Teri Gentes www.terigentes.com
I get asked all the time, how do you sustain your healthy eating habits with all the traveling you do.
Well here are some great suggestions to keep your healthy habits intact even when you are on the road!
If you’re heading off for a conference, a business trip, family vacation or adult weekend away with a little pre-planning you can stay on track with your wellness intentions. These fabulous ideas are easy, economical, nourishing and delicious.
For me, its an essential. I have zero desire for highly processed, high sugar, dairy laden or greasy foods.
Read on for all kinds of ways to eat great no matter where you are.
- Call the hotel in advance and if there isn’t a fridge in the room order one. The fee is usually $5 -$15 a day (Or if possible, pull items out of the mini bar creating space for your items. Then simply return them later).
- Before you leave do a Google search to locate the closest grocery store and use apps such as: www.happycow.com and www.eatwellguide.com to source out venues that will serve a variety of quality foods.
- Before you leave do a Google search to locate the closest grocery store
- Upon arrival head to the store and purchase items as those listed below
- Pre-pack any/all of the suggestions below...
Before you head out on your next trip do this...
- Bring pre-made Muesli mix and then you can make a delish breakfast in your hotel room in a coffee cup or glass. (Be sure to pack spoons.) In the morning top the dry mix with hot water, non-dairy milk or coconut yogurt, fruit, extra seeds, etc. Alternatively prep overnight muesli parfaits topping with non-dairy milk, letting stand overnight then serving with fresh berries in the morning. No access to fresh fruit? Sub with dried fruits and add a little more liquid to rehydrate them.
- Pack or purchase a tetra carton of non-dairy milk and SunButter singles
- Bring or buy Granola - Homemade is best. Recipe at www.terigentes.com
- Enjoy avocados - cut in half, pit and eat as is or spread like butter on... Organic Mary’s or Rice crackers, Food For Life Ezekiel English muffins/Bread, Wraps; Gluten Free-Preservative Free breads such as Silver Hills, (freezer section); Sour dough bakery breads, Stonemill or local organic Artisan options
- Pack a jar of nut or seed butter such as almond or Sunbutter www.sunbutter.com
- Apples, oranges and pears travel well. I have crossed many international borders with fruits such as these ‘pre-cut for personal consumption’. Do check ahead – rules differ everywhere.
Bring or buy the items below:
(I fly with a pre-made vegetarian wrap or ancient grain, bean and veggie salad in a bag to eat on the plane or upon arrival. It’s my saving grace for sustained energy and maintaining coping abilities when travel plans go astray. Home-made power balls/cookies/organic chocolate bars are usually in my bag as well.)
- Bring bags pre-made quinoa and lentils or mixed beans for salads Toss with Maison Orphee oils and infused ACV www.maisonorphee.com. Most grocers carry such items
- Buy salsa, pesto, hummus, tapenade to dip veggies / fill a wrap / top a salad
- Whole grain wraps: Ezekiel and Food for life as well as Romaine or Nori leaves
- Peppers, endive, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, cukes…
- Pre-washed salad greens and herbs
- Fresh citrus fruits (These are great as a salad dressing).
Ideally check the menu out online first and call the restaurant in advance to make a special request. The biggest challenge I’ve encountered in restaurants is with a quality protein source included in vegetarian and vegan offerings. If legumes, tofu, tempeh, nuts and seeds, or ancient grains aren’t on the menu then ask for a healthy serving of spinach or broccoli or other dark green veggies included in your selection – 1 to 2 cups.
- Scan the menu well before ordering and be creative seeking out various ingredients…
- Choose grilled or broiled fish, Portobello mushrooms, peppers, marinated organic tofu/tempeh with veggies, or beans and ancient grains.
- Always have 2 -4 different veggies and lots of them – order as sides if needed
- Opt for meatless (at least some of the time) and enjoy Mexican, Italian or Indian beans/lentil stews
- Be mindful of portions – keep half for your lunch the next day if you have a bar fridge to store it in.
- Mexican - order refried beans, grilled veggies, salsa, guacamole and use lettuce (Romaine/Green/Red leaf) or Endive instead of deep fried tortilla chips
- Indian restaurants often offer dairy-free vegetarian options with legumes, tomatoes, veggies, coconut milk.
- Italian – order red, pesto and garlic, olive oil based sauces and ask to have it served over grilled veggies like mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, greens… If you really want pasta ideally it will be from Italy where GMO foods are banned. It likely won’t be if it’s fresh pasta - grains in North America are hybrid and higher in gluten.
- Avoid the cream, cheese and high fat meat sauces and ensure you have veggies added and enjoy a side salad.
- Ask for grilled veggies and fish w/ bruschetta for a topping and pass on the refined carbs like white rice
- Want pizza? Opt for thin crust, avoid deli meats and choose pecorino cheese, feta or chevre (made from sheep milk) instead of cow dairy such as mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Teri's Tricks: I bring a bag of protein rich nuts, or seeds such as hemp seeds and even nutritional yeast in my handbag to add to main courses if plant based sources are non-existent.
- Pack serving size ‘power’ baggies with raw nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cacao nibs, cinnamon…These are better than most power bars and these Bullet Proof Cookies are perfect for a grab n go option.
- A fave healthy and protein rich treat: Rawmio/Lovechock/Happy Rebel organic chocolate
- Kale chips are great and rich in calcium and protein so they hold hunger off
- Organic apple chips are a nice ‘crunchy food
- Cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers and grapes are a quick bite size snack I love
- Candied ginger slices – great for digestive woes and nausea (Trader Joe's, Natural Food stores)
The Options are endless. Plan ahead, find/bring the best items you can and have them on hand so you are never at the mercy of fast food vendors or restaurants. You'll enjoy your travels so much more and feel that much better for the pre-planning as well. I am all over that.
PS - Please share this with your travel companions so they share the advance prep with you. I must say over the years I earned a great reputation as being a welcomed travel companion because of my reliable food stash. Plus you are less likely to deviate from your healthy habits if you are prepared with great food options. We eat what's available to be sure to have great choices.
I'd love to know what you're doing when you travel as well. Share your ideas in the comments. We all learn from one another.
Below you'll find a great info-graphic from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - a great resource.
Want personalized great ideas for taking better care of your self? Contact Teri