stress.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Flying dehydrates our bodies and so does traveling, so drinking a lot of water is important to stay on top of our game. If we get dehydrated then we feel tired and when we feel tired, we don’t have the energy to worry about eating healthy, so that’s when we’ll be more liable to grab fast food or tempting stuff. Keeping hydrated is fundamental to keeping energy levels high.
6. Eat A Good Breakfast
Eating a good breakfast every morning full of protein and complex carbs can help keep our blood sugar level and keep us full longer. Eating healthy on the road is possible, but of course, it’s fun to splurge too. But splurging too often can definitely set you back a few pounds and negatively affect your energy levels.
7. Fit in Some Exercise
Eating well and exercising go hand in hand. When you exercise, you feel better. Your energy levels rise and you feel like you’re making positive healthy choices towards a healthier lifestyle. If you find yourself eating terribly bad one day, you may feel like all is lost so what the hell, why not splurge? But working out for just fifteen minutes can feel empowering and can re-inspire you to make healthier eating choices.
8. How to Eat Healthy On the Road? Shop the Market
Shopping at the local market is an awesome way to explore the culture and also get some of the freshest ingredients. It’s pretty much impossible to eat badly at a place like the Hoi An market in Vietnam.
9. Eat at Cooking Schools
Cooking schools often prepare foods from locally grown ingredients and with minimal processing. We had the best meal at the Casa Luna Cooking School in Bali and no doubt, it was full of healthy spices and so much taste.
10. Travel to Healthy Places
Some places are just healthier than others. LA, for example, has far better options than Houston, and eating in Bali is just a lot healthier than say Beijing. If you’re bent on being health conscious on the road, the place you travel to is worth a lot of consideration.
Healthy Travel Food Suggestions:
- Homemade Trail Mix
- Hummus Cups
- Protein Bars
- Protein Shakes
- Flax chips
- Wasabi Chickpeas
- Dark Chocolate