I hear this quite often:
"It´s impossible to eat healthy while traveling."
"I want to try all the food on my holiday, BUT I don´t want to gain weight."
"I want to stick to my habit, BUT I don´t want to get too stressed out about it."
For me (traveling longterm since December 2015) it actually doesn´t feel this way mostly, I eat healthy, I actually lost weight even though I try to eat everything I want to taste in a new country. But after a chat with a friend I realized it might be a problem if you don´t know how to find the healthy choices in a city you visit the first time.
If you walk around a new city, or waiting for a train or plane, if you don´t pack lunch for a road trip you might easily get caught by the good looking and smelling foods in bakeries, supermarkets, coffee shops. If you don´t mind that they don´t are nutritious and healthy, go for it! If you do want to eat light and healthy to avoid the blown belly after a long journey, or if you want to stick to your healthy nutrition because it´s your priority or you want to lose or just hold your weight, or you are eating vegetarian/vegan it´s not as easy as just buy the next Donut at the bakery. There´s a few things you need to keep in mind and then it is actually relatively easy to avoid the sugar and fat traps while you´re on holidays.
So here we go, a few tips how you can avoid the bad food choices, so you can travel light and healthy.
1) If you are staying in a hotel with breakfast/all included
Try to choose the fresh stuff. Fruits, fresh made omelette, Oats and fruits. Go for whole wheat bread and avoid the white bread. Always put some fresh stuff on your sandwich like cucumber, tomato or salad. Avoid too much juice, if you like a juice anyway, try to mix with water or just have a little glass. Anyway it´s your holidays, so if you want a pancake for breakfast go for it, but take one instead of three and use a little honey instead of chocolate spread. Theres mostly a lighter alternative around.
If you have all inclusive, try to stay away for coffee time, or share a piece of cake with your partner or friend.
For lunch and dinner the same as for breakfast: Choose more of the fresh stuff and just a few or no fries, pizza, pasta.
If you want to go one step further, book a "healthy hotel". Yes that is possible nowadays. You will find by research that in some places you will find eco friendly, organic, green Hotels/Resorts.
2) Exploring a new city:
All the vegans or vegetarians know the answer I guess: go plan ahead! Use google or tripadvisor and search healthy options, salad bars, etc. Or ask your host where you can find a good restaurant for light food choices. Because if you are strolling around already, and getting hungry, you might end up with a fat burger or pizza or muffin.
What I do since I am traveling longterm, I google places I would like to go have lunch or dinner and then I will mark them on the App MapsMe. Its a great map that works offline on your phone where you can find places, you can mark the places you want to go to, and you can see how long it would take by walking, by bike or car. I found this my favorite travel app so far.
Same thing if I want to find zero waste shops, farmers markets or organic supermarkets: research, maps me-GO! :)
3) Healthy Snacks, the rescue food:
Make sure to have a healthy snack in your bag in case of you cant find the restaurant you want quick enough. Take a few nuts or fruits with you to have as a safety kit against the big hunger, because then your brain might stop to work and your "bloodsugarlevel" takes control over your food choice.
4) Share your food!!
This is my secret Tip for you ;) share food! If you want to try the Sacher Cake in Vienna, or the best cheese cake in New York and you´re traveling with somebody else, order just one piece and share! If you are traveling alone bring a container and before you start eating pack one half away. Your unlikely to eat it if you have it in your bag already.
Take just one scoop of ice cream rather than two!
Or do like I do sometimes, I eat the cake for lunch. But then it´s only the cake, nothing else, it has mostly as much calories as a normal meal, so no problems for the energy level. And if you get hungry soon after, go grab an apple or some nuts or a carrot.
5) On the road/plane/train:
Pre packing is the golden rule for healthy eating and plastic free travel.
Buy bananas, apples, pears, nuts, cheese, dark bread for a nutritious sandwich, or make a salad with filling stuff like carrots, beans, bulgur etc.
Get some veggies and dips (hummus, guacamole) with you.
Get a big bottle of water or unsweetened tea to avoid the sugar filled drinks at gas stations or bus/plane/train terminals.
6) Get an Apartment with a kitchen:
If you travel individually, make sure to book a place with a kitchen! This is how we manage to travel really healthy, we make our own breakfast, and dinner or do some lunch to take away. You will not only save money, but also calories ;)
7) Look out for farmers markets:
Not only you will have plastic free choices here, but also a wide range of seasonal fruits and veggies, good for snacking while exploring a city. In Riga we had luck and we found somebody selling delicious Paleo Cake on a farmers market (sugar free, lactose free, gluten free), and had a great healthy coffee break in a park (got the coffee in our reusable coffee cup).
8) Friends restaurant choice:
If you are sitting in a restaurant your friends chose, try to make a light choice. Theres mostly a good soup of the day, or a salad menu. If the salad comes with a fat dressing, ask for oil and vinegar instead, if you like to eat low carb, make sure to order "No Bread please", if it´s on the table once, you will just eat it.
In Vienna we went to Vapiano and my boyfriend ordered Pizza while I had Low Carb Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles). So you see theres mostly (if your not in a "meat only" Place;) a choice for everybody.
If you want to know more about how to travel plastic free (minimalistic plastic), check out my Articles here-> How to travel plastic free
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Hi my name is Jule
I am a nature and ocean lover. A passionate runner and minimalistic traveller. On this blog I share my experiences, thoughts and ideas about the "sustainable lifestyle" and how you can stick to this while traveling.
You like what I share? If yes, feel free to buy me a coffee <3