How To Stay Healthy While You Travel
I recently had the incredible opportunity of traveling to Rome for New Years this year. Like many of you, I have complete wanderlust and love visiting new places, seeing new cultures, enjoying new foods and traveling the world as much as possible. However, this can be tough when you are on a specific diet or into a clean eating regime, such as myself.
So what do you do when you travel to stay healthy, enjoy yourself, and not be that one person at the dinner table eating a lettuce leaf because there’s nothing on the menu that fits into your diet?
Below are my top tips:
- If you are flying, bring your own food. I am constantly posting pictures on my instagram account of my salads in 1L mason jars (click here and here and here to see these in pictures) This is my go-to way to stay healthy on a plane, where your options are so limited. I love to prepare a salad in a big bowl, mix it with dressing, then layer it into the mason jar. Just note that security might stop you for having the salad dressing (just make sure you don’t drown your salad), but I have never had my food taken away worldwide. I made the mistake of not having anything prepared for my flight back from Rome to London and ended up eating the chocolate brownie (which was the lesser of two evil options), so prep is key!
- Bring fresh fruit and raw nuts no matter where you are going. Whether it’s in a plane, car, boat or you are touring a new city, if you have something healthy on hand you are more likely to eat that when hunger strikes. Having something like an apple or banana and raw almonds will satisfy you and keep you from digging into that deep fried snickers bar or cheeseburger. Just make sure that if you are doing an international flight you eat your produce prior to arriving into customs, as it’s not allowed from other countries (unless declared).
- Order wisely at restaurants. I recommend looking for things such as lean cuts of meat, white fish, chicken and of course vegan dishes that focus on beans and other plant based foods as the main. Never feel scared to ask what the dish is cooked with (i.e. butter, salt, oil, cream) and ask for modifications. However, do note that in many countries they will not understand your request, so either find a different dish or order what is local, looks good, and have a small bit of it. Stressing about food can actually stop your digestion system from working, which is turn creates more stress on your body. Sometimes you have to let go and just relax.
- Drink your water, eat your greens, and take superfood powders. Everyone knows we need to be drinking more water and this is nothing new I tell you. Especially if you are flying where you get extremely dehydrated, water will help prevent jet lag, fine lines, and helps keep your digestion moving. I always recommend people to have green vegetables as their biggest portion on their plate and have them at least 2x a day. If you have access to a blender while traveling, green smoothies are an amazing way to keep your body hydrated, full of fiber and internal organs happy. I recommend the NutriBullet if you have space for a blender as it’s a great travel one. The last part of this is superfood powders (such as chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, acai, maca) which can really help keep your body alkalized, full of energy, and provides many nutrients that you might not be getting while changing your diet because of travel. I personally use Organic Burst as they have great little travel containers and bring them everywhere with me. I brought my spirulina tablets to Rome, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to eat as many greens as I normally do and to help balance the drinking I would be doing on New Year’s Eve.
- Learn to love the local food and relax. This is a tough one because we are all scared of “ruining” our diet when we travel. While I was in Rome, I chose to eat lighter in the day knowing I would go out for a late dinner and indulge in some proper Italian food. For lunch, I ordered green tea, a large bottle of water, platter of fresh fruit and side of parma ham. When going out to dinner, it was a few course meal, which started with artichoke soup and for the main I ordered spaghetti, while dessert was a selection of hand made mini pastries. Now when I’m in London this is not normally something that I would ever order, but when in Rome…. The point is that I ordered what is local to that country, didn’t feel guilty, didn’t eat everything on my plate and savored every bite. You might be dairy free, gluten free, sugar free or whatever else diet you follow, but sometimes you need to relax a little bit and try new things. If you are flying half way across the world and end up India, I would hope that you would relax a little bit, appreciate the fact that you are blessed to be in a new country and experiencing something so wildly different and enjoy some new foods. Trying things doesn’t mean it will ruin your diet or progress, it just means you experience it and can get back to your way of eating when you return home.
So with all that, my trip in Rome was quite incredible as I got to enjoy some beautiful Italian food, see incredible sights across the city, enjoy some lush champagne, watch fireworks, then return to London and continue eating the way I normally do, with no added weight from my time away.