Eating healthy when traveling

They say the average person gains roughly five to 10 pounds while dining out when vacationing and traveling, with the all-you-can-eat buffets, indulging in cocktails and overall lounging around. But you don’t have to be the average person. True, you’ll want to try the different food cuisines but trust me, you can still eat healthy and maintain your fitness by checking out the epicurean treat that are available to you at most restaurants. Including the hotel amenities, such as the fitness center, hotel pool and sauna, instead of hitting the buffets. I went to Texas earlier this year, and at first, I was concerned that I would lose the discipline that I worked so hard to maintain. However, I found there are several health food stores and restaurants with nutritional alternatives to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Here are six things you can do to maintain your health and increase your agility while still allowing you to enjoy your trip!
  1. Get active
Start by making the most of the hotel facilities—the gym, running track and basketball courts. This is a great way to burn calories while also interacting with other travelers. During my trip, I made it a point to hit the gym every day because, in my mind, I was getting FREE access to a fully-equipped gym, whereas back home I was paying each month to work out. I felt like I was making the most of my travel experience. Beyond the gym, your hotel may have other sports facilities like a basketball court, tennis court or ping pong tables, so take some time to meet fellow travelers and engage your competitive spirit on the court!
  1. Karaoke and live music 
As one of the Primal Blue Print behavior laws, it is essential to play! Engage in interpersonal interactions. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas right? So show off those pipes and belt out your favorite tunes at karaoke without shame! Or, if you’re less adventurous, simply sit back, relax and let someone else handle the performance. You can unwind at one of the nearby lounges by listening to live music.
  1. Learn to dance (or other lessons) 
I have always been in love with country western dancing, so when I saw classes were being offered one day, I dragged my husband to it. It was a brief class but taught by professional dancers who were part of the hotel’s entertainment show cast. They broke down a routine into steps and had us follow along, so by the end of the session, we had learned a fully choreographed dance.
  1. Water activities  
If your destination takes you to a sea side, most places will likely have at least one swimming pool, and probably several other water activities such as kayaking, skiing, surfing or scuba diving or even a water park. Use this time to cool off and bond with family members, while relaxing and having a cooling time. Not to mention sun exposure that provides a great source of vitamin D and can also enable a mood elevating affect. But don’t get burnt!
  1. Traveling snack food  
You can easily take a variety of perishable and nonperishable items with you depending on the length of your trip, and how much room you have to pack food. This can easily go with you in the car, and you can take plenty of food with you in your suitcase, or right in your carry on through security. I personally take macadamia nuts, pepita seeds (pumpkin seeds) and other grain-free bars that contain healthy nutrients. Additional Options for travel-friendly perishable foods:
  • Vegetables like carrots and broccoli tossed in (local) olive oil or dipped in almond butter
  • Hard boiled eggs (pre peeled!)
  • Pre-cooked roasted sweet potatoes
  • Single serving packs of guacamole
  • Pre-made salad (yes, you can get this through security with dressing on!)
  1. Eat Healthy While Traveling
Whether traveling in your own car or by taxi, plan to stop at the grocery store just before reaching your hotel or at some point shortly after you arrive to get items you weren’t able to bring. This is also the time to pick up large bottles of purified water that will last you throughout your trip. If traveling for vacation or work, experiencing new, local cuisine can be the highlight of any trip. Luckily, you can enjoy the food at a majority of the restaurants you’ll visit by follow a few key “tricks” of the trade:
  • If picking your own restaurants, search directly in Google, Yelp, or Trip Advisor for keywords like “grass-fed” or “gluten-free” along with “restaurant” and the name of city you’re visiting.
  • When you arrive at a restaurant, tell the waiter you are gluten-free (dairy-free, or whatever you are trying to avoid) and would appreciate their help in making substitutions. Most of the time, they’ll make immediate recommendations and let the chef know your sensitivity.
  • When ordering salads, simply ask to sub the dressing for a side of olive oil (if you didn’t bring your own!) Ask them to hold any croutons or cheeses if you’re choosing to avoid gluten and processed dairy.
  • You can order any burger dish by simply asking them to hold the bun or replace the bun with lettuce leaves, and leave any sauce on the side. If you’d like to avoid the items fried in vegetable oils, sub out the fries for other sides they offer like grilled vegetables.
  • You can order any entrée dish that includes meats like steak, fish, or chicken, and ask for “double the veggies” as your side if it comes with other sides that are breaded or topped with cheese.
  • If you’re trying to avoid vegetable oils, ask if there is an option to have your meat or vegetables cooked in butter instead of the typical canola oil.
While all of these tips can help you eat healthy food while traveling, the most important thing you can do throughout your trip is to not stress about food imperfection. In fact, one of the number one causes of digestive distress is stress. This means, you could be eating the most nutrient-dense, pristine diet there is, but if you’re stressed, you’re not only impairing the breakdown and absorption of your food, you’re also suppressing your immune system and increasing your likelihood of experiencing a reaction to a gut pathogen or food toxin. In short, enjoy yourself and the opportunity you’ve been given to have a job, or travel and be on vacation. If that means bringing your own desserts, then go for it. But don’t miss out on exploring all that new cuisines have to offer. Healthy Traveling!