Most of us can relate to the difficulty of maintaining a healthy way of life from day to day.
Often, the challenge is even greater when we travel, whether this takes the form of business trips, or family holidays — we often find ourselves sitting at the airport wondering what we’re going to eat.
If you’re an athlete, you may find it particularly challenging, especially if you travel considerably to compete in events, and are trying to stick with a prescribed eating plan.
How can you continue to eat healthy while you travel?
#1 Pre-travel preparation
If you have special nutritional requirements it’s worthwhile contacting your airline, and hotel, prior to the journey, to find out if they can offer meals to meet your specifications. This will ensure that your food options aren’t so limited when you do arrive.
If traveling by plane, you can call the airline to find out whether meals will be served during the flight, and what types of foods will be available. You may want to request a special meal, or you could choose from the low fat, or vegetarian, meal alternatives.
When travelling, breakfast is a particularly important meal, as it will supply your body with sufficient energy for the day’s tasks, and can prevent snacking on unhealthy foods later on.
Try to make sure that your choice is high in fibre, as this will help to keep hunger regulated for longer. Good choices would be a bowl of oatmeal, with fresh fruit, and a slice of whole grain toast.
Check out my previous article on the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast.
#3 Regular meals
Eating regularly is so important for maintaining a healthy diet. It will keep your energy levels high, and should help to reduce feelings of stress, and unnecessary tiredness, which are the result of being too hungry.
Try to choose foods that are high in fibre, have a moderate amount of protein, and are low in fat. Choose foods such as vegetable soup, with wholemeal bread roll, and piece of fruit; or a medium baked potato, topped with tuna and sweetcorn, and served with a large salad.
You should also think about preparing a small pack of food to eat as you travel. You may want to include:
- Dried fruit
- Nuts – walnuts/almonds/Brazil nuts
- Seeds – pumpkin/sunflower seeds
- Protein energy bars
- Whole fruits
- Sliced raw vegetables
- Fig biscuits
- Wholemeal crackers with peanut butter
- Bottled water
#5 Stay hydrated
Particularly if you’re flying, make sure that you drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to help your body stay hydrated, and to prevent fatigue, headache, irritability, and dry skin.
You should try to drink one glass of water, for every hour spent on the flight. Also, it’s best to avoid alcohol and soft drinks during your journey.
NOTE: Many airlines, and some countries, prohibit travelers taking particular food items onto the plane, or into the county, therefore it may be a good idea to check out these restrictions prior to travel.