I love to travel! I love a new adventure! I love experiencing new places - people, cities, culture and the food! Traveling is a part of life for the majority of us. And whether we’re hitting the road for business or personal reasons, where to eat and what to eat always comes on the radar at some point. And if your personal choices include clean eating and you're wanting to maintain that while you’re away from home, this may be more prominently on your mind as you head out.
Being at home and in our routine brings the greatest consistency to sticking with our clean eats but it doesn’t have to change just because we're traveling. Here are a few ideas to assist you on the road whether you’re flying or driving!
If driving and you know you’ve got a kitchen waiting for you ~ the sky's the limit! You can pack along proteins of all kinds cooked and ready to eat: chicken, steak, hard boiled eggs. Fruit, roasted sweet potatoes. Cut and ready to eat veggies with hummus and guacamole. Packaged lettuce for quick salads and butter lettuce for lettuce wrap burgers or chicken wraps. You can throw in a jar of clean mayo and salad dressing. Add some healthy snacks and you’re set for days! This allows you to know that for a good majority of your meals you’re good to go and you can fill in as needed by eating out or making a grocery run!
Here are some of my top suggestions to help keep you on track and feeling good whether you’re travelling for business or vacay!
Depending on where you’re going and what you're doing, pre-buying some easy to pack along foods is great! Think tuna, chicken, Chomps meat sticks, Epic bars, RX Bars and Nut Butters, dried fruit and veggies. Pre-packaged organic oatmeal packs are another great option if you’re not grain free. Apples, and mini oranges also travel well. All of these are super easy to throw in a bag or suitcase and they don’t take up much space. If not for anything else, they will get you through a couple meals until you can get to a grocery store and purchase what you need.
For your morning routine, purchase individual packs of Vital Proteins collagen and Bulletproof MCT oil for your coffee or tea. I’m always amazed at how this can keep me satisfied for hours! You can even grab a small container of Nutpods. They travel well and it’s easy to just throw it in the mini fridge or keep on ice in a hotel room.
Purchase and pack along Four Sigmatic instant coffee packs! I LOVE these when I’m traveling! All you need is hot water, mix in some collagen and mct and you’ve got a great protein and good-fats-start to your day!
In a checked bag, pack along a couple of the smaller containers of Vita Coco coconut water along with some of the fruity options from Vital Proteins Travel collection or the original collagen peptides. Mix a packet into some coconut water and enjoy! Easy way to keep yourself hydrated while boosting your collagen/protein intake.
Dried fruit and nuts. These are some of the easiest foods to pack along when traveling. Dried mango, currants, sprouted pumpkin seeds, almonds and pistachios are a favorite combo. And freeze dried raspberries are the best! Kind of spendy, but really yummy! One thought ~ dried fruit and nuts are some of the easiest foods to overeat and end up consuming too much sugar and fat. It’s a great idea to pack some dried fruit and nuts because of the ease of travel-ability but just be mindful to make them an occasional snack! And be sure to purchase dried fruits with no added sugar!
If you’re traveling and staying put for a few days and you’re either staying in an Airbnb or a hotel with a kitchenette, you can actually order from pre-made meal companies and have some meals delivered directly to your hotel and waiting for you when you arrive. Check out True Fare or research the city you’re heading to for a similar company that offers clean, healthy pre-made options.
In similar fashion, and if luggage space is an issue, you can order some items from amazon and have it shipped directly to your hotel or vacation rental.
Research the area you’re heading to ~ or ask me to! I love doing that! Find the nearest Whole Foods Market or health food store. Look for markets close to your accommodations and have a pre-set list of things you know you love and want to have during your stay. Stopping by a market once you arrive and grabbing essentials is always a great idea!
Purchase fresh veggies like: baby carrots, button mushrooms, sugar snap peas, small containers of cauliflower, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes. All great options to have on hand. Grab a container of clean guacamole or hummus and use it for dips. Then include the previously mentioned packs of tuna, chicken, or meat sticks for a good dose of protein.
Research restaurants, juice bars, and coffee shops. If you’re not into cooking or your accommodations aren’t set up for that, there are usually plenty of places that offer great menu options that won’t compromise your diet. Simply google “food” “restaurants” “gluten free” “dairy free” and typically many options will show up. And now days, most establishments are really great about people calling and asking questions. I’ve done this so many times and it’s really helpful. When I call I ask to speak with someone who can give me some direction regarding their menu and food restrictions. I simply let them know that I am gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and ask what they would recommend from their menu. I like knowing when I roll into town where I can eat and what I can eat at particular places. It saves time once we set foot on the ground and it avoids feeling like you have to grill the server when they come to your table to take your order.
If you’re in a hotel with room service, you can usually order al a carte to keep your meals clean. For Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with berries and bacon. Plain oatmeal (if not grain free) with some berries and nuts. Or use some of the dried fruit and nuts or almond butter you packed as additions. You can even mix in a collagen pack or mct oil into the oatmeal for a boost of extra protein and good fats. Lunch or Dinner: Grilled meats, fish, poultry with a side of fruit and a salad with no dairy or croutons. Ask for lime or lemon wedges to squeeze over your salad for dressing.
In all, if you’re wanting to stay clean while you travel, keep it simple. Proteins, veggies, fruit and good snacks. But also remember to treat yourself and have a little fun. Especially if you’re on vacation! Even so, if you’re looking to have a treat but want to avoid sugar laden treats and pastries, there are lots of ways to do that! Look for smoothie/juice bars that sell raw desserts sweetened with maple syrup or coconut sugar, honey, etc. Or just enjoy a smoothie as dessert! One of my favorite places to go to when we head to the beach is a healthy little store called Raw and Juicy in Seaside/30A along the Florida Pan Handle. They sell a raw Key Lime Cheesecake (gf, df, refined sugar free) and its so good! Every time we go, you can bet that I make a point of making sure I get to enjoy a piece of cheesecake! There is usually something along these lines in most cities!
And always make time to MOVE while traveling! Take a walk, or run, utilize the gym in your hotel, do yoga via your phone or computer. Exercise is the best for physical, mental, and emotional well-being! Even 10 mins can make a huge difference in your day!
While it does take a little extra work to maintain clean eating while you’re traveling, it’s so worth it! There are times where I’ve not made the effort and have chosen to just eat whatever and I usually end up feeling less than great during my time away or I get sick on the back end of my trip. I like eating well and feeling good before, during, and after travel.
Sometimes, it is not possible to do all these things - whether the resources just aren’t there, or you simply don’t have time to grab food at the market. You may be in business meetings where the food is provided and you don’t get to choose what you eat - the choices are being made for you! Do your best to eat as clean as possible and then just be committed to get back on track as soon as you’re able.
Also, if you're on vacation and you feel like it’s worth it, enjoy something that is a favorite but not the norm in your diet. This should be a part of our lives ~ freedom to indulge a little every once in a while. Unless you have a medical condition that would be aggravated or compromised then you should stick to your good clean eats and doctor's orders.
Food is something that not only brings health, energy, and life to our days, it also brings us together to feast, celebrate, and enjoy one another’s company. It’s not about legalism. It’s about being wise and stewarding well the life you’ve been given by nourishing yourself well ~ spirit, soul and body.
Eat clean, eat for your health, but also know when it’s time to relax, enjoy and loosen the restraints a bit!
Keep your meals simple and be okay with a few off track meals here and there. You can easily get back to your normal routine once you’re back home!
Want to check out some of the resources I mentioned? Here are links. Know that I only recommend products that I’ve tried and can vouch for. All these suggestions and links are companies I approve of and trust sending you to! Travel Well! Live well!
RXBars and Nut Butters
Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds- best ever!!
*some but not all of these links are affiliate links. If choose to purchase via the affiliate links provided I do get a small kick back!