Healthy Holiday Travel Tips
Don't stress - there are options!
As the holiday season ramps up, traveling increases so that people can see families and friends or simply just get away. Eating while on the road, in an airport, or in restaurants can invoke unwanted anxiety and stress when sticking to healthy eating options. Have no fear! With a little bit of extra work (but not much), you can stick to a healthy eating plan no matter where your transportation of choice takes you.
Navigate airport and convenience stores
- Grab and go coolers: Look for grab-and-go areas with a cooler. They will frequently have fruits/veggies, eggs/cheese, etc. Coolers generally have fresher, healthier alternatives than shelf-stable foods.
- Questionable cooler food?: If the food coolers are not looking good or nothing is appealing or too expensive (because it sometimes is!), opt for single-serve packages of dried fruit, nuts, or popcorn
- Single-serve packages: if you want the not-so-healthy option, look for a single-serve size package or container of a treat or snack option.
- Bonus: I do this with my kids if they really want a treat. Each stop becomes a ‘game’ of seek and find, and the reward is so much more significant at the end because they have to work hard to see what they want and feel like they accomplished something at the end.
- Beverages: Try to stick to water, unsweetened tea versions, carbonated water beverages, or diet pops. Drinks add on the calories and sugar really fast.
- But, I REALLY want/need that treat/snack!: If there is something you really want, eat it and move on without the guilt. One choice won’t undo the myriad of better options you already made.
How to eat in restaurants
- Avoid: breaded or fried options and creamy dressing
- Appetizers: order an appetizer dish with a side salad for dinner
- Larger meals: If you order a dinner that is large on the portion sizes, box half of it up at the beginning of the meal or share it with another person
- Substitute: Ask to substitute the not so healthy sides, such as chips, fries, etc. with a vegetable or side salad
- Beverages: In moderation. Try to stick to water, diet pops, or unsweetened versions of tea.
- But, I have been waiting to eat my favorite meal at this restaurant?: Similar to above, if you are going to eat somewhere that you are really looking forward to and you want the ‘not healthy’ option, either do one of the above options to decrease the size of the meal, substitute the sides OR just eat the dish and move on. But, try and keep the rest of the day on track with good or better choices.
Joyfully accept the challenge
An important note to end with, a large part of eating healthy is learning to eat what you really like and enjoying it in moderation.
Now go out there and conquer those junk food aisles/stores and restaurants with confidence and ease. And happy, healthy traveling!