It is easy to eat healthy while you’re at home: You can plan your meals. You know which restaurants to go to and what to order. You can bring a healthy meal from home to work. But if you are traveling, whether for business or for pleasure, it may seem challenging to keep to your healthy routine. You may be constantly on the go and will want to grab what is most convenient instead of what is most healthy and. The result is that you will often feel tired, bloated, and altogether uncomfortable. You return from your trip with some unwanted souvenirs, like a few extra pounds.
But you don’t have to be doomed to eating food you don’t want to eat. Just like at home, a great way to eat healthy while you’re traveling is to plan ahead. Here are a few tips that can help you to avoid the temptations of unhealthy food and snacks while you’re away from home.
1. Find the right hotel
Where you will be staying can help you keep to your healthy routine. Choose a hotel that is near a grocery store, preferably an organic one. You get bonus points if the store is within walking distance, so you can add some extra movement to your day. Hotels, at least in larger cities, are increasingly offering organic and sometimes even Paleo fare. Make sure you incorporate healthy protein (grass fed if you can) and fat like avocado into your ordered meals. Eggs are a great option for breakfast, as there are on almost every room service menu. Ask for some hot sauce like Cholula and you have a meal. Perhaps skip the toast the the potatoes, or ask for some vegetables as a replacement. It is very easy to load up on carbs when you are traveling, so be conscious of what you order.
2. Bring some food along
Before you even leave for the airport, you should bring some food along. First, think about your flight. Consider how long it takes for you to get to the airport, how long your flight is, and when your flight is. Depending on all those factors, you can bring a healthy snacks for your flight, perhaps some Epic bars, gluten-free beef jerky, hard-boiled eggs, or veggies like carrots.
You should also bring some snacks in your luggage, so when you are in your hotel room, you aren't tempted to raid the honor bar for the chips. Sardines, while not the favorite of everyone, are a great source of nutrition that travel easy. You might also try the Bulletproof Protein Collagen Bars or Mark Sisson's Primary Kitchen Energy Bars. These bars are delicious, filling, and nutrient-dense. You might also consider a travel size bottle of brain octane oil from Bulletproof to add to your tea or coffee (below).
3. Keep hydrated
Bring an empty, dry water bottle that has a filter. That way, you can drink water from any source, including your hotel’s gym or drinking fountains at the airport. On your flight and on your trip, eschew soft drinks and alcohol. Caffeinated drinks can be helpful for jet lag for longer flights and trips, but you should use it in moderation.
4. Stay Active
Exercise, nutrition, and other healthy habits go together. And more importantly, they reinforce each other. So if you want to put yourself in the mindset of eating better, make sure you move around, find a way to exercise, and stay active. At the very least, go for a hike or a walk. By staying active, you are much more likely to have the discipline to make better food choices as the positive activity will put you in the right frame of mind to extend your healthy exercise to healthy eating.
Part of why eating healthy while traveling is so difficult is because the healthy choices are hard and the unhealthy choices are easy. But if you exercise, you will, through a positive feedback loop, make it much more likely that you will reach for the healthy food choice than the heavy carb or sugar option. That, in turn, will help you stay active.
Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, the positive mental and physical benefits of healthy diet and activity will make your trip better and reduce travel fatigue.
5. Cook in your hotel
Your hotel room’s coffeemaker can help you make some healthy meals, like hardboiled eggs for breakfast. If you’re more enterprising, you can even bring a small slow-cooker. Depending on if you’re traveling alone or with your family, friends, or colleagues, adjust larger recipes accordingly. Whether your room has a microwave or your hotel, you can create many healthy meals including steaming frozen vegetables that come in a steamable bag.
If you have some extra room in your luggage, you might even consider bringing your Nutribullet, so you can make healthy smoothies and juices. You can even combine it with the coffeemaker to make bulletproof coffee, if you can find some grass-fed butter.
You don’t have to dread going on a trip, wondering if you’ll be able to resist temptation while you’re away from home. Planning ahead and having healthy alternatives on-hand will empower you to eat well.