How to Eat Healthy While You Travel
After years of traveling for both work and pleasure, I've uncovered the best ways to eat healthy while you travel. We will also look at the biggest traps to be aware of - and how you can avoid them.
Is It Possible To Eat Healthy At the Airport?
A lot of adjectives come to mind when I think about airport food, but healthy isn't one of them. But that doesn't mean you have to give up eating healthy when you travel by air. Here are some ways to eat healthy at the airport.
- Fresh Fruit - Most airports offer at least a few selections of fresh fruit, either a fruit cup or a banana.
- Prepackaged Snacks - If you are reaching for the hanging rack next to the newspapers, opt for nuts or dried fruit, such as raw almonds or dry-roasted peanuts.
- Wash It Down - Reach past the sugary sodas for bottled water.
- Brown Bag It - It isn't just for grade school kids. Bring travel friendly food such as a natural peanut butter & honey sandwich.
- Watch Portion Size - If bringing your own lunch isn't your bag, try to make healthy choices at the airport restaurant. Opt for whole-grains, lots of veggies and skip added extras, like mayo and butter.
Whenever you hit a new city, scope out the local farmers markets for great healthy options. A lot of farmer's markets have booths selling ready-made meals and snacks, often from local farms and ranches.
Sample some gourmet cheeses, some fresh-made whole wheat bread, and some nitrate-free beef jerky made from grass-feds cows.
This has the added benefit of showing you another side of a city that you might not otherwise see on your travels.
Visit the Grocery Store When On Vacation
Even if you are not staying at a hotel with a kitchenette, you can still hit the grocery store. Things like fresh fruit and nuts are a great healthy options.
You can also grab the ingredients for a healthy lunch, such as a tuna salad sandwich made with plain Greek yogurt and whole wheat bread. I'm almost certain this sandwich has more protein and less calories than ordering a tuna salad sandwich at a nearby restaurant.
A lot of grocery stores also have a deli counter where you can order fresh salads, bean & rice burritos and more.
Dining Out On the Road
If you do visit a few restaurants, here are some tips to keep you eating healthy:
- Watch portion sizes. Ask for a smaller portion or a lunch-sized portion
- Go whole grain - think brown rice, whole wheat buns, etc.
- Skip the add-ons - Mayo and ketchup don't add a lot of nutritional value for the calories, instead opt for salsa or mustard
- Baked, not fried - stay away from fried foods, and opt for baked, broiled or steamed options
- Veggies, please - try and add as many veggies to your meal as possible
- Nix the grease - Ask if your order can be prepared with less grease or oil. At Sonic Drive-In for example, the cooks can prepare burgers without the "bun oil" without sacrificing taste
If you are dining in at the hotel for breakfast, here are some strategies for healthy eating:
- Hard-boiled eggs - less added junk than the scrambled eggs
- Salsa - if you do go with scrambled eggs, add some salsa rather than ketchup to sneak in a few veggies
- Rice Krispies - a better pick than the frosted flakes
- Fresh Fruit - more fiber than fruit juice
- Waffles with peanut butter - more protein than the pancake syrup
On The Go Snacks
Carry healthy snacks with you so you aren't as tempted to run into the convenience store when hunger strikes. Here are some ideas we haven't yet covered:
- Plum Amazins - Diced plums are Sunsweet's answer to raisins
- Trail mix
- Natural popcorn
- Granola Bars
Is It Easier or Harder to Eat Healthy On the Road
Know How You Define Healthy
"Healthy" and "diet" are not the same thing. Eating healthy doesn't mean loading up on low-calorie diet sodas with artificial sweeteners. Eating healthy also doesn't mean giving up great steak or cutting out all fat. It means eating nourishing foods that provide high nutritional value.
So, enjoy your travels, sample some new foods, and keep eating healthy!