Been traveling again, so I just updated this post…
I always get asked, how do you eat healthy when you travel? An often lofty goal that gets tossed to the side when goodies appear. Goodbye carrot sticks and hummus, hello pretzels and beer!
Healthy Eating Travel Tips
How depressed are you when your jeans get tight? They don’t lie. When you’ve gained weight, even if you avoid the scale, your jeans tell you. Tight jeans never make for a happy homecoming. Jean rejection stinks.
Healthy Salad Tips
- Dressing: Eat it on the side, and dip salad into dressing.
- Choose a vinegar based dressing over cream/dairy-based dressings (much more bad fat).
- Caesar doesn’t count as a healthy salad – the dressing typically has tons of dairy based fat.
- Bread: Avoid it, along with croutons and other unnecessary processed wheat calories. This can undo a healthy salad fast.
- Meat: Avoid lunch meat, as in “chef’s salads.” Only eat real meat. Lunchmeat is NOT real meat.
- Stick to low fat meats like, white chicken or turkey breast.
- Cheese: A little cheese in a salad is an ok thing, don’t make it the primary calorie source.
- Soft cheeses, like goat cheese have less fat than hard cheeses.
- Fats: Avocado is a great fat source, as is olive oil or coconut oil. Grapeseed is ok, too.
- Veggies: Look for veggies other than lettuce in salads to make them healthier (shredded cabbage, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.).
- Beans: Chic peas, black beans, adzuki, pinto are a great protein source in salads. Soybeans are a complete protein!
- Whole Grains: Look for quinoa (really a seed), bulgur wheat, wild or brown rice on salads. They will fill you up with tons of vitamins, minerals, and energy.
- Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, almonds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds all make great salad toppings. About 1 TBS.
Healthy Sandwich Tips
Buyer Beware: sandwiches sneak a number of pitfalls into a meal, even when you think you’re picking a “healthy” one.
- Bread: Go for the most whole grain option. Any other offers empty calories and little to no fiber or nutrition.
- Meat: Avoid lunch meat – eat REAL MEAT. What a novel idea! All the sodium, nitrates and nitrites in lunch meat causes bloating and other unwanted reactions.
- Cheese: The less processed the better. Remember, softer cheeses have less fat. A little fat goes a long way. Fats have 9 calories per gram as opposed to the 4 found in carbohydrates and proteins. They take longer to burn so you need less of them.
- Veggies: Pack that sandwich with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, and any other veggies you like.
- Sides: Carrot sticks, celery sticks, apple slices, unsweetened applesauce. Avoid chips, pretzels and other salty snacks (or eat small amounts).
Healthy Entree Tips
- Protein: Fish, shellfish, lean meats (chicken – white meat, turkey – white meat, pork, veal, venison, quail).
- Sides: All veggies, includes sweet potatoes, avoid white potatoes.
- Preparations to avoid: fried foods; breaded foods; cream sauces; foods in high concentrations of butter or oil; large portions of pasta, large portions of beef/red meat; bread.
Easy Healthy Travel Snacks to Pack
- Apples, bananas, oranges (fruits that travel well)
- Luna Bars (mini sizes or regular)
- Trail Mix (mixed nuts, seeds, dried fruit)
- Handful of nuts (walnuts, almonds)
- Granola (Back to Nature). Remember, not all granola is created equal. Some have tons of sugar and fat. Read labels or make your own.
Look up menus online – be prepared.
Use these strategies in airports, unfamiliar cities, and on the go in your hometown. I employ them all the time – with food allergies.
Try the healthy eating travel tips that seem doable to you. Remember, healthy you can live! See how those jeans zipper at the end of your trip. If they still fit, I say you did all right! Let me know how it goes…