We all travel sometimes and it can be really tough to maintain our health goals and nutrition guidelines when our favorite foods aren’t around in the new environment. There are ways to keep this predicament simple and so we can mostly stay on track while traveling. Many professionals, who travel a lot for their careers, complain that it’s difficult to eat well and exercise, but it’s getting easier every year with more awareness about our individual health guidelines and an industry that is increasingly focused on healthy travel for people like us! Like many areas in your life, preparation is key. Just prepare for the inevitable inconvenience that sometimes occurs when traveling and not finding healthy foods nearby.
Find these Snacks in Most Local Stores
1. Hard Boiled Eggs – I love eggs as a protein source because they are so easy to prepare. You can find hard-boiled eggs in many roadside stores on your travels.
2. Potato Chips – I put potato chips on this list because now you can find healthier brands of chips that don’t include added sugars or other chemicals. As always, you have to read ingredient labels. Compared to 20 years ago, we now have many healthier options when it comes to chips and snacks. In addition, there are different types of oils used in potato chips now and of course some oils are healthier than others. Try to stay away from canola, safflower, etc. if possible.
3. Water – As I’ve discussed elsewhere, many times we are thirsty and not actually hungry. You could be mistaking your hunger urges for dehydration. Try a bottle or cup of water and see if you’re still just as hungry.
4. Yogurt – This is another treat that you can find in many convenience stores and when comparing it to ice cream or a Popsicle, plain yogurt with no sugar added could be a great snack. This is especially true if you add some fruit and nuts to the yogurt.
5. Dark Chocolate – We all(well most of us) love some chocolate once in a while. If you get the urge for something sweet while traveling, try some dark chocolate. Look for cacao being the main ingredient instead of sugar on the label.
6. Fruit – Fruits are packed with micronutrients. This is one of the most readily available foods while traveling. I love bananas and keep them in my car constantly because they have thick skin, which is conducive for preservation. In addition, bananas are usually cheap.
7. Caffeinated Drinks – If you need a pep in your step, then get some unsweetened iced tea or unsweetened coffee. Even some main brands like Starbucks are starting to bottle their ice coffee with unsweetened options. Drinking and eating unsweetened items is mainly a habit that we can engrain through repetition.
8. Peanut Butter – Just like previously mentioned, look for the unsweetened peanut butter or other nut butters. They are harder to find, but becoming more common within small markets and gas stations.
9. Nuts – I like nuts as a traveling food because they help balance your blood sugar while providing a nutritive punch. Like bananas, nuts preserve well and you can take them anywhere. No wonder squirrels and other critters love nuts so much!
10. Energy bars – You’ve seen the array of energy bars in gas stations and other stores while traveling. Many of these so-called “energy bars” are loaded with sugar to keep you addicted and returning for more so make sure you read the ingredients and look for a natural sweetener such as stevia and less chemical names on the ingredient label.
There you have it! Those are ten foods to consider while traveling. These foods are usually not difficult to find and they can become part of a maintenance plan enabling you to stay on track while traveling. Remember to give yourself a break and realize you may not be able to completely adhere to your normal dietary guidelines while traveling. It’s just very difficult find some of your normal energy foods while you may be fatigued and out of sorts during a trip. If you have any other traveling food recommendations, let me know!