Sticking to your usual diet and lifestyle routine can seem daunting and stressful when you are travelling, particularly when you are travelling for work. Here are my strategies for feeling your best no matter where your plans lead you. I realize that sometimes we don't want to stick to our schedules when on vacation, for example, so please feel free to take from this post what you want and disregard what you don't find helpful or useful to you. Travelling can be stressful enough!
Lodging. If possible, find a place that offers a mini-fridge or even a small kitchen in the room in order to store healthy snacks and prep quick meals. Sometimes hotels are the only option, but some may have kitchens or refrigerators available in the room.
Food. You can easily take a variety of foods with you depending on the length of your trip, and the luggage you are travelling with.
For perishable foods, take a small cooler bag along with ice packs to keep foods cold during transit. When flying, if you’re unsure if you will make it through security with your ice packs, bring along a closable bag and get ice from an airport vendor once you’re in the terminal.
You can always prep a few items to bring if you have the time. All of which will survive just fine without ice packs.
- Precut raw veggies of all kinds (i.e. carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumber, bell pepper)
- Fruit, wash and bring whole if it travels well or cut up and put in small containers
- Hard boiled eggs
- Homemade muffins
- Homemade granola
- Energy bites
- Trail mix
You can also bring, or purchase any of the following when you arrive at your destination:
- Bananas, apples, citrus, berries, and avocados
- Single serving packs or small containers of guacamole, hummus, coconut oil and nut butters
- A loaf of your favorite bread
- Packets of plain oatmeal
- Granola (watch for sugar content and vegetable oils, this one uses a small amount of coconut sugar and coconut oil)
- Grass-fed yogurt or non-dairy yogurt
- Grass fed jerky or beef sticks (watch for added sugar)
- Wild caught tuna, oysters, sardines or salmon in pouches or BPA free cans/tins
- Hemp hearts, chia seeds, and raw nuts
- Dried or freeze dried fruit
- Refined sugar free bars like: RX Bar, Lara Bar, Epic Bar
- Bars of dark chocolate
- Saurkraut and/or kombucha to keep your digestion in check
Eating out. Try not to stress too much about this, especially if you are on vacation. Sometimes what we eat can’t always be in our control and some balance is good for us. It is ok to not always eat 100% healthy all the time. If you eat well most of the time, your body can handle some not so great for you meals once in a while. Some digestive enzymes and HCL support can help support your digestion if you are eating things that you are not used to. A warm cup of lemon water can be helpful too following a meal or in the morning. Here are my tips for when you do what to stay on track:
- Let wait staff know if you have any dietary restrictions and ask for their suggestions, especially at places where items are not labeled (i.e. gluten free, dairy free
- When ordering salads, find out what kind of oils they use. If they don’t know or if they are vegetable oil based, ask for a side of olive oil and lemon wedges or vinegar. Ask them to hold any croutons or cheeses if you’re avoiding gluten and processed dairy.
- Burgers without the bun or a lettuce wrap are always an easy option. When in doubt meat or wild-caught fish with vegetables are your best bet. You can avoid sides fried in vegetable oils by asking for a side salad, or steamed or grilled vegetables.
- Avoid vegetable oils by asking if there is an option to have your meat or vegetables cooked in butter (instead of the typical canola or soybean oil).
Creature Comforts. Bring your own reusable water bottle and travel mug for coffee or tea to use throughout your trip. Don’t’ forget your usual supplements, favorite teas and additional immune boosting supplements in case you need them. As your digestion can be off when travelling, some extra magnesium can help to keep you relaxed and keep things moving. Natural Calm makes some handy packets that are great when you are on the go. I like to bring my favorite essential oils too, along with a detoxifying face mask or beauty treatment for some inexpensive self-care. I always bring good walking shoes to make sure I can get in some movement and if I have the space I bring my travel yoga mat (if I have room) for hotel room workouts in case there isn’t a good gym or the weather outside isn’t ideal. It is important to note that if you are not up for working out at your usual level, don't stress. Travelling is tiring to your body and this might be a great time to give your body a rest or try a different way of being active or working out that your normally don't do. Keeping as normal of a routine as possible is crucial to overall health and longevity, especially if you travel for work often. If you are travelling for pleasure, try to unplug and de-stress as much as possible, you have earned it!