Longer Reads

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

I totally admit it: vacationing is one of my favorite hobbies.

Traveling brings joy, fun, excitement, and peace into my life. As much as I thoroughly adore my Brooklyn life, I also love taking some time away and exploring the world: new cultures, new sites, and, most importantly, new foods!

One of the most common concerns that I hear from my clients is how to eat healthy while on the road. While it can be delicious fun to explore the cuisine of a new city (or office abroad), it can also feel overwhelming and scary. Many of my clients feel concern over how to maintain their healthy way of eating (and not feel derailed) while away from home.

Traveling can be great fun (and I like to do a lot of it), but when you’re on the road, finding nutritious food can be a lot harder. Here are some of my favorite strategies
for staying healthy while spending time away from home:

1. Pack your snacks. Nothing equals nutrition-derailment quicker than being stuck at the airport (or on an airplane) without food on hand. Convenience foods are usually not the healthiest. To avoid this problem, I bring my own snacks with me at all times (yes, I am that crazy person who stuffs her suitcase with seaweed and almonds).

Here are my favorite on-the-go foods that I don’t leave home without: seaweed snacks (great potato chip replacement!), nuts or trail mix, healthy food bars (stay tuned for a future feature on which are the healthiest!), almond butter packets — great for spreading onto an apple or crackers for a quick, filling, energizing snack.

2. Consider bringing your own dessert. On our recent trip to Mexico, my husband and I shoved a bunch of our favorite dark chocolate bars into our luggage. Knowing that we had that delicious chocolate to look forward to made it much easier to pass up a lot of the more decadent dessert offerings at restaurants.

3. Prepare meals before you fly. The day before a flight, I make sure I’ve packed myself a healthy breakfast (if I know I won’t have time to eat at home beforehand) and a healthy lunch or dinner for the plane. This saves me from being forced to buy expensive, unhealthy food at the airport or — even worse —  from having to eat airplane food!

If you’re rushing around before your travels and don’t have time to prepare a meal, get yourself some healthy takeout for the flight: salads, “macro bowls” (brown rice, beans, and veggie plates available at many health food restaurants), a protein and some veggies. Pre-made rotisserie chicken, canned wild fish (mackerel or salmon), or canned beans alongside several handfuls of pre-bagged spinach or arugula makes a quick, easy, and filling meal for on-the-go.

4. Research restaurant options before you travel. This is a biggie for me. I want to know my restaurant options beforehand so that I can plan out my trip accordingly. Ooh,  there’s a health food restaurant 2 blocks from my hotel? Score! Or, what? There are only fast food joints within a mile radius of our hotel? Hmmm, better bring more snacks and rent a car…

By going on your trip prepared, you can anticipate what to expect.

And when things go awry (because lord knows travel is unpredictable!), at least you have those snacks on hand to help you pass up that donut truck…