Sticking to healthy eating while traveling may seem like a daunting idea but it doesn’t have to be. With a few tips and tricks up your sleeve and a bit of practise healthy eating while traveling doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact seeking out new restaurants and places to eat with healthy menus and local flavour is all part of the fun of travel. Keep reading to discover the secret to how to eat healthy while traveling or while staying at home.
EAT HEALTHY AT HOME
Generally, staying healthy and eating well is easier at home than while traveling for many reasons but mainly because you know what ingredients are available to you and where. You also have a lot more control over your food as you can prepare it yourself more often than not. Even if you don’t like cooking and you avoid it like the plague, there are still many simple dishes you can prepare with ease that are filling, nutritious and healthy.
↠ Keep it simple– we live pretty busy lives and who has time to cook for a couple of fo hours every night? By picking out a few simple meals which take just 20 minutes to prepare you save yourself time and effort while also eating well. My go-to mid-week meals include simple salad bowls, veggie stir-fries, baked sweet potatoes, vegan summer rolls and wraps.
↠ Avoid frying and microwaving and instead steam, roast or sauté food to preserve food nutrients.
↠ Avoid large meals at dinner. I tend to eat in a pyramid shape starting with the largest meal at breakfast, a medium-sized meal at lunch and a small meal in the evening. This ensures your body receives the correct amounts of energy it needs throughout the day and you’ll go to bed feeling lighter and less bloated.
EAT HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELING
While traveling health and food-related rules that you stick to at home often get turned on their head. There’s little routine and days become spontaneous and full of exploration while food takes a back seat. One of the best things you can do however, before starting your trip is research and preparation. Find out where in your area you can eat well, which restaurants serve healthy food and where they are located. Websites like Trip Advisor and Happy Cow can really help with that. This knowledge can help you make better food decisions while you’re out exploring.
ORDERING IN A RESTAURANT
If you can, try to find restaurants within your budget that accommodate healthy options with a local flair. Look out for restaurants with a farm-to-table concept, ones that source their produce locally and ones with an ethical ethos that prioritise nutrition and the environment.
↠ Look for dishes that are vegetable-heavy and that include a protein.
↠ Ask about portion sizes. If they sound big then consider sharing a couple of dishes with a partner or friend.
↠ Avoid dairy and ask for dishes you like the look of to be made dairy free.
↠ Avoid dishes on the menu that are fried, deep-fried, battered, breaded, sizzling, sticky, honey, melted ad cheesy among others. These normally have a high calorie, high fat and high sugar content.
HOTEL BREAKFAST BUFFETS
Breakfast buffets can really be the ultimate temptation gauntlet. Normally loaded with every type of breakfast food imaginable, naturally, you’ll want to try everything but luckily these breakfast buffets have something for every kind of diet. When looking for a hotel, make sure to choose one that is wellness and health-focused as this concept will reflect in the choice you have at the breakfast buffet.
↠ Go for a natural simple option. Steel-cut or rolled oatmeal with plant milk, fruit and scrambled eggs cooked with a little olive oil can be great breakfast options.
↠ Fill up on plenty of local fresh fruit
↠ Avoid pastries, danishes and other sweetbreads, high-calorie, creamy sauces, processed meats like salami, ham and sausages which are known to be carcinogenic and other foods high in sugar like syrups for pancakes. These sugar-rich foods spike your blood sugar levels sending you crashing down into an energy less pit a few hours later- not what you want when out exploring.
↠ Go for an Americano or filtered drip coffee with or without a natural sweetener and make sure to consume the coffee in moderation.
If you are plant-based then try to avoid hotel breakfast buffets. I find that in average hotels they have little vegan choice especially when it comes to milk and yoghurts and other options (country dependant). This is slowly changing though. Instead seek out a local vegan cafe with delicious, nutritious and exciting plant-based options for you to start your day with.
OFF-THE-BEATEN TRACK RURAL RESTAURANTS
When it comes to how to eat healthy while traveling these types of places are often the most challenging. Here at Roam and Thrive we encourage and promote a health-focused lifestyle that doesn’t restrict to wellness treats and resorts but instead, the exploration of the whole world. At times though, exploring a new country and rural area, in particular, can be tough when it comes to eating options.
↠ If you have no or little choice, order the things that seem the healthiest on the menu, anything with vegetables and some steamed rice for example.
↠ Don’t beat yourself up about it. Eating an unhealthy meal once in a while is absolutely fine- life is all about balance after all.
On the subject of how to eat healthy eating while traveling or when at home, there is no one size fits all. We also have different diets, different food tolerances and different perceptions of what is healthy and what is balance. The secret of how to eat healthily is knowledge and preparation.
By educating yourself about how to eat, through the above tips as well as knowing which foods are healthy, which foods work for you, you’re already one step closer. When it comes to travel its preparation that really is key. Researching healthy food options, cafes and restaurants are paramount when planning where to go and where to stay. What’s available at your destination may be the deciding factor when it comes to booking or not. Perhaps one beach resort town doesn’t have many healthy options but another, 30 minutes away has plenty. Research allows you to make the best choices for yourself.
Do you have any comments or questions about how to eat healthy while traveling? Leave them below, I’d love to hear from you.
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