• How to Eat Healthier While Traveling {It’s Possible, Promise!}

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    There’s something about traveling that puts your whole body out of whack and try to eat healthier while traveling is no small feat. Especially if you’re transcending your normal altitude or changing time zones, traveling can put a lot of stress on the body. Plus, the body never knows when it’s supposed to be hungry, and traveling can throw the entire digestive track off {ahem, meaning irregular poo-ing}.

    travel good for soul

    Travel: Good for the soul, but not always great for digestion {or your diet}.

    “Vacation constipation” is a real thing. Even Reader’s Digest sees the correlation between wanderlust and constipation. The magazine reports that 40% of people have trouble taking a sh*t on vacay. Apparently, it’s because we’re “creatures of routine” and in order to “stay regular,” our routine has to stay regular. Any break in that routine really screws up everything we have going on inside.

    But that’s not the only thing that sucks about traveling. Sometimes it’s really, really — like, really — difficult to stick to a diet or food lifestyle while traveling. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up a few tricks of the trade — the ultimate tenets of eating healthy while traveling. It’s possible, we promise. Keep reading to find out the key to eating healthier while traveling — with tips straight from a local nutritionist.

    Bring Your Water Bottle

    This is the most important thing you can do for your health while traveling.

    “It’s so important to hydrate while traveling! Not only will staying hydrated curb hunger and maintain energy levels, but your digestive system will be more regular, too,” says New Jersey nutritionist Dana Baardsen.

    “When getting from point A to point B, a lot can go on,” she explains. “Hustling to transfer flights and walking faster than the usual pace to catch a train are two simple examples of the extra stress the body can experience because of traveling. You’ll need a little more hydration than usual. It doesn’t hurt to drink an electrolyte drink, too, so you don’t feel worn out after a long day of traveling.”

    eat heathy travel

    Here’s another pro tip: When drinking on vacay, stick to clear liquors.

    See More: 7 Healthy Grab-and-Go Meal Options in Hoboken

    Opt Out of Airplane Meals

    Ugh, airplane meals. They’re never as good as they promise to be, plus airport food is usually loaded with more calories than nutritious value {not to mention extra sodium and sugar}.

    There are two ways to do this — one is by packing a ton of snacks {see the tip below!} and the other is by implementing something called intermittent fasting. We discovered this tip á la Lee From America, a wellness influencer and blogger who writes all about the joys and benefits of intermittent fasting here.

    IF has been linked to cell regeneration, improved digestion, regulated energy levels, lower glucose and insulin levels, and more. IF refers to patterned eating that requires you to consume your daily calories within a specific window of hours each day. Say you eat between 9:00AM-5:00PM by that IF logic, then you don’t have breakfast before 9:00AM and you don’t eat anything {or consume any calories, such as alcohol} beyond 5:00PM.

    When it comes to traveling, Lee From America recommends employing intermittent fasting while on flights. Flying can make you feel tired, bloated, or gassy; it can even cause your feet to swell. But according to Lee, if you fast on your flight, IF can alleviate a lot of these flying side effects. Read all about her personal experience with fasting while flying here.

    Pack All The Snacks

    If intermittent fasting isn’t for you, pack your own mini-meals that way you’re not tempted by the sugary sweetness lurking around every corner in the airport {or in town}. Trail mix, almonds, freeze-dried fruit, jerky, rice crackers, power bars, granola, popcorn are all snack options that Dana highly recommends.

    “It’s all about convenience when you’re on the road or in the air,” Dana says. “After choosing your snacks {go for high-protein options to better sustain your energy} and drinks {AKA personal jet fuel}, you’ll want to make sure the bags you’re traveling with are packed so your snacks can be easily accessed. Consider what type of snacking containers and baggies you’ll pack your food in, too. If you pack granola bars, for example, you’ll want to keep them tucked in a designated snack bag so one doesn’t slip to the bottom of your backpack or luggage.”

    Find the Local Spots

    Excessively eating out so is one of the biggest pits people fall into while traveling {which thwarts any healthy eating plans, too}.

    “Don’t overdo it when eating out,” Dana suggests.”It’s super easy to eat mindlessly and indulge in foods and drinks in a way you normally wouldn’t during the regular day-to-day. A good rule of thumb is to be a bit more restrictive during the day by eating lighter around breakfast and lunch. Dinners tend to be the meal that calories can really bulk up, especially when drinks {even soda!} are involved.”

    “By being extra mindful during the day, your body will be thanking you for not overloading constantly and using your vacation as an excuse to do so!” she adds.

    Nootrix is an app that uses location to find nearby local farmers’ markets. It’s a great asset in supporting locally-grown foods and farmers and it proved essential to me finding fresh ingredients for any at-home meals.

    beach food travel

    Eat locally when you can. Are strawberries in-season where you are? Great! Get ’em!

    Book a Room With a Kitchenette

    Eating out while traveling is definitely a great way to experience a new place + get to know the culture. It’s fun to go to restaurants and eat like the locals, trying out new cuisines. It’s also fun, healthy, and oftentimes cheaper to cook some meals at “home” if that’s an option for you.

    Read More: 8 Healthy Meal Delivery Services in Hoboken + Jersey City

    For some, going out to eat so frequently to eat can grow tiresome real quick, especially because when we’re not making healthiest decisions due to being in a new environment {beer, donuts, Bavarian pretzels, oh my!}. Grocery shopping locally and discovering local farmers’ markets can be a fun way to get to know a new city and stay on track with eating healthy.

    How do you stay healthy while traveling? Tell us in the comments below!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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