Hello from Ronald Reagan Airport, where as I wait for my flight to take off, I am writing this blog to you and sipping H2O from my favorite glass water bottle. This weekend my mother turns 83, and to celebrate I’m flying down to Florida to be with her. We’re indulging in some much-needed mother-daughter bonding time!
My flight has been delayed by 3 hours though, and this really got me thinking about you. Tell me if this sounds familiar: You start learning about your body and what makes it thrive. You begin to identify the foods that make you feel great, increase your energy and reduce the bloat. And when you stick to those, you feel fantastic! Until, you have to travel somewhere. Suddenly everything you know gets tossed out the window and replaced with quick carbs at the airport and fast food during drive time. But I promise it doesn’t have to be that way. With just a little planning, you can eat well and support your body while you’re traveling.
Having traveled myself quite a lot in the last few years and having a particularly limited diet too, I can tell you that I have had some tough times on the road. I’ve eaten foods that made me feel pretty sick, and at times I have been so ridiculously hungry that I would eat anything—even if I knew it would make me feel like crap after! Not a pretty picture.
Along the way I picked up a few tips I’d love to share with you. When you have to travel, these 5 strategies will ensure that you’re still nourishing your body and your mind along the way:
- Make Google your new best friend. Before you visit a new place, look up restaurants in the area that fit your food criteria. For me, I use search words like: healthy, organic, farm to table, or vegan, and I always check for the local juice bars. I then take it a step further and go to their websites and check out their menus. It takes no more than 20 or 30 minutes, and I’m left with a list of places I know I will be happy eating at.
- Talk to people there. When I have an unexpected trip and I’ve missed out on doing research, I look for one place on the ground that fits my criteria. I’ve discovered that if I find one restaurant or juice bar, the people that I meet there will usually be able to direct me to other places to shop and eat.
- Request a refrigerator for your room. Most hotels will accommodate a request for a refrigerator at no charge to you. This is great for saving money and for keeping you on your healthy track. Find your local (healthy) food store and buy a few things for the morning or late evening snacks. I always buy lemons so that I can stay on my routine of having a cup of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. And I have been able to buy Kombucha almost everywhere I have been (great for keeping your probiotics in check while you’re away from home).
- Bring healthy snacks. Bring more than you think you’ll need. While it would be great to tote around homemade snacks, when you’re pinched for time and scrambling to get ready, you can’t really fuss over it. There are so many easy choices available though. Mix some nuts and seeds in a plastic bag (and add goji berries or raw cacao for extra flavor and nutritional punch). Buy a few bars (I am obsessed with “two moms in the raw”) and throw them in your carry-on. Cut up some celery, cucumbers or bell peppers for a quick and refreshing snack on the go.
- Keep hydrated! Get the best quality water you can find and keep a bottle with you all the time. The more hydrated you are, the less hungry you will be and the easier it will be for you to wait to find something that is good for you. Also, eating foods with high water content will hydrate you too. (This is another great reason to take along cucumbers, celery and bell peppers). After all, most of us already limit our water intake when we’re traveling simply for convenience. That means you are starting from a deficit—not to mention the water you’re losing from the lack of humidity on the plane. Make sure you combat it by drinking plenty.
P.S: In the comments below, let me know your favorite tips and tricks for eating healthy on the road.