Halfway into my first tour with The Buzz Bus and while I’ve learned a great deal, there is still must to be learned. Before I accepted the position they stressed the uncertainty of traveling and the probability that plans would change frequently, yet I took up the challenge. It hasn’t been as challenging as they put forth, but it certainly hasn’t been easy. Making sure I’m eating enough throughout the day has been a particular struggle. I am what most would call a “picky eater” and while my palate has expanded substantially in the last few years (credit to attending a restaurant management school) it still is quite particular. Traveling with three other women on a tour to promote a healthy lifestyle has led to some pretty big changes in my diet and some research in eating healthy on the road.
Now, back home I would not say that my eating habits were unhealthy but I really didn’t think too much about them. I tried to eat less of fried or greasy foods and recently swore off all fast food (I’ve only eaten it twice since January!), which cut out a lot of my previously unhealthy habits. But truly I never tried to replace this with healthier habits, like my counterparts in the spa industry so often suggest. So, now that I’m traveling with these health conscious women and we’re being sponsored by healthy food companies such as Larabar, Good Belly, and Justin’s Nut Butter, I figured now was the time to look into some healthier habits! Also, since we’re on the road I decided to look into some tips on healthy eating while traveling.
A simple Google search will provide you with millions of responses and tips, but here is a synopsis of what I’ve so recently learned and think I’ve already heard.
First, drink lots of WATER. On my travels I am traveling between different levels of elevation that I am not used to, which can cause altitude sickness. Water is the best cure for altitude sickness and staying hydrated helps you stay alert and energized. One of my favorite additions to water, since this trip, is Good Belly. They are a Denver based company that provides a probiotic fruit drink proven to improve digestive health, which can be a large problem on the road not only because of your probable diet changes, but because you never know when you’ll find the next clean bathroom! (Sorry, if that was a little too much information)
Second, eat lots of raw foods such as carrots, apples, celery, berries, bananas, and oranges. I’ve only listed the ones that I like, but there are plenty others. Raw foods, meaning unprocessed in any way, are easier for your body to digest and we were recommended by Sharon, the Spa Director of Serenity Spa in Orlando, to make at least one meal a day a raw meal. These foods are also easy to keep in the car and eat on the go.
Third, plan ahead. With all the devices and applications on smart phones these days, not to mention free wireless in plenty of public places, this one should be easy. It’s really not time-consuming either, a simple google map search will tell you what’s close and then you can make an informed decision on where to go. Grocery Stores are your best friend on the road and a quick trip can provide you with key staples that can last you the rest of the day. Also, preparing your food before you go is a key way to avoid those high calorie, energy sucking snacks at the gas station or fast food restaurant. Pack a sandwich, raw food, or whole-grain crackers to sustain the drive or flight.
Lastly, SLEEP and REST. Not getting enough sleep obviously will lead to less energy, but it can also lead you to overcompensate with sugary or caffeinated alternatives that can cause highs and lows. These ups and downs can mess with your normal diet and immune system for days. Traveling during the summer, the heat can take a lot of your energy, so resting throughout the day and making sure your drinking enough water is key to surviving the long days.
I am still learning what works best for myself on the road, but just because I’m on the road or vacation doesn’t mean I can’t eat healthy. It takes a little more thought and sometimes a little more effort, but it leads to more energy and ultimately more enjoyment of my time on the road.
What do you do to keep eating healthy while traveling?
Here are two links to pages that I found helpful and list specific tips for eating healthy on the road: About.com Nutrition, Healthy Eating on the Road and The Raw Food Witch, 7 Tips for Eating Healthy on the Road