Wellness Scout

Travel Well, Eat Well!

Your bags are packed, you have a ticket in hand and you’re ready to take off! You have dedicated yourself to eating healthier, cleaner and to exercising more. But you are also determined to enjoy this trip and to stay focused on your goals while indulging a little along the way. Do you have a glimmer of apprehension at being able to maintain those wellness goals? Do you eye every pastry and french fry with carefree abandon saying "hey it's vacation" Are you driven by work adrenaline and social activities to burn the midnight oil over a bottle of red or pints of beer? Or are you the food snob that will drive 10 miles out of your way before resorting to the typical chain restaurant in search of the local grass fed cow? Eating on the road, whatever the reason may be -- pleasure, vacation or business travel -- doesn't have to hurt your waistline or your peace of mind. Below you’ll find a few quick travel tips for eating on the road. Future posts will be dedicated to more specific travel tips such as eating in airports and staying at hotels.

In everyday life, I follow the 90/10 rule and while on vacation the 70/30 rule. What this means is 90% of the time I eat in moderation and choose clean, unprocessed food that's homemade while 10% of the time I indulge in my vices (desserts, wine, bar food). On vacation this shifts to 70% "healthy" and 30% not. Sometimes it's 60/40 and on one trip it was 50/50 but the point is that I've set these expectations and accepted them. This way, I can ensure that I go into my vacation prepared while also giving myself the space to enjoy a few treats.

Be prepared! Mentally and literally. Bring snacks. Line up dining options in the area to choose from so you don't resort to a place your body and your wallet may regret the next day.

Make that first trip on the road be from home. I've recently used an upcoming trip as a way to clean out what is remaining in my refrigerator. Before our last trip, I threw everything into a salad, “my kitchen sink salad” as I like to call it. I ended up with a creation that my husband and I really enjoyed and one that I intend to repeat for our usual repertoire of mealsIt consisted of salad greens, veggies, leftover cooked chickpeas & raisins, leftover sautéed chicken dish, and lentil fritters. Bring snacks from home on your trip such as apples, nuts (almonds and walnuts are ideal), hearty crackers or rice cakes and small packs of hummus or peanut butter. Or, try oatmeal buttermilk snack cake which is a delicious snack and perfect for satisfying your sweet cravings on the road.
Greens, Greens, Greens. If you can't eat all your greens, buy a powdered green drink. Theses contain a variety of greens, herbs and nutrients for on the go especially if you aren't able to eat your greens. Mix with water or a little bit of low sugar juice. Here's my favorite but there are many on the market. Find the one that works best for you, but just watch out for those added sugars!
Locate the nearest grocery store that carries some staple items to store in your car, room, or bag. Examples are nuts, high fiber fruits such as apples, pears, and individual packs of nut butters. Think of a grocery store as an oasis of control. If you have access to a refrigerator, buy small yogurt containers and individually packaged cheese. While on the road, it’s OK to resort to some packaged items that you wouldn’t eat at home such as pre-made chickpea snacks or bean based chips to ensure your blood sugar stays level. However, try to avoid the store made trail mix and instead make your own to avoid the added oils and salts. I bring these items or spend a little time at a grocery store so that I have something on hand in case I can't find the food of choice or that best meets my body's needs.

Finally don't over caffeinate, and drink LOTS of water. The water will help to stave off the low blood sugar and staying well hydrated during a trip helps to flush out bad toxins! Keep in mind that coffee is a diuretic so for every cup of coffee or latte you have, you need one 8oz. glass of water.

Have fun, just have your remedies! Don't sabotage your efforts, prepare accordingly and enjoy your trip without making the travel all about surviving!

What have you eaten during a trip that was healthy and kept you focused until the next time you could stop for a good meal? Let me know about it!