If you subscribe to our weekly Insider Update, you’re hopefully already in the summer travel mindset. Recently, I traveled to Kansas City, MO to spend time with other dietitians from across the country, beef scientists, and cattle ranchers too. This of course prompted me to think and look for quick and easy ways to keep my meal plan on check so that I could then share them with all you fabulous people!
The good news: Eating nutrient-rich foods while traveling is absolutely possible – and your body will love you for it!
The not-so-good news: For every nutrient-rich food you find, you’ll probably find at least 10 not-so-nutrient-rich foods available too.
So… how do you find that healthy balance between staying on track and enjoying special indulgences too? Here are a few of my guilt-free tips for eating your best while traveling that will still allow you to enjoy news foods and have a great time along the way:
Go In With the Right Mindset. Success often starts before you even hit the road. So before you plan your next trip, keep your meal plan in mind. Decide whats reasonable for you. Perhaps you don’t want to sacrifice dinners out or know you’ll be drinking a little more wine or beer than you do at home. If either of these ring true, it may mean you need to instead focus on having nutrient-rich foods at other parts of your day other than dinner. Or perhaps you need to go easy on other indulgent treats throughout your trip to make room for the additional drinks. By knowing what you want, you can begin to create a plan of action that actually enhances your trip while also maintaining a pretty sound eating routine.
For the Love of All that is Good, Stay Hydrated! Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile, water is one of those things that often gets left behind. So grab a reusable water bottle or make sure you scout out your water options in between flights, at road stops, and at your final destination. Not only can staying hydrated keep your energy levels up, but it can also help you travel more comfortably. Water-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetable or even yogurt can also contribute to your overall fluid intake so if you see some around, take full advantage!
Keep a Keen Eye Out for… Fiber & Protein. Fiber and protein are a powerful duo. By incorporating foods rich in these two nutrients, odds are good that you’ll feel a little more satisfied and less likely to overindulge at or in-between meals later on. Sometimes fiber can be a little tricky to find while on vacay – but wow, is it important! Not only can it help your meal feel a little more satisfying, but it may also help keep your system running regularly. Another very important process while traveling! You don’t want your system to speed up or back up if you get my meaning.
If possible, consider visiting a grocery store, farmer’s market, or produce stand at your final destination to pick up some fresh fruits and veggies to supplement your meals out. Or maybe you’ll even find them at the airport like I did! This can definitely help boost your fiber content. Many hotels also offer fresh fruit in their lobbies, so if you find it, be don’t let it pass you by. And of course, if fruits or veggies are on the menu while eating out, say yes. Always say yes to the produce!
Decide What You Can and Can’t Live Without. Its vacation and you can be exclusive about your food decisions! Although tempting foods might be everywhere, odds are pretty good that many of those options are also available at home too. So instead of choosing all those foods, instead be choosy. Keep your meals full of foods that are going to help you feel your best while away and then look for a few foods that are really special or unique. This will ensure you still feel like your meal plan is on holiday while also keeping your healthy eating habits in check.
The beauty of this approach is that it still feels like you are on vacation. You don’t have to sacrifice fun food experiences while away. Instead, look for away to have fun with food while also keeping things in balance. Its a great way to approach time away.
What are your tips for keeping it healthy while away on vacation?
Disclaimer/Disclosure: The Missouri Beef Council covered the expenses of my trip while traveling to Kansas City, MO for their Nutrition Adventure program. I was not asked to write this post on their behalf or financially compensated for it. The views expressed here are mine (Kati’s) alone. We just thought you should know that. For a full list of our disclaimer/disclosure policies, please visit our legal page.