Making healthy choices can be a challenge when you’re visiting a new town, city, or country. This is especially true if you prefer plant-based products.
But, this doesn’t mean that you can overindulge and set aside your healthy living practices when you’re not at home. You can still opt for nutritious foods while traveling. To help you make this happen, here are several ways to make smart food choices when traveling.
1. PLAN AHEAD
A must do before going to an unfamiliar place is to research, including the local restaurants offering healthy meals. If you don’t speak the local language, you can research the translations of your food choices. For example, “no dairy” or “lactose-free” in Spanish is “sin lactosa.” You can write these translations on small cards. That way, you can just hand the card to the waiter when you’re ordering. Another great option is to rent a place with a kitchen area so you can cook your own vegan meals. You’ll just need to research the nearest local food market where you can get all the ingredients you need. Through this, you can also save some money and time.
2. BRING HEALTHY SNACKS
One of the best ways to make smart food choices when traveling is to pack healthy snacks. This is not only applicable when you’re taking road trips or in the plane. You can also bring healthy snacks when you’re sightseeing around your destination. Through this, you’ll not be tempted to eat highly processed foods when your stomach rumbles. Remember, these products contain a lot of salt and sugar, which may cause dehydration and more food cravings. The best travel-friendly snacks you can bring are:
- Trail Mix (a mixture of nuts, dark chocolate, and dried fruits)
- Whole Grain Crackers
- Fruits like Oranges and Apples
- Whole Wheat Bread with Nut Butter
- Veggies Sticks and Hummus
- Protein Bars
3. GO TO A LOCAL GROCERY STORE INSTEAD OF A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT
Fast food restaurants can offer meals to satisfy your hunger while on the road. However, most products found in these places are rich in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Instead, you can go to the local supermarket to buy nourishing foods, like fruits, nuts, or whole wheat bread. These snacks can make you feel full until you reach your destination or find a restaurant that can offer healthy meals.
4. STAY HYDRATED
Some of us try to avoid drinking water or any kind of fluids when traveling to avoid frequent bathroom breaks. However, consuming a lot of water is essential to keep yourself well hydrated. This is especially true when you’re traveling by plane where the high altitude and lack of moisture can cause dehydration. Aside from that, you can also avoid overeating when you sip enough water. Remember, your body can misinterpret thirst for hunger. Thus, carrying a bottle of water anywhere you go is one of the most effective ways to make smart food choices when traveling. Through this, you can also avoid the temptation of buying a can of soda or a bottle of sports drink.
5. INDULGE A LITTLE
We take a trip to relax and enjoy new surroundings. But, this doesn’t mean that you can set aside your healthy lifestyle. You can still try unhealthy foods but not on every meal. As much as possible, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables that can nourish your body. When drinking cocktail drinks or alcoholic beverages, try to limit your intake to one or two glasses. So, the last in this list of ways to make smart food choices when traveling is to apply the 80/20 rule. This rule implies that you can indulge for about 20% of your vacation time and practice healthy eating habits, like portion control, for the remaining 80% of your trip.
Overall, you can definitely practice a healthy lifestyle even when you’re not at home. You can achieve these by fighting the temptation to overindulge on unhealthy snacks and following the above-mentioned tips for making smart food choices.
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