18 Aug Healthy Eating When Traveling
Who doesn’t love vacation? It is a time for new experiences, family fun, and well-deserved relaxation. Yet, despite all of the benefits, many dread getting on the scale once they return home. It’s common to feel that you have less power and much more exposure to unhealthy foods – not exactly the ideal combination. Returning from a trip to Scotland myself, I understand this phenomena first hand. However, vacations don’t always have to wreak havoc on your diet. Here are some tips to keep you on track and feeling good while away.
For the Plane
Food served inflight is typically far from healthy. To nourish yourself with whole foods, plan ahead.
- Pack snacks. Trail mix, granola bars (like KIND or Kashi) and whole fruits (like apples, clementine’s, and pears) are examples of healthy foods that can cross security. Turkey, cheese, and PB&J sandwiches work nicely. Salads can also be easily carried in a carry-on but you may need to slice a lemon as the liquid dressing probably won’t make it through security.
- Always carry a water bottle. You can easily pack an empty bottle, and fill it up using a water fountain after you have crossed security. Many airports now even have a designated water bottle fill area.
Eating out for each meal can be overwhelming. Many folks worry they won’t be able to find anything healthy on the menu, and all the days’ activities create the potential for long periods of time without access to healthy foods. Here are some strategies to keep in mind while attempting to solve these dilemmas.
- Control portions. Depending upon the location, serving sizes at restaurants could be much larger than those typically consumed. Ask for an extra plate and set aside the extra food if the portions are too large. You can also share dishes with your travel mates.
- Stash extras. Have a breakfast buffet or fruit basket at your hotel? Don’t hesitate to snag some food before heading out for the day. In Scotland, bananas and dried fruit were my typical choices.
- Find a local market. Stop at a nearby grocery store or convenience shop to prepare some meals. Pick up fruit, yogurt, nuts, and whole grain bread, nut butter, cold cuts or cheese for sandwiches.
- Stash healthy snacks. To help avoid binge eating on junk food or a desperate stop at a fast food restaurant, keep granola bars, trail mixes, or fresh fruit in your purse or backpack.
It’s also important not to shy away from tasting the local cuisine and trying new foods. In Scotland, one very common dish, haggis, is a meat mixture containing a sheep’s lungs and liver. It was served at almost every restaurant, for each meal of the day. Although it didn’t sound appetizing to me initially, I eventually became brave enough to take a taste, and was pleasantly surprised!
At the end of the day, if you do find yourself eating unhealthier than usual, don’t beat yourself up. As long as you make an effort to remain healthy while away, it is okay to splurge now and again. Once you return back home, it’s easier to set up healthy eating goals and go back to your healthy eating and exercise routines.
Alissa Fogelson is a senior at Harrison High School. She is passionate about nutrition and dance, and values the role healthy eating plays in maintaining an active lifestyle. She plans to pursue dietetics and eventually become a registered dietitian nutritionist.