Committing to a clean eating lifestyle can be challenging in and of itself. Factor in any travel plans that might derail our normal daily routine and we are quick to throw in the towel. It doesn’t have to be this way. Whether you travel for business, take frequent road trips or are flying to a new vacation destination, with a little preparation and creativity we will show you how to maintain healthy eating habits while traveling with a how-to guide to clean eating on the road.
Some of you may be thinking, “Geez, those relaxing summer vacation months seem to be a thousand miles behind us.” But it’s hard to fathom that, holy cow, we are almost into November and the holiday season is right around the corner. With the holidays upon us, unhealthy eating temptations are everywhere we turn (more on this in our blog post next month!). It all begins the moment we begin that cross-country road trip to make it home for the holidays or that flight to Mexico to get us into the sun and away from the cold. Maybe you are just road tripping up to the mountains every weekend because, duh, ski season!
No matter what your travel plans look like, there are ways to combat unhealthy eating habits but it’s going to take some planning, effort and discipline on your part! Think about it. You wouldn’t just get into your car and take a road trip without knowing your destination or directions to get there, would you? Similarly, if you want to remain dedicated to clean eating, figuring out ahead of time what you’ll eat during your journey is just as important.
Without a plan in place when we travel, we often go right for the bad stuff. Why? For one, airports are notorious for luring in travelers with their endless options of fast food, unhealthy pre-packaged meals, and Starbucks coffee seemingly everywhere you look. On road trips, we’ve been in the car for hours and we are often so hungry and ill-prepared that those fast food signs we pass are just calling our name. Stay committed to your healthy diet while on the road and, trust us, you will look good, feel better and be all-around happier.
***Side note: If you are strictly traveling for vacation, we strongly encourage you to indulge in a good meal or decadent treat here and there. If you deprive yourself of these things altogether, you are more likely to end up giving in and perhaps even going on a binge. Just use the concept of moderation and know that “cheat days” are essential to progress and to avoiding burnout.
Below are my tips for keeping your travel plans filled with clean and healthy eating. It will get easier the more you implement it.
General Tips for Any Kind of Travel:
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail….
Probably the most important tip of all and one that I can not stress enough: plan in advance. How you plan will depend on various factors such as where you are going to be, how long you will be there, how you are getting there, etc. Anticipate the environment you are going to be in and bring what you need so you’re not stuck without any healthy options. Also, Google what will be available to you once you get to your destination (such as local health food stores) so that if you can not bring all of your food, you can prepare and plan out what you will need to purchase once you arrive.
Continue with your Regular Workout Routine…
When Traveling by Air:
Packing Smart Healthy Food Staples and Snacks…
When Traveling On the Road:
Road travel has been increasing in popularity for a while now, even outpacing air travel in the last five years. Thanks to lower gas prices and picture-worthy social media posts for bringing to light the concept of “authentic” (and affordable) adventures, road travel has definitely spiked. Since you don’t have to worry about any security restrictions and likely have some more space to work with, this is a great opportunity to plan you meals and bring the healthy foods that you need.
Pack a Cooler…
Bringing a cooler will allow you to stock up for your road trip! This will give you the option to pre-cook your protein/meats seal them up in a Ziploc and stash them on ice in the cooler. You can also pack yogurts, protein balls, fresh fruit and anything else that may need to be on ice.
Keep Cooler or Snack Bag Close at Hand…
Once You Reach Your Destination:
Consider where you will stay beforehand…
Sometimes it makes more sense to book an Airbnb over a hotel because (aside from the fact that you will probably get a better deal) it will usually give you access to a kitchen and offer staple items such as salt/pepper/spices/oils (or anything left behind or offered to you to be used). If you need to stay in a hotel, make sure to book one with or request a microwave and refrigerator. This way you can purchase healthy perishable items and keep them fresh and heat up items, as needed. Simply put, it gives you many more options when it comes to food choice.
Scope out what is nearby…
If you are staying in a hotel…
Food For Thought
Here are some ideas of healthy and easily packable snacks…
- Marcona almonds or other raw or dry-roasted nuts
- Tuna packets
- Fruits; i.e. bananas, apples, grapes, etc.
- Hard boiled eggs
- Almond butter packets (Quick, portable and pre-measured )
- Dry oats (pre-portioned in plastic baggies)
- Protein bars
- Beef or turkey jerky
- Fresh vegetables’ i.e. baby carrots or mini bell peppers
- Protein powder (bring enough for 1-2 servings a day and don’t forget a measuring scoop)
*** If you are feeling overly ambitious, or if you travel often enough, consider bringing an individual-sized blender in order to be able to start your day with a nutrient dense smoothie.