While vacation travel is usually a time for indulgence, many of you travel regularly for work or maintain on-the-go schedules that can create gaps in our healthy eating habits. There are a number of ways to continue great eating habits while traveling but they involve a bit of planning and preparation - a small price to pay for staying on track. Try some of these out the next time you're out of town for work or even on vacation for the majority of your eating. You'll save your waistline and most certainly some money.
Use review sites
Take advantage of review websites such as “Trip Advisor” or “Yelp” for the area you’ll be visiting. Read reviews ahead of time and search for terms such as, “gluten-free”, “organic”, “grass-fed” or even “farm to table” to get access to great food that won’t derail your progress or leave you feeling crummy after eating it. Afterall, there really is NO room for terrible restaurant food in a new city.
Find a grocery store
Whether you’re visiting a new city for business or pleasure, locating a grocery story shortly after arriving can greatly reduce the stress around healthy eating. Chances are, your routine is a off because of travel, so having shelf-stable options such as fruit, avocados, nuts/seeds or nut butters, dried fruit, dried meat or jerky in your room can help you stay on track with your health goals. You might find yourself saving money as a result of shopping for a few items at a grocery store - money that would have otherwise gone to over-portioned restaurant food.
Request a mini-fridge for your hotel room
When you make your reservation for a hotel, ask for a mini-fridge. Every hotel has them for medical purposes and if necessary, explain that you have food allergies. A mini-fridge enables you to keep all sorts of healthy snackables in your room. Consider packing up half your dinner meal and bringing it to the hotel with you or plan to eat breakfast in your room.
Speak up at restaurants
Contrary to what you might think, restaurants can be extremely accommodating to your food preferences. Maybe you’re avoiding “extras” like certain oils or sugary sauces - ask if the kitchen can cook with real butter or leave off the sauces. It’s usually a non-issue to ask for substitutions such as steamed vegetables, side salads or a baked potato. As long as you’re polite and respectful, don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want or inquire about how your food is prepared.
Bring packable, satiating snacks
Don’t get caught fighting the urge to visit a drive through window because you skipped lunch and your son’s practice is going long. Be prepared with snacks you can keep in your car or work bag. The key here is to stay away from refined carbohydrates because eating these will likely leave you hungrier a few hours later. Protein- and fat-containing foods will fill you up and get you through until your next meal. So instead of 100 calories snack packs, chips or dry cereal, try things like nuts/seeds or nut butter packets, jerky, tuna packets, and real food bars, like Rx Bars. Pair with packable fruit like an orange or apple for a well-rounded, satiating snack.