Nutrition For The Traveler

If you’re about to go on a trip that involves a change in time zone, you’ll probably plan for jet lag, but there are other problems when going on a trip, whether it’s by car or by plane or train. It’s eating healthy. You need to be prepared to eat healthy, which isn’t always possible. In fact, sometimes nutrition for the traveler, whether on the road or in the air, needs careful planning. It’s easier when on a long road trip, but with a little extra planning those plane trips can be just as healthy.

Problems getting adequate nutrition can occur when eating at fast food restaurants.

If you’re on a road trip, you probably are following well traveled roads with a multitude of restaurants. However, just because there are places to eat, it doesn’t mean you’ll be eating healthy. When mapping out your trip, check the places to eat near your fuel stops before you go. Rather than settling for belly bombers at one stop, you might find an earlier or slightly later stop offers a healthier option or a whole food grocery that offers fare you don’t have to cook. Flying into an area requires just as much planning. If you’re going to a foreign country, do you eat at the airport if the local cuisine is iffy or search on the net for local food that’s more acceptable. Do your research.

Pack healthy snacks on road trips.

No matter where I go, I always check to see if there’s a refrigerator in the room. Most hotels now have them. I love snacking at night and my favorite food is often raw veggies and my favorite low cal dip. While you may see it on a room service menu, you won’t see that option often…and the cost is outrageous. I always bring a small cooler of veggies or buy fresh ones at a local market when I arrive. Examples of great snacks to take along besides raw veggies and dip—such as hummus—are hard-boiled eggs, berries and almonds. Eat frequently and avoid skipping meals to keep your metabolism functioning at top speed.

Some foods leave you feeling better than others.

No matter how you’re traveling, keep sugar and difficult to digest foods at a minimum. Not only are the nutrients at a minimum, you’ll notice they affect your mood and often leave you feeling gassy and out of sorts. Carbonated sugary drinks, deep fried foods, foods that are prepackaged or are partially hydrogenated and those with artificial sweeteners or alcoholic drinks should be avoided.

  • Keep plenty of bottled water on hand. Dehydration not only leaves you feeling dragged out, but also makes you feel hungry. Since alcohol dehydrates you, it’s another reason to avoid it— and is especially dangerous and illegal if you’re driving.
  • Eat plenty of protein when traveling. It will keep you feeling fuller longer and won’t boost your sugar levels only to drop them later.
  • When traveling by air, apples, nuts or even a boiled egg fit nicely into your pocket and can be a good option for a mini meal snack in the air. Put the snack in a plastic bag so you have easy disposal of the core or eggshells.
  • Traveling by car gives you the option of packing up leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, putting them in the cooler and eating it on the road in place of snack foods or a meal. A small container of salad can be quite refreshing on a long trip.

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