Is your travel ruining your health? As busy professionals with extensive itineraries, it is easy to get sloppy with our eating and make a lot of food compromises.
With some forethought, you can have some healthy options.
What do you know?
I know, I am not a food blogger, but anyone who knows me well, knows I LOVE to cook. With raising five children, a lot of our lives have revolved around food, food preparation and cleanup.
As my business grows, I find myself doing a lot more traveling. I am prepping for a two-week road trip from the East Coast to South Dakota. That is a lot of time in the car and various AirBnB’s.
Travel, for me, has presented challenges with clean, healthy eating. I am very sensitive to anything with MSG and preservatives. My health journey includes decreasing my pain level and inflammation. On this journey, I found that my body doesn’t like gluten, dairy and sugar. I feel SO much better when I leave these out of my diet. These challenges make eating on the road extremely difficult.
I could just wing it and eat whatever I want during these two weeks, but I know I will pay a huge price in my health by stopping at a coffee shop in the morning for donuts, eating a cheeseburger and fries for lunch and whatever for dinner at the local diner.
You can make travel and health work!
With some thought and prep work, you can manage a healthy lifestyle while enduring the rigors of travel. Here are some thoughts.
Keep things cold
Several trips ago, I purchased a refurbished, portable car refrigerator by Suaoki. It holds 7-quarts and I have packed a week’s worth of prepped meals in it. It has a car charger and an AC adapter. This allows me to keep things cold in the car and then take it in with me when I arrive at my destination.
Cook on the go
I am experimenting on this trip with a portable lunch box steamer. For one person, this is ideal for simple meals. I could use in the car with my power inverter, but will probably use it only when I arrive at my lodging. I don’t have to worry about what pots, pans and tools the host provides. Just pull out my steamer and 30 minutes or so later I have a hot meal.
Keep it simple
This first part of my trip with take three days to drive to South Dakota. I have already made reservations at several AirBnB’s along the way. I have prepped for my meals on the road. On my return, I will visit a local Whole Foods or Sprouts. I love being able to choose one serving of a protein from their awesome selection. If you ask nicely, some markets will even season it for you.
I do like to plan for my three meals and possibly a snack on the road.
Healthy Travel Breakfast
Breakfast is an assortment of vitamin shakes, maybe coffee and plenty of water. I carry an RTIC one-gallon vacuum insulated jug with a day’s supply of water. Somewhere in my various journeys, I picked up a portable water filter that works great. I use refillable water bottles on the road.
Healthy Travel Lunch
Lunch will be a protein shake. I add an assortment of options to this shake:
- protein mix
- freeze-dried coconut milk
- collagen powder
- fruit, if available
I use a portable blender that has a rechargeable battery.
Healthy Travel Dinner
Dinner will have 3 main components:
- Protein: I prepped frozen shrimp, a portion of salmon, and chicken tenders. I use a small snack or sandwich bag and add my cooking oil and spices.
- Starch: I prepped snack bags with either dried rice, dehydrated potato or dried lentils. You could use any healthy grain you prefer. I added a wee bit of seasoning. I use either a powdered vegetable broth, salt, and pepper or a spice mix like garlic herb.
- Veggies: I prepped several portions of broccoli, mixed vegetables and another with green beans. Again, I added my spices (salt and pepper) and a small amount of fat like butter. These small additions of the fat and seasoning will make the end result much more flavorful.
I love traveling in the Spring, Summer, and Fall because there are usually local Farmer’s Markets where you can get seasonal produce. You can be sure I will be checking out roadside stands on my way across the country. I will be snacking on fresh fruits and veggies all day.
Why worry about travel and health?
In November of 2018, I had an injury to my rib cage, followed closely by an automobile accident which made my pain level excruciating. This caused me to make some changes to my eating and exercise. As I have healed, my exercise level is increasing and my portions decreasing. Although I have a long way to go to my ideal health, I am determined that travel will not set me back and ruin my health progress.
Disclaimers: I am not a doctor, don’t pretend to be one and do not advocate any trendy eating styles. My opinions are my own. The Amazon links in this article are affiliate links. All proceeds will be donated to charity.