If you are anything like me, you know the plaguing feeling that comes with vacation, travel, or lengthy day trips and trying to coordinate a healthy eating plan. Now, I have been doing this for a while so it is like old hat to me, but I still get a little anxious when I am not sure of where I can get my healthy snacks, meals, and car goodies. It is one thing to occasionally indulge, but it’s another thing when that indulging becomes norm. Going all out and overindulging in heavy, salty, or sugar laden foods is a recipe for a dismal travel experience. Bluntly put? Shitty food outputs shitty energy. You want to have as much energy and high internal vibrations as possible so that you can have the best travel experience possible, right? Can I get an “abso-friggin-loutly”? So, today I want to talk about how to make sure you are aligning your healthy nutrition habits, allowing yourself adequate time to indulge and enjoy the fineries of your experience, and building the incredible energy you need to enjoy your travel!
One of the most important tips to emphasize is you need to be prepared ahead of time but also a little flexible with the choices that you have at hand. I know this sounds contradictory, but having a back up plan while still being flexible and understanding what is healthy and what is not will lead you to your greatest success. So what do I mean by this? When I go on vacation or long travel, I make sure to have certain staples packed—whole food bars, fruit, nuts or seeds, cut veggies, and a gallon or two of water. Depending on my destination, I may pack some healthy crackers or homemade popcorn or even whip up a healthy sandwich to create an impromptu picnic at a rest station. I try to bring as many foods as possible that do not need refrigeration—makes life so much more simple. So, now that you have your back up plan, here comes the flexibility portion of the equation.
If you decide to go to a restaurant and you were looking to stick with a healthier selection for that meal, be super flexible if you do not see what you want on the menu. If you are really craving a good salad with some lean protein but you don’t see it on the menu, simply ask for it. So often the chef will whip up something that will fall in line with your dietary needs. Maybe you’re at a Mexican restaurant and you just don’t see anything that’s going to work for you. In that situation, I have done one of two things- my “go to” is to order a vegetarian fajita ( because the vegetables are abundant and usually less greasy and fat-laden), order extra guacamole, and pile the fresh lettuce and salsa right on top of those veggies. You could also request corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. My backup plan, is to order black bean tortillas or fajitas and pile on the guacamole, fresh lettuce, and salsa. The key in any restaurants situation is to first scope out how you can get as many vegetables as possible. Then, scope out what else is available. What kind of healthy fats do they have? What kind of lean proteins are available? If it kind of freaks you out to have to customize your meals like this, I completely understand! I used to waitress and bartend, and I know what it was like to take orders that were very customized. I used to get really embarrassed having to modify and alter the meals that I was ordering, but I realize that it is absolutely essential when you are trying to stay healthy and eat for energy. Plus, it totally makes a huge difference in how you approach the situation. If you are kind and considerate when doing so, trust me, most waitresses/waiters will have no problem accommodating you.
My next tip for success would be to make sure that you pack foods that are complete in lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-quality carbohydrates. Just packing fruits and cut vegetables is not going to cut it, pun intended. It’ll leave you hungry and craving convenience store foods or foods that are absolutely bingeable. You need protein and fat to satisfy and hold you over, so making sure that you have a handful of seeds or nuts along with a piece of fruit is going to be much more satisfying and complete and will be less likely to have you running for that Twix bar at your next coffee stop. This is a perfect time to emphasize that when you are traveling and are requiring the extra energy to be so active, refrain from allowing yourself to get caught in the sugar trap. Eating high amounts of sugar and\or eating sugar to help increase your energy is certainly a recipe for disaster. You will crash faster then a day spent sunning and surfing the waves. So, makes sure that you are opting for a mix of high quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to balance out your blood sugar and keep your body revving throughout your day.
One of my most valuable discoveries in healthy eating while on the go is the essential role that raw foods play into the picture. Raw foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, sprouts, fruit, veggies, chia seeds, hemp seeds, raw food bars/snacks) are made of living energy, therefore, when you ingest large amounts of raw food energy, your body absorbs that energy by default. Many years ago, I stumbled upon this little nugget of truth and I used it to my advantage by packing my cooler, travel bags, and suitcases with all the examples above. What did I discover? Incredible energy, healthy digestion, mental clarity, decreased appetite, and decreased bloating. Now, I try and keep it very simple and pack easy, portable raw foods with me and I have a list in the back of my mind of a variety of possibilities for when I would eat in a restaurant. I want to experience the travel and the culture that I am in, but not have to worry about where my next clean, energy-filled meal will come from.
This is so easy, ya’all! Even if you are thinking right now that this is way too much prep work and planning, I reassure you that it really isn’t and you would adapt very quickly. Here is a sample of what I pack for myself for a 3 day get away (adjust as needed to accommodate others traveling with you). Even though I may not eat all of it, it is still there for me just in case—
- 2 Oranges
- 2 Bananas
- 2 Apples (preferably green to decrease your sugar intake)
- 1 box of “Food Should Be Good” Roasted Red Pepper crackers
- 1 bag of “Late July” Organic Chia and Quinoa tortilla chips
- Mixed nuts (I like to bring several bags or make a mixture of raw almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, walnuts, etc)
- 3 Protein bars (low-sugar)
- 3 Packets of protein powder and my shaker cup
- 2 Gallons of water
- Large bag of organic baby carrots, cut red peppers, cauliflower (or whatever veggies you like)
- Organic dark chocolate (to soothe the sweet-tooth)
Other ideas could be organic turkey/bison/beef jerky, sprouted grain bagels/english muffins, Organic cookies (low sugar if possible), prepared sandwiches, individual servings of guacamole or salsa and a big bag of homemade popcorn with coconut/sea salt.
“To ensure true nutritional success when traveling, you must have a prepared back up plan while still being flexible” ~Tansy N. Rodgers
Take action now! Start to plan out what your travel food needs will look like and how you can prepare yourself ahead of time. Make a solid shopping list. If you need pure convenience, buy already cut fruits and veggies. Buy single servings of the foods you need to make this as easy breezy as possible for you. Convenience is the key!
Go to the comment section. Make a comment and let me know what you have struggled with, what you have tried, and what your action plan is. The best discussions start between like-minded friends! Share this with your friends and get more people in on the action.
Do you currently have a plan in place for your healthy eating while you travel? If so, I want to hear all about it! Live your life with passion and purpose…
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