Neal and I spend a considerable amount of time on the road, traveling around the state for WellChecks and workshops. While we haven’t gotten much better at packing (the amount of stuff we collectively pack for a week away from home probably rivals Lewis & Clark’s first outing), we are getting better at practicing and maintaining healthy habits while traveling. Being away from your regular schedule, your own kitchen, your own bed, and perhaps your regular fitness facility makes it tough to keep up with healthy behaviors. Tough, but not impossible, especially if you follow some tips we’ve learned along the way that help us stay healthy while away from home:
- Bring snacks. Snacks can help prevent you from getting overly hungry (or hangry) until you can scope out your restaurant options for a place that offers healthy entrée choices. Snacks can also save you money and even serve as a meal in a pinch.
- Pack a cooler & stock it up with fresh foods. Some of our favorites include:
- Cleaned and cut veggies (carrots, cucumber, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower)
- Hummus or black bean dip
- String cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Hard boiled eggs
- Sliced apple, cubed melon, or fresh berries
- Sandwich fixings
- It’s also a good idea to bring snacks that do not require refrigeration such as:
- Peanut butter & jelly
- Low sugar, high fiber granola bars (i.e. Lara, KIND)
- Trail mix
- Dried fruit
- Drink water! Fill up several water bottles before you leave home. You’ll avoid the temptation of high sugar, high calorie beverages found at convenience stores and you won’t have to spend money on bottled water.
- Eat breakfast. Most hotels offer a continental breakfast with decent options such as fresh fruit, eggs, whole grain cereal, or oatmeal.
- When dining out, check out the menu beforehand and make sure the restaurant offers some lighter, non-fried options. Look for entrees that are grilled, baked, roasted, steamed, or broiled.
- Someone mentioned recently that a new trend in the hotel industry is to not have refrigerators in rooms. That’s another reason to bring a small cooler, in case you want to save leftovers from dining out or if you want to keep food on hand in your room.
If you’re traveling by airplane, you’re probably not going to bring a cooler on-board, but it’s getting easier to eat well as airports are catching onto the fact that travelers want more healthy options. In many airports you can now find restaurants that serve fresh, local, and even organic, gluten-free, or vegan foods. You still might have to pay more, but at least the options are there! In fact, results from a survey conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine were released just this week ranking major US airports in terms of healthy eating options. The rankings were based on the percentage of eateries in an airport that serve at least one plant-based, high fiber, cholesterol free entrée. The winner? Denver International Airport, with over 90% of eateries having at least one entrée that met the criteria. That’s good news for us Montanans who often fly to Denver en route to other destinations. Second and third place was a tie between Chicago O’Hare and Detroit Metro Airport. Even airlines themselves are catching onto the healthy eating trend with snacks like these available on the flight. Again, there is a cost involved, but $6 might be worth it for the Mediterranean snack pack. Another option while flying is to bring your own snacks and water bottle; just fill your water bottle up at a water fountain once you are past security.
Happy, healthy traveling!