How to Eat Healthy When Traveling
Traveling can be fun and exciting (as well as possibly stressful) or it may even a necessary part of your work routine. Regardless of your itinerary, there are several ways you can be sure to have healthy foods available to keep you and your family feeling well and thriving! Adapting different strategies that work for you can help take the guessing out of what to eat while away from home while continuing to support your immune system during travel and after returning home.
- Bring food with you to prevent having to stop for gas station or airport snacks. Consider bringing non-perishable, homemade snacks such as nuts, energy bites, organic dried fruits, vegetables, GF seed-based crackers, or even a greens powder such as NurtriDyn. You can also keep a quality, organic protein powder on hand for an easy snack or meal on the go!
- Consider an electric cooler or portable cooler for perishable items depending on the length of your trip. Remember to try to store foods in stainless steel or glass containers.
- Bring pre-peeled carrots, peeled hard boiled eggs, single servings of nut butters, organic whole-food bars, and fresh fruits like organic apples and oranges.
- Bring your own organic olive oil and coconut oil to use for cooking your own foods or to use as a salad dressing. When eating out, ask if there is an option to have your meat or vegetables cooked in butter instead of the typical canola oil. You can also bring your own pink Himalayan salt to swap for the more processed salts found in most restaurants.
- When ordering salads, simply ask to sub the dressing for a side of olive oil (if you didn’t bring your own!) Ask them to hold any croutons or cheeses if you’re choosing to avoid gluten and processed dairy. When eating out in general, opt for vegetables with your meals in place of starchy sides, fries, or bread.
- Before arriving and throughout the trip, search for restaurants on Google or Yelp with keywords such as “gluten free,” “organic,” and “grass-fed.” etc in the areas you’ll be traveling.
- Plan a trip to the grocery store upon arriving! Search for quality grocery stores or local farmers at your destination. Pick up your favorite greens and veggies, organic proteins, and other staple items to have healthy meals wherever you’re staying. This can also help save a little money by reducing the number of meals you’ll need to eat out.
Remember when traveling to stay hydrated! Especially when flying as the cabin air often lacks humidity, which can predispose passengers to dehydration. Being dehydrated can also make it more difficult to recover from jet lag symptoms after a long flight. Remember to drink fluids before, during, and after the flight; ideally purified water if available.
Support Your Digestive System
When traveling, digestion and regularity can become compromised either from dehydration, lack of movement, time zone changes, or all of the above. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fiber-dense foods, drinking a lot of water, and add a magnesium supplement if necessary to help promote regular bowel movements. Maintaining regularity while flying is also important to prevent the reabsorption of toxins if you experience constipation. Eating healthy and supporting the gut while traveling may be especially important to provide the body with antioxidants to help combat the effects of radiation exposure while in flight.
While all of these tips can help you eat healthy food while traveling, the most important thing you can do throughout your trip is to not stress about food imperfection. In fact, one of the number one causes of digestive distress is stress. This means it’s entirely possible that you could be eating the most nutrient-dense diet there is, however, if you’re stressed, you’re not only impairing the breakdown and absorption of your food but you’re also suppressing your immune system and increasing your likelihood of experiencing a reaction to a gut pathogen or food toxin.
Consider taking a few belly breaths before each meal to help prepare the body for optimal digestion, and if you can’t eat perfectly clean while out and about, don’t stress. Remember your body is always working on your behalf, so extend some gratitude and enjoy your journey!