For me eating healthy while traveling is essential. But the fact is that airport food is notoriously bad and there are usually limited options to choose from in the first place. This post doesn’t guarantee that you will always have healthy options but there are ways and things you can do that are cheap and easy.
Why Should You Eat Healthy when Traveling?
- You are already stressed when you travel and your body is already going to suffer some sort of dehydration (thanks to airplanes setting the control environment inside the cabin at around 8,000 ft). So eating healthy well at least ensure one part of you doesn’t have to suffer. Traveling is stressful and your body reacts to stress in strange ways. Eating right well help to make sure that you digestive system is still running from point A to point B.
- Do you want ingestion, headaches, an upset stomach, constipation or low energy when you are traveling? The goal is to hit the ground running when you reach your final destination.
- The healthy choices when you travel will be the local choices most likely…. meaning that you will get to try local food. Please don’t eat at McDonald’s while you’re traveling (there are only rare occasions that I will even consider McDonald’s). Countries have their own food that has satisfied for thousands of years so don’t waste your eating time by eating something that is American.
How to Eat Healthy when Traveling
I’ll admit this is a bit trickier than most people would like it to be. Airport food is better than Airline food… So always find a restaurant or a convenient store in the airport and then bring it on the plane. I repeat you can bring food that you bought in the airport on-board. Even though buying your food in the airport is healthier than buying on the airplane… most like likely the even airport food will be just alright for you.
If you’re in major airports you should be able to find healthy options. Unfortunately if you’re in smaller airports the options are more limited. But each menu will have better choices than others. You must be willing to make a sacrifice and go after those healthy choices (veggies, greens, and fruits) instead of the food that will make you bloated and feel just plain miserable on a flight (When you travel the pressure of moving up and down on a flight causes you body to feel more bloated… so any bad food that will make you bloated regardless is just bad).
And make sure to keep hydrated on a flight. Water is great and sodas are bad. Sodas will make you feel miserable on flights because they don’t give you any hydration and that is what your body craves. On long distance flights, like to Europe or Asia, you will be sitting for a long hours and it will be uncomfortable. Would you like to add having a headache on top of that? If you’re not craving water then another great option is tea, especially green and herbal. (oh and no alcohol as well!) Avoid the orange juices and apple juices that airplanes offer because most likely they are not the real thing. For example it’s usually apple juice concentrate, etc…
When You Arrive to Your Destination
When you arrive to wherever you are going, make sure you actually incorporate the local food. There is a reason why locals have eaten their food for hundreds of years. Usually food that is locally grown and eaten by the majority will be good for you. (Except if you’re traveling to the United States…. majority of us eat fatty foods). If you’re traveling within the United States make sure to go to grocery stores in your destination city and pick up nuts, berries, veggies, fruits, etc… (nothing processed or boxed). These are great snacks foods and will help your body digest
Don’t get so stressed out about maintaining a perfect diet every where you travel to. If you’re one of those health freaks who is stressed about how much they are eating 100% of your day then you will never enjoy traveling. Learn that traveling can be stressful, sometimes downright uncomfortable and so it is okay to try outside of your comfort zone. Do always try the local food even if you don’t think it will be the best for you. Even if 80% of the time you are eating right, healthy and normal then 20% of the time you can step outside your comfort zone.
Be ready for your body to react to different foods in different countries. It won’t always be pleasant but traveling to foreign destinations is not always pleasant either. Understand that the food you are trying in a different country is probably not as rich as it is in the US and your body might react poorly to it. For example, if you are traveling outside of the US and are used to eating a horrible diet but suddenly end up in Asia… your body will probably have some sort of negative reaction. It’s okay you will survive! I bet you will actually start loving foreign food once you are “required” to have it. At first it will taste a bit strange but more than likely you will grow to love it and actually appreciate it.
Depending on the country you are in there are guidelines to follow… and it’s pretty basic to follow.
- No alcohol while flying (it’s okay to drink while you’re at your final destination :))
- Organic Food
- No soda
- No processed foods
- Local Food (make sure it’s not processed)
- Nuts and snacks
That is a great list off the top of my head that will help you eat healthier when you’re traveling.
Remember you are on vacation and you want to feel great when you arrive at your final destination. You don’t want to feel like your whole eating habits are flipped upside down. So make sure you stick to the above guidelines. Your body (especially your skin) will thank you for it and mentally you will be prepared to take on the day.
images by: Luke