I’m sitting down writing this with a half-packed suitcase next to me and a million thoughts of last-minute things to do running through my head before I get on a plane tomorrow. I travel fairly often, sometimes for work but mostly for pleasure – weekend trips here and there to visit friends I’ve moved away from or those that just live in different places.
Next to my peeptoe pumps in my suitcase, I plan to nestle a bag of mixed nuts, some almond butter, a few apples, some beef jerky, almond milk and my protein powder. Because, clearly, I am crazypants. I’m traveling with my husband who is Celiac and other than having to avoid gluten-containing foods for medical reasons, we as a family follow a pretty clean “Paleo” way of eating. This means our food is rich in good fats and proteins, we eat no grains, and very little carbohydrates or processed ingredients. This, as you can imagine, sometimes makes travel a pain in the tookus. But it doesn’t have to. You and your family can travel AND eat healthy Real Food.
One way obviously is to do what I did – travel with your food (well, some of it anyway). Things that might be hard to find in other places like almond milk or my grassfed whey protein, are small and easy to tote and I can always use them as a meal replacement if I can’t get healthy food at the time I need it. Also, when we travel with the kids, we tend to throw in their specialty gluten-free snacks that are impossible to find if you’re not near a large chain supermarket with a good healthfood selection.
Another thing that can help you stick to a healthy eating plan when traveling is to research the area where you’re going and map out a game plan for which restaurants you want to eat at. Most restaurants have menus online now and it makes your life a little easier to go into a place already knowing what you plan to eat. This way you’re not tempted by the other stuff on the menu or feel stuck in a place where you feel like you can’t order anything.
The other thing I do is choose one meal when away where I will be able to order whatever I want, have dessert, and a few glasses of wine (oh let’s be honest, I have those most nights!). Looking forward to the one meal where I can indulge on my trip makes keeping myself healthy and making good choices worth it the rest of the time. Plus, I don’t know about you but my digestive system tends to get all crazy when traveling and putting good fuel in will definitely help keep your systems functioning at optimum level without what I like to call “vacation belly.”
When you travel, do you try and stick to a healthy way of eating? How to you accomplish this? Or do you just let your trips be an indulgence?