Between getting ready for my own wedding, being a bridesmaid in 2 others, and adding other friends to my list of new weddings to attend (which seems to be growing by the day), I have been and will be doing A LOT of traveling over the next year. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it, BUT talk about an easy way to sabotage hard effort towards your diet? RIGHT?! Messed up sleep patterns + fast food lurking in every corner + parties and celebrations can lead to a lot of poor food decisions …. if you’re unprepared that is.
Where most people fail when they “eat poorly when traveling” isn’t because they want fast food or need to purchase that Twix bar between flights; it’s because they aren’t prepared. This leads to them having no choice but to make the quickest or most convenient choice when they have 30 minutes to get from 1 terminal to the next and have a serious case of the tummy grumbles.
For those of you think “yep that’s me”, never fear! I’m going to share with you today my DO’s and DON’T’s of traveling to help you make smarter, healthier choices whether that be when you’re driving, flying, or just heading out for a weekend vacation.
Happy travels, and think clean, green, and lean!
DON’T: Leave for your travels without eating. What this leads to: Eating with your eyes and not your brain! We tend to make poor food decisions when we are starving, and you never know what food will be available on the road or in an airport. Don’t leave yourself with few options and a tummy that is upset and hungry!
DO: Eat ahead. Why: Before you leave for your trip, take 10-15 minutes to prepare yourself something small that incorporates a small source of protein. Make this mini-meal something you like or enjoy eating so that 1. you will feel satisfied and 2. you won’t feel the need to eat something for at least another 3-4 hours. Hopefully by that time you will be settled or have better options than travel food. Remember, protein is key for satiety, so add some nuts, a small piece of meat, 1 hard-boiled egg, some cottage cheese or another lean protein to this mini meal to keep your stomach settled and satisfied! My pre-travel food: 3 eggs whites with some added veggies (spinach, pepper, or whatever I have on hand), avocado, salsa, sprinkle of cheese, and 1 piece of whole-grain toast.
DON’T: Wait to buy snacks at the airport OR plan to pick up snacks on the way. What this leads to: Limited choices and over-paying. It’s no secret that prices at airports for snacks, drinks, etc. are EXTREMELY over-priced. Not only will you be paying and extra dollar and a dime for nothing special, you are also limiting your options. Pretzels, peanuts, candy bars, chips. Yes there are a probably a few better choices mixed in there, but paying $5 for a 1oz bag of trail mix just never sits well with me.
DO: Pack your own snacks. Why: Not only will you save money, you have also put yourself back in control! Make your own healthier trail mix with raw, unsalted nuts, dried fruits, low-fat pretzels, and high-fiber cereals or granola. Pack raw veggies or mini apples, clementines, or a small bag of grapes or berries. Pick up a few protein bars and a few travel-size protein powders (these can be life savers!). Remember, look for minimal ingredients and a protein source as the 1st ingredient (I tend to go for vegan protein blends so pea protein is commonly used). Then all you need is an ice water or a small low-fat milk to mix with and you have instant breakfast or a snack on the go!
DON’T: Expect to be perfect when your traveling. What this leads to: Disappointment with yourself. I get it; you’ve been working really hard and feel like the past 24 hours ruined all your efforts. Well, they didn’t. As much as you may feel you gained 10 lbs in 24 hours, I can assure you that is highly unlikely. Yes I want you to make an effort to give yourself choices and make better decisions, but we all slip up or have a special indulgence every once in a while. You’ll be fine!
DO: Enjoy yourself, have fun, and go to bed knowing that if today wasn’t the best food day, you always have tomorrow!