• Experts provide health tips
• Making good choices while traveling
• Combat travel fatigue
We have all been there — grabbing chips and soda at the gas station before hopping back into the car to resume our road-warrior expedition, not getting up to hit the gym at our hotel after a day of traveling, enjoying the ample buffet supplied at lunch with every intention of hitting the lounge after our meetings. Yes, this can be part of the traveler’s life and by all means once in awhile you have to let loose and just enjoy, but if you are looking to continue working toward your health goals while traveling, there are many experts with great tips for you to employ.
What are the keys to staying healthy while traveling? According to Ashley Kohler, Manager of Yoga on the Lake at Destination Kohler, “Staying hydrated, stretching often, and eating small, healthy meals while you travel, instead of large, rich, high-fat meals will help you sustain energy and beat fatigue.”
Having a plan for snacking is also a huge benefit.“When it comes to traveling and healthy eating, the two rarely seem to go hand in hand. However, with some time spent in planning and preparations before you leave on your trip, it can happen! My go-to motto: ‘Everything in Moderation,’” shared Elizabeth Suehring, BS, CHWC, CWP, owner of Summit Wellness, LLC. “Don’t beat yourself up about an indulgence, after all you are traveling! However, be smart and savvy about your indulgences. Doughnuts left out from yesterday’s meeting do not count as an indulgence. Whereas a tried and true favorite ice cream shop that has raving reviews from all the locals, would be a worthwhile indulgence.”
Below are some tips from Suehring on healthy eating practices to share with your attendees as you plan your next venture.
Before you leave:
• Check out the local food scene online. While it’s comforting to know if the regular restaurant joints are close, try instead to branch out. When I travel, I follow this rule:
No eating at a restaurant if you have one in the same town in which you live. That means typical places such as restaurant chains and common pizza joints are out. Try checking with the hotel staff for their favorite places to grab dinner.
• Pack snacks you’re comfortable with. Traveling can sometimes bring on lovely stomach issues; sticking to foods your body gets along with nicely can help!
• See if there is a farmers’ market near where you are staying. Not only can you get great, fresh, local produce, but you can also find out the locals’ favorite places to eat.
• If there’s no farmers’ market, find a grocery store nearby to stock up on healthy snacks. My go-to snacks are fresh fruit like apples and bananas, dried fruits, fresh vegetables like carrot sticks, sugar snap peas, and broccoli. Also hummus or peanut butter. If you have access to a fridge in your hotel, hard boiled eggs, Greek Yogurt, and cheese make great snacks or a quick breakfast. No access to a fridge, no problem! Bring popcorn, multi-seed crackers, or un-salted mixed nuts.
When you are out and about:
• Don’t be too strict with your diet. Chances are you are not traveling to this exact same spot on a weekly basis, so enjoy it! Be smart about your breakfast and lunch choices, but try something new and different for dinner.
• Look at the menu ahead of time. Or call the restaurant ahead of time if their menu isn’t listed on their website. They can give you a list of healthier options or their ‘lighter fare.’ This way, when you go in with a plan, you’re more likely to make smarter choices about your food.
• Try to avoid fried foods. Stick to lean proteins such as fish and chicken. Load up on vegetables!
Other tips and tricks:
• Visually cut your plate in half, to keep portions under control. You may be so bold as to ask the server to put half of the plate in a to-go box before bringing out your plate.
• Listen to your body! If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re full then stop eating. It’s harder to do when out with a group of people, but remember to check in with yourself and listen to your hunger level.
• Of course, drink plenty of water. If you’ll be traveling on an airplane, bring an empty water bottle through security, but fill it up for the plane ride.
• Bring lemons, limes, or other fruit to infuse your water in case your palate isn’t satisfied with the taste of the water in another city. And fruit infused water will keep your taste buds from getting bored and craving soda, alcoholic beverages, or elaborate coffee drinks.
• Avoid processed or heavily salted foods. These can make for an unpleasant, bloated feeling later on. Best to avoid that!
So whether you’re heading out for a month-long trip or just a quick weekend conference, eating healthy can be a fun and fulfilling experience. Just remember, a few simple preparations before you head out can really make a positive impact on your food choices and how your body feels on the trip.
Healthy tips from our readers:
“My best tip for staying healthy while traveling is to walk back from the restaurant at night…” — Luther Bell, Project Manager/Technical Director,The Show Syndicate
“Best way to stay healthy while traveling? Stick to your diet! It’s a huge challenge, but your body (and mind) will thank you.” — Rick Turner, Account Executive, Extraordinary Events