“One step at a time is good walking” ~ Chinese proverb
Plan, prepare and pack a few healthy habits when you travel.
Why? Because traveling can and often does interfere with our best intentions to NOT eat a whole plate of french fries, or buy a sugar sprinkled cupcake every time we pass by the adorable bakery, or skip a meal because we are too busy working.
That’s why I’m sharing a few planning tips and healthy hacks to keep up your sleeve (or in your luggage, whatever’s good for you) for your times away from your home-cooked meals, out of your exercise routine, or switched on “I’m on vacation” mode.
Actually, these health shortcuts will work for you even if you never travel or take a vacation. So, if you have a long and busy work week or an envious social calendar, you might find that most of these tips pretty useful.
I decided to break these down into categories: Daily, Airport, Dining Out, Snacks, and Tools so you can easily reference the tips or hacks for more organized preparation and planning.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics
(yes, you should be doing this anyways)
are a must before your meals. If you do only one thing while traveling, this is it! Here is the brand I recommend
to my clients. They even come in single serving-size packets!
(in place of green smoothies or juices) Aim for one serving (8-12oz per day) preferably in the morning before any coffee or breakfast. You can buy this one
or find the single servings packets of Amazing Grass Foods brand at your local health food store.
Drink herbal teas.
Pack a few tea bags with you. I prefer detox, calm, ginger, mint. I keep ginger and detox in my purse or carry-on and the rest in my hotel room or kitchen. Drink detox tea
first thing in the morning if you don’t have access to warm water with fresh lemon juice. CALM or chamomile is great before bedtime to get good sleep which is hard when traveling. Ginger aids in digestion after meals while mint help with stomach relief or to energize. You can also take or opt for green tea if you need to energize or a healthy dose of caffeine. Your detox, green or mint tea can also easily be made iced!
Stretch and move your body
Do this for a few minutes every morning when you wake up and then during the day every hour or two. You’ll need body relief from the plane, for those soft mattresses, or long hours sitting down. There are easy guided stretching or yoga poses you can find free on YouTube online. Turn it on your smartphone or tablet and lay a bath or yoga towel on your room floor. Aim for at least 5-10 minutes of good stretching.
Prepare food for the flight.
Airport food or snacks are usually processed and loaded with sugars and junk. Instead, make a simple salad or quinoa veggie dish to eat on the plane or at the airport along with bananas, fruit like a washed apple, or your own mixed fruit bowl. If you have an early morning flight, you can make eggs with veggies or oatmeal. Pack food in closed containers and make sure you have room in your carry-on or to-go bag. When leaving a city, you can plan ahead to take something to-go from your hotel or pick up a prepared meal from a nearby cafe.
Stretch and move.
Get your feet or legs moving every few minutes on the plane. Get your blood flowing to prevent swelling or tightness.
Drink plenty of water on the plane. Opt for water instead of juice or caffeine.
Eat more veggies.
Have a veggie side or a salad with fresh lemon or lime or with dressing on the side to eat before your main meal. Chew the salad greens slowly for better digestion and absorption. Yes, you can ask for a side order of cooked greens or veggies like sautéed spinach or bok choy and roasted cauliflower or brussel sprouts as appetizer instead if you have a hard time eating raw veggies or salads.
Instead of being tempted by the menu, talk to the waiter/waitress (without looking at the menu) about a delightful fish or chicken dish with lightly cooked and seasoned veggies that they have or can prepare.
Of course, if you have any food allergies, intolerance or sensitivities, use YELP or Google Maps to find a suitable dining spot so you can be sure to avoid those trouble foods. At a minimum, tell your waiter about your concerns because often they can work with you off the menu.
SNACKING or Treats
Energy bars, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate
Buy a few healthy snacks ahead of time at your health food store or online to take along with you in your carry-on or purse. You can get most of these in single packets or snack size bags. For a 1 – 2 week trip, I usually pack 1 bag of Navita Naturals Cacao-Chia Energy bites, 5 single packets of raw almonds and pumpkin seeds, 2 bars of 72% or higher dark chocolate bars in my luggage (Green & Black is my personal favorite). The energy bars or nuts are perfect in between meals if hungry while the a couple bites of dark chocolate is a nice occasional treat.
A reusable water bottle.
If you are stuck in a conference all day or in the airports, you can refill and hydrate more often. If you have a stainless steel or colored one, then you can conceal your green powder drink from your friends, family or co-workers’ comments (wink, wink).
Google maps or smartphone apps.
Yelp, Google Maps, HappyCow apps or websites will help you to find healthy cafes, restaurants, food markets, and juice bars in your vicinity. You can find ones that offer gluten-free, organic, dairy-free, vegetarian and seasonal meals, snacks and prepared meals whether you eat there or take it with you.
Now, you tell me.
What healthy habits do you keep while away on a business trip or vacation? What three things will you do and commit to while on your next trip?