Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling
It’s happened to most of us. We’re on our way to visit friends or family. We get to the airport and suddenly, we’re famished.
Granted, restaurant offerings at airports have become a little more hip to the idea that not everyone wants a fast food burger and fries for a meal. Healthier choices have popped up, including build your own burrito or Mediterranean bowl spots with fresh veggies and tofu, create your own salad restaurants, or even kiosks to grab an organic sandwich to go. So, if you can find options at the airport that fulfill your Superfoods (and stay away from your Avoid foods), excellent. But the prices can be a little steep.
Packing your own
Depending on if you are traveling by air, or on a road trip, having a few sizes of soft-sided lunch bags or bigger coolers with ice packs can equip you and keep you from those hunger pangs while you’re getting where you’re going.
Foods that “travel” well
Breakfast: for the first meal of the day, some good travel choices to start out with are yogurt (any type, including greek yogurt) and overnight oats. As a head’s up, the TSA requirements for liquids is 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less to go through security, and this includes foods that are liquid, such as yogurt, probiotic drinks, and soup.
Dry instant oatmeal (keep it unsweetened and avoid added sugars or artificial sweeteners) prepackaged in its own cardboard bowl works very well too; just add hot water in the airport, on the airplane, or at a rest stop. Other breakfast solutions include nut butters and sprouted grain breads, apples, grapes, and berries (packed in a hard container rather than a bag).
Do you enjoy a specific type of tea or instant coffee? Those are easily portable as well, all you have to do is add hot water when the service cart comes around.
Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks: for the rest of the day’s meal options, selecting items you can eat easily with your hands will make it much simpler when it comes time to eat.
Finger-type foods that can still provide enough nutrients to get you through the flight or drive:
Crunchy, freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables
A healthy sandwich with roasted turkey, or even a veggie and hummus sandwich can be kept neat by wrapping up in wax paper or a paper napkin, with the more damp items (like tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce) strategically placed within the sandwich to not touch the bread directly will keep your bread from becoming soggy.
A chopped vegetable salad in a jar or covered container (dressing on the side) can also be an easy option (mixed beforehand so no tossing needed). Adding in a few sunflower or pumpkin seeds can give you some added protein.
Smelly foods: Keep your fellow travelers (and their sense of smell) in mind when packing your foods. Try to stay away from foods that have strong smells. Tuna and egg salad sandwiches, baked fish, and even bananas and oranges have fairly strong scents that your traveling neighbors may not wish to smell. Keeping smells to a minimum will ensure your flight or car ride is enjoyable by all.
Hydration is important, and even more so for long car rides and air travel. An airplane’s pressurized cabin has low humidity levels in the air due to half of the circulated air being pulled from the high outside altitude (moisture in the air decreases with elevation).
Drink up! Load up your cooler in the car with plenty of cool water. You can grab a bottle of water in the airport after you’re through security. But more airports these days are installing handy filtered water fountains to easily fill up your empty water bottle, so slip one in your carry-on.
Supplements and Probiotics + Prebiotics
Making sure you keep up with your nutritional regimen includes taking your recommended supplements daily. Travel can sometimes throw off your routines, and you don’t always want to lug 20 different vitamin bottles along with you.
It’s a cinch to plan ahead and ensure you’re getting your daily vitamins, minerals, food extracts, probiotics and prebiotics as you travel with your personalized Viome Precision Supplements. Just slip a few vitamin sachets and stick packs into your carry-on, backpack, or bag, and you’re ready to go!
Selecting healthier choices while eating out
When traveling, hitting the drive-thru or sitting down at a restaurant is sometimes necessary to fuel up while you're getting to your destination. If you can manage to stay away from the usual fare that contains excess amounts of sugars, fats, preservatives, and additives, you're way ahead of the game.
Dodging the unhealthy fast food selections means avoiding burgers and anything deep-fried. Try to stick to selections that are grilled, with vegetables, or a salad if possible. Ordering a grilled chicken, veggie burger, or fish sandwich and removing the bun to eat it with your side salad is a safe way to go in a pinch.
At a sit-down restaurant, you have a little more flexibility over fast food. Just remember to stick to lean proteins, vegetables and fruit, good fats, and whole grains. Usually, the kitchen will help you if you'd like to make small modifications to a dish. Pay attention to portion sizes, and don't give in to the bottomless bread, chips or other items placed on the table before you order.
Travel can be exhausting, cramped, inconvenient, and annoying. But with a few preparations, you can be assured that you have nutritious meals to hand that are packed with your personalized Superfoods, and you'll be able to easily keep those travel hunger pangs at bay. Bon Voyage!