Do you travel a lot? What do you do to eat healthy when you travel? My husband and I just spent the weekend at Macinac Island. I was worried before we left that I would not be able to find many nutritious things to eat to stay on my recently started plant based lifestyle. I was wrong. With some preparation and communication with the hotel we stayed at, overall I think I did pretty well.
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How to Eat Healthy While Traveling
1. Pack a cooler full of cut up veggies, fruit, raw nuts, and fruit and nut bars. We packed cut up carrots, celery, took a bag of organic romaine (I like to eat this right out of the package), oranges, apples, bananas, some Kind bars (I didn’t have any of my homemade bars or would have taken those).
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2. Before you travel, talk to the hotel staff to explain your dietary needs. We attended a retreat of around 100 people over the weekend. On Saturday night, there was a banquet and our choices for dinner were steak, chicken or fish. I let the meeting planner know that I have a gluten and dairy intolerance and chose the fish. Even though I have not been eating meat for about a month now, I thought fish would be a good choice for me. I am pretty confident that if I would have told them I needed a vegetarian meal, they would have definitely accommodated me. Don’t be afraid to let places know when you need something different than the norm.
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3. Take your Vitamix blender with you when you travel. By doing this, you are guaranteed to eat well by having a green smoothie or two a day. You can either pack ingredients for your smoothies or get them at the local grocery store. I did not do this for our trip this weekend because my parents stayed at our house and I wanted them to be able to make green smoothies while we were gone. From someone who has at least one large green smoothie packed with mostly spinach and fruit every day, I really missed my daily smoothie.
4. Find out ahead of time if there is a nearby grocery store so you can stock up on fruits and veggies when you get to your destination.
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5. I took my stainless steel Thermos filled with alkaline water from my water ionizer, my Tyent Goodlife stainless steel water bottle filled with alkaline water and my Tyent TYgo Portable Water Alkalizer with us. This way, I had plenty of good water to keep me hydrated while we were gone. I know a lot of people suffer from constipation while traveling and much of that is due to the fact that we don’t drink enough water when traveling. Preparing ahead of time kept me well-hydrated and regular.
6. Fill up on the veggies and fruit you brought with you (or that you buy from the local grocery store) before going to breakfast, lunch and dinner. I did this over the weekend and it seemed to help me to choose healthier food once we got to meals. For example, the first night we were there, there was a dinner for our group. It was a Cinco de Mayo theme. I was not sure what they would have so I ate plenty of carrots and celery before we went to dinner. I was able to make a taco and nachos with refried beans, lettuce, salsa and jalapenos. Not the healthiest of meals but not the absolute worst either.
The next morning, once again I started my day with a lot of veggies. When we went down to breakfast, I had an omelet with all veggies, no cheese or meat. I also had a big plate full of fresh fruit. Fantastic!
That night was the banquet with steak, chicken or fish as a choice. I chose fish and the chef came out to talk to me about my gluten and dairy intolerance. He and I came up with a plan to bake the whitefish without butter, make the mashed potatoes without butter and just steam the veggies for me. It was delicious and I felt good the entire night after dinner (which is not always the case for me when eating away from home).
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7. Find out what healthy restaurants will be in the areas you will be traveling. You can call the concierge at the hotel or do a search for restaurants on your own.
On our way to the resort at Mackinac, we ate our lunch in the car from the cooler we had packed with healthy options. On our way home, we didn’t have very much food left in the cooler and started to get hungry around dinner time. We kept passing signs for McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Subway, Applebee’s, etc. and my husband kept asking me where I wanted to stop. “None of those places,” I said in a disgusted tone.
Then we heard a commercial on the radio for a place called, “Tropical Smoothie Cafe.” Whoa! I think God just answered the dinner question for us!! I quickly grabbed my smart phone and looked up the locations for this delightfully sounding place! We found that there was a location only 20 miles from where we were. We drove there, got 3 smoothies (2 spinach and kale and 1 carrot) and were on our way. We each had 1 1/2 smoothies for our dinner, were full and satisfied. I was so excited to have found such a gem amongst the awful artery-clogging, preservative-filled and fat-inducing establishments that dare to call what they serve “food.”
This was my first time preparing to eat healthy while traveling. I definitely could have done better and will know more next time we travel what to do from this experience. For our first time really paying attention to what we ate while traveling, I think we did pretty well.
It’s all about the journey…