Even for the toughest of health nuts, it can be tricky to stay wedded to good eating habits during summer travels; especially when hotel personnel, conference organizers, and airport fast-food menus dictate our food choices.
After a one week business trip to Kentucky, featuring a steady diet of fried chicken, trans-fatty donuts, and nutrient-devoid iceberg salads, my joints ached from all the omega-6s and junk food. I knew I needed to plan my travel diet before I attended any more of these conferences.
So from one traveler to another, here are some suggestions for keeping healthy and happy during the summer season:
The easiest way to control your diet when you are traveling is to bring your own food. With fast-food joints crowding the terminals, airports can be the doom of health-conscious travelers. Instead of succumbing to the burrito and fries snack, be proactive and bring something from home. A piece of fruit, a bag of nuts, a homemade sandwich, or an Omega Cookie goes a long way to tide you over until the next destination. Not only are the options inexpensive compared to the airport prices, but much better for your body. Packing a healthy snack doesn’t require more than a few seconds of planning.
At the airport, getting enough water can be tricky – especially when security limits the liquids you can bring through the gates. Instead of letting the flight attendants regulate your drinking schedule, bring an empty water bottle through security. Once you’ve passed the screening, fill the bottle with water and enjoy the luxury of making a healthy choice.
If you are discontented with the hotel breakfasts, check out the local grocery stores. Grocery stores usually have a wide variety of healthy foods that can be eaten without preparation – fruits, individual-sized milk cartons, sushi, and power bars. Grocery stores are also a good way of sampling the local cuisine and seasonal fruits and vegetables, instead of the generic hotel fare.
When you are out traveling, some pleasures are better to enjoy than pass up for the sake of health. I must admit I bought a box of Bourbon Balls during my stay in Lexington, KY, and never regretted eating the delicious, pecan-topped chocolates.
The next time you hit the road, consider a few quick and easy ways to stay healthy. Then you won’t be at the mercy of prepared foods, refined sugar, and bad fats.