Making Healthy Choices While Traveling

  apple eaterThe key to keeping to a healthy eating regimen is planning. It is much easier to give in to poor food choices when you are starving, so pack high calorie yet high nutrient snacks, such as trail mix with raw nuts/seeds with dried fruit to keep you full. On layovers, do your best to find the best eating choices. Luckily, lots of larger airports such as Houston's George Bush and Chicago's O'Hare have been working to provide healthier options for travelers.

At Your Hotel

We all know that on vacation we suddenly have the urge to splurge more than usual. Once you are at your hotel there are a few ways that we can make sure we are eating right. Refusing the key to the mini bar can prevent unhealthy snacking.  At home, if you have access to a dehydrator, you can even make your own instant soups to bring with you. Room service can still be enjoyed, but be ruthless when asking about ingredients and preparation details. Most hotels will be more than accommodating to dietary restrictions. If space allows in your luggage, traveling with a small crockpot can be invaluable, as you will be able to make many hearty, healthy meals with simple ingredients and minimal cleanup. When considering the continental breakfast, fruit is your best option. Oatmeal flavored with spices is another option. Hard-boiled eggs are often readily available as excellent on-the-go snacks. The yolk contains essential fatty acids that will help sustain your energy.

The real secret to eating right at a hotel is to ensure that you are at one that can cater to your needs. Before booking your trip, do a little research and make sure that the place you choose has the necessary amenities and offerings that are aligned with your desires. man-pulling-suitcaseFor example, on my most recent trip out west I found a great site that listed hotels in Las Vegas along with a number of reviews from travelers alike. These reviews gave me great insight as to what each hotel had to offer and led to me finding a hotel with a fitness center as well as a gluten free restaurant! I have found that consumer reviews offer the most unbiased and honest information.

Dining Out

When in a larger city with more dining options, choose ethnic. Asian places often have much larger range of healthy entrees.  For cities with less variety, most restaurants have salads, and some chain restaurants have great salad bars. Just because it is a salad does not give you free reign to put whatever you want on it. Choose a high-quality bed of mixed greens if possible, and then load up on the veggies. Be extra careful with salad dressings, because most pre-bottled dressings are full of high fructose corn syrup. It is best to go for a simple dressing of oil and vinegar with a squeeze of lemon.

There are certain words to look for when eating out. Baked, broiled, grilled, high-fiber, roasted, steamed, stir-fried, and plant based are good choices. You can also ask for modifiers for a less-than-ideal meal. For example, when eating something that served with a side of rice, ask for brown rice, or veggies better yet, instead. Be careful of misleading phrases such as fat-free, reduced fat or sugar, or "light". Sometimes to make something "light" or reduced fat" things like sugar are added in to compensate.

Portion Control

fruit salad in lapPortion control will be your best friend. Order a salad to start. The roughage will fill you up, and you will not eat as much of your meal. Order an appetizer instead of an entree, or order an entree and eat half and take the rest home. Often times we feel obligated to eat what is in front of you which is just putting unnecessary calories into your body. Upon ordering your meal, ask for a to go box and put half of it in there. If you still find yourself hungry at the end of your meal, go back for more.

If you are able to follow these simple and easy tricks of the trade, you will find yourself coming home in just as good of shape as you left in.


About The Author

Cole Millen, is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life's best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate "experiences." Follow his blog at Cole’s Mill.