It is one thing to eat nutritiously when you are in the comfort of your own home, but it’s an entirely different situation on the road. When you are pulled away from your routine, most people just throw up their hands and decide there is nothing they can do but to eat poorly. However, if you put a little thought into it, you can enjoy your travels and not pay for it by starting your vacation sluggish and run down!
In the Airport
Airports are notorious for overpriced, bad tasting and nutritionally horrendous food. We all know this yet there are still lines wrapped around the food court because people find themselves starving and unprepared. Here are some tips to avoid diet pitfalls in the airport:
Stock your carry-on
Pack a few bars or some trail mix in your carry-on bag so you can beat your hunger to the punch. For longer flights, I HIGHLY suggest you pack a full meal. This can be something as simple as swinging by the store on your way to the airport or bringing leftovers in a container you are OK with throwing away. Even if you have a longer layover, I wouldn’t rely on getting food at the airport. The holidays are known for delayed flights and very long lines. Having food with you is not only important from a health and pleasure standpoint (you know the food on the plane is gross) but will also cut down on the stress of travel. Check out my blog on vacation travel for more ideas of what to bring with you on the plane!
Eat before you go
Make sure you enter the airport with a full stomach. It will be much easier to avoid the sugary temptations and I promise the long lines will be much more tolerable when you’re not hangry!
I suggest bringing a reusable water bottle and drinking it on the way to the airport. Make sure to finish it before security and then fill it up at the water fountain when you get to your terminal. That puffy, bloated feeling after a long trip is a usually a sign of dehydration so staying hydrated is a must. I know it can be inconvenient to have to get up and go to the bathroom (especially if you are a window seat lover like me!) but it will be well worth it in the long run. You may also want to consider adding in an electrolyte drink such as ultima. This will help your body absorb the water and potentially cut down the trips to the bathroom.
On the Road
When preparing for a road trip, we will take an extra 30 minutes to update our iPods or make sure we have DVD’s for entertainment, but we often just hope for the best when it comes to food. If you do this on the road, the “best” that you are hoping for will most likely be a fast food drive-thru or a gas station smorgasbord.
Pack a cooler
Stock a cooler with fruit, sandwiches and drinks. You’ll have fresh food at the ready and the cooler will help prevent your food from getting crushed under your feet!
Bring food you enjoy
Make sure to pack food that you enjoy and is easily eaten in the car. The last thing you want to do is pack a bunch of food you aren’t looking forward to eating and find yourself in the drive-thru instead.
Dehydration can be misread as hunger. I know we tend to avoid water when driving because we don’t want to make a lot of pit stops, but try to drink 8 oz. of water per hour to stay hydrated and prevent over-snacking. It’s worth the extra stops!