Healthy Travel Tips and Ideas
I freaking did it. I road tripped a long weekend, visited family, celebrated a national holiday, AND didn’t eat and drink myself silly (aka sick)! It always seems impossible until it’s done, huh?
And since I did it once, naturally I’m an expert. 😏🤣 So here is my wealth of knowledge 🧠:
🥪 Bring a cooler and pack your lunch and snacks. It is difficult, expensive, and, to some extent, time consuming to find foods that support your goals at fast food or sit down restaurants. Plus this way you can stop at cleaner, more spacious rest areas for bathroom, meal, and snack breaks. Travel food ideas below. ⬇️
🍿 Buy snacks in individual serving packages (or make your own ahead of time). I pre-portioned out servings of animal crackers, peanuts/trail mix, and pretzels, and bought individual bags of baked potato chips, popcorn, and even donettes. More individual snack ideas to follow. ⬇️
🥩 Prioritize protein. Whether you’ve packed your food ahead of time or your grabbing something at a gas station or restaurant on the road, aim for some protein. I had individual serving bags of beef jerky in the car, as well as packed light cheese, fat free cottage cheese, flavored Greek yogurt cups, and protein bars in the cooler.
🍎 Pack fruits and veggies. These are great, filling, low-calorie “fillers” and travel well! Apples are a perfect grab-and-go snack, and most other fruits/veggies are perfect for the cooler. This weekend I brought apples, bananas, cherries, grapes, blueberries, baby carrots, and celery.
🍕 Pay attention to portion control. You won’t always have control over what’s on the menu when traveling and visiting family, but you do have control over how much you put on your plate and into your mouth. For example, our generous families provided take-out pizza twice this trip and I chose no more than 1.5 slices each time, choosing the smallest slices from the box to boot. Supplement otherwise high calorie, nutrient poor main dishes with generous servings of fruits and veggies – this way I find I don’t end up feeling deprived or uncomfortable. Win-win. It’s not like that pizza is your last meal or anything, so don’t act like it.
🍹 Drink in moderation. Your liver, head, and waistline will thank you in the morning. 😂 I definitely drank this weekend but chose lower calorie options and kept it pretty tame, because motherhood and drunkeness/hangovers just don’t mix.
✅❌ Know it’s equally okay to say yes or no. Decide which foods or drinks you really want and have them in moderation. Step away from the food table to avoid further temptation and mindless eating/grazing. Politely accept treats you want and will fully enjoy, but don’t accept them just to be polite. The latter is unnecessary and won’t serve you or your goals.
🔎Glance at the nutrition facts, if available. Sometimes that’ll give you the strength you need to walk away. Those brownies the size of your thumbnail might not be worth nearly 200 calories a pop. And maybe they are, but at least you’ll be making an informed decision. Nutrition facts come in handy when you must eat out, as well. Sometimes the “healthy” salad at the fast food joint or Walmart deli has 2x the fat and calories (or more!) than a cheeseburger.
🏋️♀️ Stay active. Can you (and do you want to) carve out the time to do a dedicated workout? Awesome. The people you’re visiting are headed out for a quick dog walk? Go with. Stopped at a rest area along the highway? Stretch and walk around. I find movement keeps my mind and muscles happy, and I’m more inclined to make smart food choices and exercise my willpower in conjunction with it.
Safe, healthy travels! ❤️🚙💨