Written by Lauren Rae, CPT and Wellness Coach at TRYM Fitness
Work travel, the kids’ spring break, and annual summer vacations might have you packing your bags and heading out. Unfortunately, many trips, vacations or not, can turn into an all-you-can-eat experience that packs on more stress and extra inches than memories. Shockingly, those vacationing in the USA with supersize-me portions gained an average of 8 pounds in two weeks! Avoid extra inches and have fun without the weight gain by learning to travel-proof your nutrition. It’s simple! Just follow these guidelines for packing and choosing smart foods that fuel your health and wellness goals while traveling.
Bring your own food & beverage to the airport
Pack your carry-on with items that are airport security friendly and also reflect your normal lifestyle when at home. While the exposure to new treats and beverages can be tempting, packing healthy snack options like freeze dried fruit and nuts will save you extra money and calories when hunger strikes at meal time. Pack a travel bottle that is compatible with hot and cold liquid. In a small bag or container you can bring several servings loose leaf tea or tea bags and instant coffee. Water and hot water are generally complimentary at restaurants and cafes.
Foods that travel well:
- Single serving instant oatmeal packs
- Freeze dried fruit
- Fresh organic apples and oranges
- Ormus Greens
- Raw unsalted nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios
- Sunwarrior Protein - (ziplock bag or tupperware travels very easily.)
Guidelines for eating out:
1. Check the menu for lean plant-based protein, organic vegetables, and low glycemic carbohydrate options.
2. Request that your food be prepared with no added salt or butter. This leaves you in control of added flavor.
3. Order fresh, organic, raw foods whenever possible.
4. Replace unhealthy sides like chips and french fries with other options like raw vegetables or fruit.
5. Drink plenty of filtered water or herbal tea.
6. Don’t deny yourself menu items that you really want. Acknowledge your desire and decide if it matches your goal of a healthier diet or if you just need a break from the usual. It is impossible to have a flawless diet; just be aware of what works best for you and don’t let your choices run you.
7. Don’t get stuck in calorie traps! Avoid complimentary white bread offered when you are seated. Ask for whole wheat or raw vegetables if you can’t wait until your meal arrives.
8. If you’re going to have dessert, pair it with some sort of lean protein like a protein shake or cottage/ricotta cheese if you’re vegetarian. This will help reduce the inevitable sugar rush and insulin spike.
Eating on the road:
Pack the essentials for preparation and convenience and then modify your meals accordingly. Many hotels offer refrigerators in their rooms, so call ahead and inquire if one is already in yours. Even if the answer is "no," the majority of hotels out there do have them available and can move one into your room upon request. Don't be afraid to ask—it's the only way to get what you need to help you travel-proof your nutrition!