Secrets to Eating Healthy on the Road

By Cait Barbiero, ND I

t’s a common story: You wake up before dawn, rush to the airport and arrive with only a few minutes to spare before boarding. Glancing around, you realize many breakfast options aren’t available. You think to yourself, a bagel sounds really delicious right about now. After all, it is va- cation! Unfortunately, the bagel leaves you feeling bloated, foggy and fatigued. You forgot to grab a snack, so you eat the free ones the fl ight attendant gives you. When you fi nally check into your hotel, you’re tired and starving and there’s no way you want to go to the gym. Instead, you head straight to the hotel bar for some comfort food. The cycle continues and upon return- ing home you realize you gained a few pounds and feel worse than when you left.

Whether you are traveling for work or fun, it is tempting to also take a vacation from a healthy diet and exercise routine. Eating at airports can seem daunting when the choices for packaged snacks or processed and fast foods are numerous. In a similar way, travel- ing in your car leaves you at the mercy of the road. Sometimes there aren’t many healthy options along the route. However, just because you are not in your normal routine, doesn’t mean you have to eat foods that leave you feeling fatigued and bloated (or worse)!

The “I can eat whatever, I’m on vacation

or I’m traveling for work” attitude results in extra weight and infl ammation that is never desired and can last longer than expected. On the bright side, there are quite a few simple and easy ways to ensure you eat nutritious foods and fi t in a good sweat while traveling.

30 Natural Nutmeg - July/August 2017

The single best strategy to eating healthy while traveling is to plan ahead.

Skip spending a small fortune at the

airport and pack your own lunch and dinner. Depending on the length of your trip, you could even pack breakfast, lunch, and snacks for all your days away! You’ll save a lot of money this way. At the very least, packing your fl ight meal ahead of time eliminates the stress of fi nding food at the airport. Plus you can skip that $14 day-old salad!

If you’re worried about the NSA tossing

out your packed food, don’t be. Most people don’t realize that food is allowed in your suitcase and to be brought through airport security. You should have no problem as long as you aren’t bringing on fl uids greater than 3.4 ounces. If you are really concerned about bringing on a lot of food, you can bring one meal and some snacks with you on the fl ight and then check your bag packed with the rest of the food. Packing a shoulder cooler with gel ice packs should also be fi ne, but if you are uncomfortable with ice pack idea, then grab some ice from a drink machine once you are in the terminal. You can absolutely bring a steel or glass water bottle through security; just make sure it is empty. Then fi nd a restaurant or the food court where you can fi ll it up. Lastly, don’t forget to bring some utensils.

Pack ahead and set your intention Book a hotel room with a mini-fridge or

even better, a small kitchen area. Or book an AirBnB with a full kitchen and stove. Before you get to your destination, ask the hotel to

empty out the mini-bar in your room. If your room doesn’t have a fridge, the hotel might be willing to move one into your room upon request. If not, you can buy a styrofoam cooler for a few dollars and use ice to keep everything cool.

If you aren’t able to pack meals ahead of time, make sure you book a hotel that is close to a grocery store. Making healthy choices is easier and cheaper when they are within walking distance. Before you get to the store, plan out some easy meals ahead of time.

If you’re in the car, it’s even easier. Pack a cooler ahead of time. If you can’t pack a cooler and need to stop for food instead, don’t limit your options to fast food. Take advantage of Google and yelp and fi nd a healthy restaurant by searching terms like “organic” or “gluten-free”, “grass-fed”, or “vegetarian”. Another idea is to stop at a su- permarket where you can pick up salads and quality meat for lunch (instead of that drive -thru burger).

If you travel by car often, look into buy- ing an electric cooler, which plugs into your car. If not, a cooler with ice packs should still keep foods cool. You can always stop for ice along the way.

Make a clear decision in your mind to not eat the foods that you know are bad for you or that will make you sick. By making the decision ahead of time, you greatly cut back on the likelihood of cheating.

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