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How To Eat Healthy When You Travel - Part 2: Eating and Drinking on Your Trip

November 16, 2017

This is Part 2 of our How to Stay Healthy When You Travel Series. Check out Part 1 if you haven't yet!

 

 

 

Once You Arrive

Remember how we said the key to healthy travel is planning ahead? This means buying & prepping some food you know will be nutritious and make you feel good throughout the duration of your trip.

 

When you arrive, hit the grocery store…. Whole Foods is usually a safe bet, but it's also nice to explore local co-op groceries whenever you can find them. If you want to be fancy, try AmazonFresh, groceries delivered to your door - err, hotel.

 

Here's a peek at my typical grocery list & planned menus. Although salads get a little old after a while, it's usually the easiest to prepare without a kitchen, and packs a ton of nutrition to keep you feeling awesome.

 

 

 

Water

Since tap water can be extremely suspect and potentially ridden with harmful toxins (such as fluoride, which can be rough on the thyroid), I like to pick up a gallon or two of filtered water. According to the EWG, only three brands/products earned high ratings for transparency on their water source & quality of testing:

  • Gerber Pure Purified Water

  • Nestle Pure Life Purified Water

  • Penta Ultra-Purified Water.

 

Nestle Pure Life is usually easiest to find, and it appears to be pretty clean. {Fellow nerds: here are the water quality test results} Of course, it’s still in BPA bottles, but as long as you don’t leave your bottle in a hot car, you’re reducing your exposure compared to tap water.

 

 

Skip the grocery line altogether

If buying all of these groceries seems daunting, you can find pre-made meals locally, and have them delivered on the day you arrive. When I do this, I never have to worry about food from that point on. Hotel front desk staff is also very nice about keeping it cold. A quick google search can help with this. For example, “paleo meal delivery in Houston, TX” You’ll pay a little extra for your food, since it’s already prepared, but sometimes the convenience is absolutely worth it! See below for some other “packed lunch” options.

 

 

Eating Out & Eating in General

 

Breakfast

Portable nutrition is critical if you're on the go in the mornings. I buy Naked Juices, and they’re really yummy! But be warned - these things contain a ton of fruit sugar, which could contribute to massive blood sugar spikes. Not a habit for normal situations!

 

Good: Naked Juice.

Better: Naked Juice + Collagen protein powder.

Best: Naked Juice + Collagen protein powder + handful of nuts or spoonful of coconut oil.

 

This combo is easy to come by, and gives you the protein, healthy fat, and fruits/veggies to keep you full until lunch. If it's too sweet, you can even water it down a bit.

 

Lunch

I try to pack my lunches every day when I’m headed to meetings, since it’s not always assumed that the catered meal will be special-diet-friendly. I carry a leak-proof glass container when I travel, and I’ll toss salad greens & sprouts with a few apple slices or berries, shred the sliced chicken, and top with a handful of nuts. I use olive oil + lemon juice or bottled dressing to finish it off! If I arrive early enough, I will “collect” food from places and will use them as my lunches for the following day(s). Chipotle is usually an easy stand-by, but you can also google search for organic restaurants and find some decent options (True Foods Kitchen, CAVA Grill, Tender Greens) in larger cities. The hot bar at Whole Foods is also a good place to “pack” your lunch.

 

Dinner

Work travel for me usually involves eating out with the group for dinner. Here, the first line of defense is preparation. It is exhausting! Restaurants are usually very accommodating when it comes to special dietary restrictions, so study the menu in advance and ask questions. While you usually can’t go wrong with a protein (chicken, steak, shrimp, etc.) plus sautéed veggies, but if you have special dietary needs, always ask specifically how it’s prepared and watch for cross-contamination. Ask specifically whether it’s butter-free, because some servers don’t always realize this is dairy. Of course, a good standby is a salad or steamed veggies. Again, check your ingredients. Note that any candied nuts will likely be cooked in butter, and since dressings may contain some iffy thickeners, olive oil & vinegar may be the safest bet.

 

Offense is great, but defense is also important. Let’s say you accidentally get “glutened” at your restaurant and you're highly gluten-intolerant like me. In order to break down the gluten and preemptively combat negative symptoms, I carry gluten & dairy digestive enzymes in my bag and take them before my dinner for peace of mind. It’s not a silver bullet and doesn't mean you should throw back two loaves of bread if you're gluten-intolerance, but helps tremendously if you are accidentally exposed.

 

 

 

There you have it — my top secrets on how to travel without sacrificing your health.  What other travel hacks have you come up with?

 

This is Part 2 of our How to Stay Healthy When You Travel Series. Check out Part 1 if you haven't yet!

 

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