Eating Clean During Summer Travel & Celebrations
Traveling while trying to eat clean brings it’s challenges but it’s not impossible to achieve with a little planning. Maintaining your healthy lifestyle while on vacation or traveling for work will help keep you energized, support your taxed immune system, and have you returning home without missing a beat.
For many people traveling instills a sense of “letting go” and “partaking in indulgences to treat yourself”. Additionally, especially with traveling internationally, food is an important part of experiencing the culture and trying new things. We support this! But, we want you to have the most energy you can have as you walk the streets and check out the sights. We think if you can avoid feeling bloated, gassy and fatigued - you’ll try and do so. Right? Before grabbing the pastry loaded with cream and sugar because “everyone says you have to try it” see if you can find something else delectable and different that won’t make you feel awful. Choose a destination where you know there will be yummy options to fit your needs but also give you a taste of the culture. Keep in mind there are so many ways to engage in a new culture or environment regardless of the food!
Here are a few tips we have garnered through our own travels:
1. Pack snacks.
Packing snacks can prevent you from eating fast food when that’s the only option on the road. Here are some of our favorites:
- Raw or lightly roasted unsalted nuts
- Whole apples
- Dried seaweed
- Turkey/Beef Jerky (beware of brands with too much sugar and added preservatives.)
- Low sugar protein bars also pack well. Protein bars are a processed food so not our first choice, but for traveling they do come in handy! Reading the label is key here, choose organic and one that has less than 5g sugar without chocolate, soy or milk, which are common inflammatory ingredients.)
2. Stay hydrated.
Bring your own water bottle and fill it up at the airport, the hotel fitness room, etc. so you stay well hydrated while getting to your destination and once you arrive. Airplanes, high altitude and summer heat can easily dehydrate you. Dehydration leads to fatigue, cramping, headaches and other unpleasant symptoms that you don’t want while traveling!
3. Find the nearest store.
If you’re traveling domestically, seek out the nearest Whole Foods or natural food store at your destination. They will have good options for the suggestions above if you don’t want to pack them beforehand.
Dining out can be tricky but with some attention to detail with the menu, can be super enjoyable experience while getting to know the local cuisine.
1. Do some detective work. Search ahead for restaurants that seem to cater to gluten/dairy free dining. These places tend to be amenable to other dietary preferences too.
2. Get creative. Take your time with the menu and use it as a guide for possibilities. See chicken or fish on the menu? Ask for that grilled over a salad, for example. Or switch some of the sides around to go with your main dish.
3. Don’t be shy! Tell your server that you have some allergies up front. Most people these days are very understanding, especially if you thank them! They will feel good about helping you out.
4. Beware of hidden inflammatory foods. Terms like ‘fried’, ‘breaded’, ‘creamy’ and ‘crunchy’ indicate that there’s use of gluten or dairy or other foods difficult to digest.
What’s summer without a few grill parties right? We love to grill but when you’re not in charge of the menu, here are a few ideas to ensure you have healthy options:
1. No bun please. If burgers are on the menu, forgo the bun and stack your patty between extra leaf of lettuce or eat open faced on a grilled portabella mushroom.
2. Eat before you go to avoid the chip and dip appetizer and other calorie heavy temptations.
3. Go easy on the alcohol. Bring a refreshing mocktail, flavored sparkling water and if you do drink, stick to spirits over beer and sugary cocktails.