I travel a lot personally and professionally, and when I am on the road, I act like it’s a vacation. I literally treat ALL trips as if I’m on vacation, as I am sure most people do. My meals usually consist of greasy and fried foods, and I never turn down dessert. Also, depending on the travel comes networking, fancy dinners, partying or just enjoying the local cuisine… all of those lead to lots and lots of alcohol.
That social aspect of any trip helps you meet new people, make memories, and establish social bonds with friends or coworkers. In addition to alcohol, I am sure a few caffeinated beverages are consumed instead or as well!
I love the carefree feeling I get on “vacation” but returning feeling bloated, exhausted and like I need to recover from the trip has to stop. I decided that I am going to focus on adding healthier options when I travel. Since cooking my own healthy meal is normally not an option, here are some other recommendations:
- Look for healthy options on the menu– there is usually salad, grilled chicken and seafood on most menus. No need for fries with every meal, you can substitute it for fruit, vegetable or a salad! ** Watch the dressing on the salads!**
- Pack healthy snacks – pack fresh and/or dried fruit, granola, sea salt popcorn (look at ingredients), and other healthy snacks as this will prevent you from stopping at the ice cream store every night or getting that chocolate cake after dinner.
- Seltzer water looks like a vodka soda – if you don’t feel comfortable not drinking then ask for a seltzer water with lime. It gives the impression that you are drinking, but there are no calories and no hangover!
- Always have a water bottle with you – when you are thirsty, you will do anything for a drink. If you carry a water bottle with you, then it will prevent you from going to the store to buy a sugary refreshment. Also a lot of times hunger and thirst feel the same, so you can sometimes stop those hunger pains just by taking a sip of water!
- It’s okay to stay in at night – conferences and vacations can be long days and getting adequate sleep is essential to feeling great, and making good dietary decisions! You don’t have to stay in every night, but put yourself first and listen to how your body is feeling.
- Have self control at the continental hotel breakfasts – the waffle maker and muffins galore just call my name! So, try to avoid them and stick to the scrambled eggs, meat (limit processed foods on your plate), yogurt and fresh fruit! Also, fruit juices are filled with sugar, so limit the amount of those you consume as well.
- Find a convenient store or grocery store to stock the mini fridge – if you didn’t pack healthy snacks, run to the store and stock up on healthy breakfast options, snacks and beverages. If you have the ability to make a meal then stock up lunch and dinner foods as well.
- Try to stick to a consistent eating schedule – you wake up and go to bed at different times every day, but try to keep your meal times consistent. Irregular schedules lead to unhealthy snacking and late night meals.
It’s not always possible to do all the above, but to implement some into your travel routine will make traveling much healthier!