Travel. It offers an opportunity for us to step outside of our comfort zone; we learn something new about a different place as well as about ourselves, giving us food for thought.
Speaking of food, staying on track with health goals can be challenging; our 'go-to' foods and beverages may not be readily available and to fully explore another place, food is often a part of the cultural experience. Let's dive in and explore a few ways to stay healthy while on the road (or in a plane...).
I. Pack simple snacks
Avoid tempting treats by keeping two or three simple and satisfying snacks on hand. My favorite go-to is a packet of dry oatmeal with a small container of walnuts and flaxseeds; simply add hot water and a splash of dairy-free milk and you have a filling, fiber-rich snack. Other ideas include an apple with a 100-calorie packet of raw almonds or a travel-size hummus with a baby bag of carrots.
II. Load up on liquids
With changes in cabin pressure, altitude and humidity, travel generates an increased need for hydration. The day before you jet-set, load up on water and hydrating foods like pineapple and cucumber. In-flight, aim for roughly 8 ounces of water each hour. As alcohol dehydrates the body, avoid, or limit, in-flight cocktails. When you arrive to your destination, drink 16 ounces of water to replenish your hydration status.
III. Master the menu
Get menu savvy by familiarizing yourself with terms that indicate high-cal, high-fat foods. Focus on items that use descriptive words such as 'grilled,' 'steamed,' 'broiled' or 'baked' instead of 'scalloped,' 'golden,' 'creamed,' 'fried' or 'sautéed.' If you do want a slice or two of that Chicago-style deep-dish, simply watch your portions; fill up on a broth-based soup or side salad first to limit overindulging.
IV. Harness hotel help
If your room doesn't come with one, request a mini-fridge; grab your map and head to the local grocery store to stock up on a few basics for snacks and simple breakfasts. Ideas include dry oatmeal, fresh fruit, a loaf of bread, a small tub of hummus and a jar of nut butter. Bonus: this will help cut down on overpriced breakfast buffets while getting you out exploring early!
V. Indulge in one
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, trying to stick to a healthy plan while traveling can be challenging and exhausting. When exhausted, we are less likely to dedicate energy to making healthier meal and snack choices. Choose one small item, like a local sorbet, to indulge in each day.