We’ve all been there. You’re doing so well, eating great, exercising regularly, getting lots of sleep.. all around feeling great. And then, you have to take a trip. You’re super excited about getting away for a few days, not having to cook, leaving reality behind.. And then all of a sudden you realize, how on earth are you going to keep up with your healthy eating habits? You don’t want to undo all the hard work you’ve done, but you also don’t want to be a party-pooper and a pain-in-the-you-know-what with all of your specific dietary preferences.. what do you do?
I find for most people, the hardest part is deciding to make the healthiest choice available to them on the road. Most of us, when given the chance, love to have an excuse to goof off. So although you may be faced with the choice of having a salad at McDonald’s, you find yourself justifying that order of two big macs, fries and a soft drink because you think “Well, nothing here is as good for me as what I make at home, so I might as well just order whatever I want.”
This is the same conundrum as when you have just one cookie and then think that everything is ruined so you keep over-indulging for the rest of the day (or week). You know what I’m talking about…
This can be the biggest hurdle for a lot of people, so if you are one of them, don’t beat yourself up! But do keep in mind that a tub of ice cream, a whole pack of kraft dinner, a bottle of Pepsi, and a cinnamon bun is not the same thing as that one cookie. If you do slip, don’t let it ruin your day, just acknowledge it and keep going.
The thing to remember when travelling is that there are healthier options and not-so-healthy options. Just do the best you can!
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Prepare ahead of time and take homemade snacks and food with you. This is the easiest way to avoid food you really don’t want to eat. Take some homemade beef jerky, muffins, vegetable sticks with homemade hummus, berries, cheese slices, nuts and seeds, or leftovers in a thermos.
- If your trip is longer than a couple of days, consider stopping at a grocery store and purchasing some fresh produce to munch on.
- Eat less: it is much easier on your body to process just a little bit of not-so-good food, than it is to have to deal with an overindulgence. Try having smaller portions and skipping snacks (unless you bring snacks from home).
- Choose the option with the least amount of sauces and dips. These are often filled with unhealthy fats and chemically-derived seasonings, MSG and sugar.
- Avoid fries! I know it can be difficult, but opt for the salad over fries when given the choice. Aside from oxidized and rancid fats (which are bad enough for you), french fries contain a very high amount of a potent carcinogen called acrylamide.
- Drink plenty of water. It is easy to get dehydrated when travelling, especially when on airplanes or air-conditioned busses. Drinking more water will keep you from reaching for unhealthy sodas and fruit juices as well. Water is also satiating.
And above all remember, do the best you can!
What have your travel experiences been? How do you stay healthy on the road?