Eating healthy while on the road, in a hotel, or at the airport is a challenge because of limited options at food courts and restaurants. But with some special planning food shopping at your local independent health food store and packing, eating healthy on the road can be done! Try to follow the same basic guidelines of an “everyday” healthy diet — eat breakfast, eat often throughout the day to prevent hunger attacks, and eat as much fruit and vegetables as you possibly can.
Oatcakes, granola, mixed seeds and nuts, hard-boiled eggs, herbal tea bags and hot chocolate all pack easily. Try to get some protein and fibre into each meal to keep you feeling full.
Eat often throughout the day
Nutrition bars, crackers, cheese, nut butters, trail mix, granola, baby carrots, sliced apples and dried fruits all travel well. You can pack a lot of healthy calories into your carry-on bag beforehand, to keep you from selecting less healthy (and more expensive) versions of these snacks during your trip.
Pack some fresh or dried produce
Dried fruits are easily available, and actually count double-time toward your daily fruit recommendation because they are more concentrated. Think dried cherries, apples, pears, mangos, papaya, pineapples and raisins. Fresh apples and oranges pack well — bananas are good too, but need to be eaten quickly. Carrots, celery, radishes, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and fresh peas or beans travel well when precut and placed in zip lock bags. Avocados are a perfect travel food. Cut into one with a knife, season with a little salt and pepper (from the condiments bar at any airport), and then dig in with a spoon for 350 calories of good fats, loads of fibre and tons of potassium.
Planning for a healthy trip
Pack your first day’s worth of meals.
Bring a sandwich, a quinoa salad, some pre-cut veggies/fruits, and a couple of hard-boiled eggs so that you will be able to stay satisfied without purchasing overpriced airplane food.
Bring your thermos.
It’s always easy to get hot water from the food bar, and you can use that for a variety of lightweight, easy-to-pack foods. Instant oatmeal makes a quick, nutritious breakfast and miso soup sachets can make a nice lunch or snack while you are waiting for your next flight.
Staying in a hotel?
Ask about getting a fridge and/or a microwave in your room to improve the quality of the foods you are eating, and to save you money from fewer meals eaten at restaurants. If you are staying with friends/family, offer to prepare dinner one night instead of going out to eat.
Grab and create a seed mix to sprinkle.
Seeds such as hemp, sesame, chia, pumpkin and sunflower are lightweight, neutral-tasting, and full of protein, good fats and minerals. Toast them on a dry pan with some organic tamari soya sauce over a low heat for 3 minutes stirring until toasted lightly, and then allow cooling and placing in a small bottle or reusable container to pack. Sprinkle them on top of restaurant meals, such as salads, rice bowls, even sandwiches, wraps and pittas to boost the nutritional content.