Eating Well When Travelling

Eating well and travelling can naturally co-exist! Being out of your normal routine can be difficult to keep up your regular eating habits. Breakfast buffets, airport food, restaurant dining, disrupted sleep patterns, and not having the means to prepare your own food can all contribute to unhealthy eating when travelling. However, with proper planning, there are many ways to keep up with your health goals when you are on vacation.

What to pack: When you are packing for your trip don’t forget to pack some healthy food staples! This can make for easy add-ins to meals eaten out. Pack some hemp hearts or chia seeds for an extra boost in protein and fibre that you can easily sprinkle on oatmeal or Greek yogurt, toast, and salads. These are great when you are staying somewhere that has a breakfast buffet. Bring small packets of all natural almond butter or peanut butter so you can pair with fruit and veggies for midday snacks when you are out and about!

Airport: Sometimes a convenience store can be your only option. Aim to get in some fruits and veggies and keep in mind that you should be aiming for better, not perfect. At airports opt for protein-rich foods such as plain yogurt, nuts, seeds, and hard-boiled eggs. Foods high in protein keep you full since they take longer to digest so it makes the perfect food to help keep you full in between your flights during long travel days. If you have a connecting flight and have some time before your next flight take advantage of the open space and walk around to help keep you energized, especially before sitting down for hours during your journey. Getting in some physical activity after a long flight will rejuvenate you, improve blood flow and make you feel great! Take advantage of the open space and walk around the airport to help keep you energized and get some movement in.

On flight: Keep nourishing snacks on hand when you are travelling. This is helpful if you do not like the options that are available to you during your flight. Bringing some of your favorite healthy snacks can also be used during unexpected flight delays or cancelations when food options can be scarce or limited. Make use of your carry on luggage and clean out your fridge before you leave for vacation – it’s a win-win! Foods that pass through security include fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, meats, firm cheeses, and nuts. Foods that won’t make it through security include yogurt, soups and sauces and anything with a gel-like consistency. So use up your fruit, make a sandwich from leftover chicken or quickly assemble a salad to take with you. Also, while you are in-flight make sure to hydrate. Not drinking and retaining enough water can make you feel fatigued making you susceptible you to headaches and nausea. Airplanes are the perfect environments for draining you of all moisture. A lot of the water loss that is experienced when flying is a combination of the cabin’s lack of humidity and its oxygen-thin air, which increases your breathing rate. According to the Aerospace Medical Association, you should drink at least 8 ounces of water for every 1 hour of flying. Hydrating snacks such as an apple and cucumbers slices (packed from home of course) are great foods to help get in your hydration. Another tip is to bring your favourite herbal tea bags with you and ask for hot water while you are in flight. If you are purchasing snacks while airborne, stick to the snack boxes that have an assortment of nuts, olives, hummus, cheeses, and fruit, again focusing on protein-rich foods to keep you full and satiated.

At your Destination: Consider booking a room with a kitchenette. It may cost a bit more but think of how much you will save in buying all your meals and snacks. If this is not an option, ask if your mini bar can be emptied so you can stock up on some healthy snacks. Venture out to a local store to load up on fruits, veggies, hummus, whole grain crackers, water, yogurt, and avocado so you can assemble quick meals and snacks. Booking an Airbnb is another option giving you access to a full kitchen – this is a great choice when you are away for a longer period of time.

Enjoy your time away but do focus on eating as you would do at home. This may require you to get more creative with dining out such as asking for increased portions of veggies in your pasta or sandwich and asking for more garnishes. Before you travel, be honest with yourself and decide if you will stick to your healthy habits or take a break – both are reasonable choices. Aim for better and not perfection when you are travelling. It’s a good idea to stick to some loose health goals per day such as getting in veggies at lunch or scheduling in exercise 2 days for the next week. Remember to stay hydrated and eat slowly and mindfully as you explore the taste, sounds, and sights of your exciting journey!

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