With all the hustle and bustle that comes with prep for travel, and even when traveling, it so happens that what to eat is often overlooked.
I know this first-hand as it has happened to me a dozen times, and I do travel a lot! My folks used to ask me, “So, how do you stay healthy while traveling?” And I was quite boasty that I had a solid travel exercise routine.
But I’ll be honest with you guys, that alone doesn’t work, it never worked for me. I was often banging my head against the wall after coming from a lengthy trip, and realizing I have put on a few extra pounds.
Then it dawned on me, I had my workout schedule etched in stone even when on the road, but I was missing the most crucial piece of the puzzle – watching my diet.
So if you too have had enough and you are all out to put pay to unhealthy eating when traveling, then stick around. This is a full blueprint of what, how, and when to eat on the go.
Let’s get it on…
Timing, Timing, and More Timing
When to take your meals is just as important as what you eat. And while we observe this most of the time when in our normal life at home and work, we tend to forget it goes double for eating when traveling too.
It’s essential for keeping you energized, and helps avoid binging, and it’s quite simple really since you already know the drill.
It might not look like it, but breakfast is one of the most important meals for your body. After all, is there a better way to start the day than a good refill on your energy reserves?
With the body at its max performance during the day, it’s just natural that you will feel the need for a little “pick-me-up” to keep you fueled through the rest of the day.
You can go ahead and get yourself a heavy meal, don’t worry though, you have the rest of the day to walk it off, and you won’t have to worry about indulging in unhealthy snacks either.
At this time of the day, you have already munched on quite a few treats, so if you feel stuffed, you can skip dinner altogether. I usually take in a small portion for dinner or go easy (say a salad or a meal replacement shake) and I have found that this helps improve the quality of sleep for me.
So yeah, pick the right meal for the right time.
What Meals Can I Bring along when Traveling?
What one can or cannot bring along when traveling has for long baffled many a traveler, I included (and probably you too.) Luckily, you can still bring food onboard in most parts of the world; whether in a plane, train, bus, or boat…without getting into trouble.
That is, as long as it’s neatly wrapped up and packed.
But as you would expect…there’s a catch – the no-liquid-over-3.5ounces rule; no amount of persuasion will let you get away with this one. It can be a bummer when you think of leaving behind your favorite sauces, dressings, or those tasty creamy treats.
For some, even bringing along those minuscule amounts is pointless.
If you don’t love dry foods, this can be a real deal-killer for you, but there’s a way out… a meal replacement shake will save the day here, at least it does for me.
I mean why work harder when you can work smarter. This is a quick and time-saving way to get the most nutrition possible for the least amount of time and effort. Win-win in my book.
These come in different types and tastes, varying from whey protein shakes to plant-based ones – like Kachava for instance.
My Favorite Go-to Meal Shake – Kachava
What I like about Kachava, you may ask? Well, it has virtually everything I need, at home and on the go. Besides, it has some advantages that have proven handy in my expeditions.
It’s a powder, so I can get it past all checks without answering a million questions. However, that’s just one of the many cool sides to this shake that makes it my favorite pick for the road. It’s also a snap to mix (with water, milk, or a few other recipes) so yeah, it saves me time, too!
The taste is hands-down impressive, this isn’t one of those meal replacements that lack in taste yet claim to have it all – if you like to entertain your taste buds when sipping down on some good stuff, then this is it.
What’s more, this shake is also completely plant-based. Then there’s the awesome nutrient profile (yes, it has a protein blend too,) which keeps my pistons pumping when I need that extra bit of energy to get me through the day.
I’m not the only one who thinks so highly of Ka’chava, a ton of others share the same view on their blogs and social media.
These also make for a great, healthy, and tasty treat that you can toss in a sandwich bag before hitting the road. you might not be very good at cutting them, then consider buying pre-cut ones and just pack them.
Another easy bite that you can bring along is a bunch of fruits, anything from bananas to apples go, as long as it isn’t likely to leave a mess in your bag just in case someone mishandles it along the way.
Even a Turkey Sandwich
That’s right, that turkey sandwich can very much be on the list when picking what to carry with you on a journey. A low-sodium (can also be nitrate or nitrite-free choice) turkey breast with whole grain bread or whole wheat bread will keep your tummy full for hours.
Tip*: Slide mustard between your turkey slices to keep your bread from becoming soggy.
Buying Food when Traveling
As much as you want to pack your tastiest meals, you just can’t pack enough supplies to last you the entire trip. Even then, trying new cuisines and local foods when traveling is very much part of the adventure, right?
There’s nothing wrong with buying and trying local food as you move along. Besides, some are just too mouth-watering to pass on anyway – trust me, healthy or not, you will give in and take a bite at some point.
The trick is simple; just try such food for just that, tasting them out. By this I mean, if by any chance the food is unhealthy, you won’t be pumping chunks of the harmful stuff into your system.
How to Eat Healthy Street Food abroad
Visiting local food markets where you are going is fun; it opens the door to a world of new tastes, spices, and recipes, and well, adds to your overall foreign experience.
However, when testing out foods in these markets, stick to a healthy rule, in that veggies and fruits should be your main focus, and if at all possible, try to steer clear of the starchy and deep-fried ones.
Tasty as they are, we know how unhealthy the latter can be, and the case might not be very different even over there. Again, remember what we mentioned above, only small bits just to sample the taste, no binging.
Can I Cook for Myself while Traveling?
You sure can! Yes, eating out and getting a taste of all the new foods is part of traveling and adventure. However, there’s a good chance most of the foods out on the streets and restaurants aren’t going to be very healthy(ish)
If you are not looking to compromise your healthy eating for anything, then sticking to your choice of food is by far your best (if not the only) bet.
Good news folks! You can cook your meal of choice even when miles from the convenience of your kitchen. And one great way to do this is to get accommodation with a kitchen. Say, for instance, booking an Airbnb with all the kitchen amenities that you might need.
This has become very much a possibility with Airbnbs and most modern vacation rentals nowadays. And the best part is; cost-wise, this option usually turns out to be cheaper than your average hotel stay.
It gets even better, since most of the time, buying and cooking your food tends to be cheaper than eating out.
Heck yeah, I’d gladly take the offer if I get to save a few bucks and I still get to decide what I will take for dinner. You know, like you always decide what will be on the dinner table back at home.
Sip Away at Every Opportunity
Well, this could well be the one thing I should have listed as the very first. You may easily forego the need to keep a water bottle handy. But you will soon realize just how crucial it is when you finally hit the road, and the sun beats down on you.
It’s also worth noting that you can easily confuse hunger with thirst, and hence you might end up snacking more than necessary while all you need is a much-needed sip. Also, the lack of sufficient hydration can make you feel tired easily and make you moody.
Besides, keeping your body hydrated helps sustain high energy levels, which you need for all the walking and exploration ahead. Anything you do, keep a a refill bottle within reach!
Want to read more of our latest posts? Check out our article about rolling solo and how to stay safe while traveling alone.