It’s that time of year when we seem to spend more time traveling; attending weddings, graduations, showers, reunions and vacations. While it is challenging enough to keep your healthy choices on track at home – traveling offers a whole new set of obstacles. Your schedule is different. You have no idea what your options will be and the last thing you want to do is spend time driving in circles looking for healthy fresh food when you are hungry. If you have to fly to your destination just packing a cooler full of healthy home prepped food is not the easiest choice.
Just like at home: you have to have a plan and be prepared. You might have to be more flexible in your choices. If it is possible, look if there is a grocery store or deli near where you will be staying. The majority of hotel rooms have a small fridge and microwave and these can really help. If you can bring a cooler full of food from home, great, you have no worries. Of course you will probably be eating a few meals out, so your homework. Most restaurants post their menus and nutrition information on their websites. Looking these over before you leave home will reduce a lot of stress.
Bringing items that don’t require a cooler can make packing simpler. There are some really great options if you get creative and look around. I will be traveling to the Naturally Fit games (expo) in Austin, Texas this weekend and had to figure out how to stay as close as possible to my usual eating habits. Since I will be flying and don’t plan to rent a car there is a good chance my food choices will be limited. I started by going to one of the larger grocery stores in the area, known for its extensive “health foods” section. I don’t eat a lot of fruit but it is part of my daily diet. Fresh fruit doesn’t travel well so I wanted to find something minimally processed and also travel friendly. I found 100% fruit bars. Several companies make these with no added sugar or other ingredients. Next I needed some source of protein; I chose small 3 ounce cans of white meat chicken packed in water. These can be eaten plain, used in a sandwich or on a salad. I also plan to take boiled eggs along as another easy and versatile source of protein. I picked up a small bag of my favorite regular oats. They are easy to make in the hotel microwave. I can take some fresh broccoli and cauliflower in a small cooler in my carry on to snack on and I will pack enough Dymatize ISO 100 and Cytogreens for a couple days. Bringing these foods with me keeps me from getting in to a situation where I am starving and just eat the first thing (usually the worst choice) that I find.
Next time you are grocery shopping look around and you might find some great portable snacks to make your summer travels a little less stressful.