Cole Millen, an avid traveler and foodie, has asked me to post this article to share the tips and tricks that he has learned in his experiences of traveling and staying healthy on the road.
Sometimes it’s challenging to maintain a nutritious diet when indulging in cuisines across the world, but you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to eat right.
When I travel, unfortunately cannot leave my many food intolerances at home. Sometimes there is no way to control how the food is prepared and a meal with the wrong ingredient can ruin my experience of the places I’m visiting. That’s why being prepared and informed becomes important.
One more tip: don’t be shy and ask your waiters to accommodate your special needs. You’d be pleasantly surprised by how willing they are to make your meal an enjoyable experience.
Tips for Eating Right While Traveling
by Cole Millen
The stress of travel can be multiplied if you don’t take care to eat healthy while away from home. Even vacations can become hazardous to your health if you don’t take the time to find healthy options while away. Although you regularly incorporate healthy eating habits at home, it may be challenging to maintain these habits when traveling. I find that a little advanced preparation goes a long way toward helping me remain committed to my healthy habits when I’m on the road.
First, I try to learn a little about the place where I plan to travel before I embark on my journey. Information including what amenities are available at hotels and what restaurants can be found in an area helps to give me a good handle on what to expect. I was even able to find restaurants offering gluten-free menus by browsing reviews of different Las Vegas hotels and digging through reviews from real people. I have found that these are the most unbiased and honest forms of information when looking for a place to stay.
When booking my flight, I also check for the healthiest available options. In-flight meals and snacks are notoriously unhealthy. If an in-flight meal will be served, I make sure to request a healthy vegetarian option to avoid high-sodium, processed meats. I also pack raw almonds, dried fruits, and other healthy snacks in my carry-on to enjoy, rather than succumb to caloric goodies served on the plane.
At my destination, I frequently find a local health-food store where I can stock up on a few healthy snacks to keep in my room, and I always refuse the key to the tempting mini bar. This helps me avoid the pitfall of late-night binge eating. At hotels that offer a complimentary breakfast, I look for fresh fruit, whole-grain toast and perhaps a boiled egg or two. These give me good energy for a full day and help me avoid starchy, caloric foods like muffins and waffles.
Eating out while traveling provides its own dangers to a healthy diet. I try to stick by the same guidelines that I use when eating out at home. “Broiled” and “steamed” are good words to look for on a menu, while I stay away from anything labeled “batter fried.” Also, the more color there is on a plate, the healthier it tends to be, so I often choose menu items by pictures loaded with veggies.
The stress release a vacation provides is a boon for our health, and we all need to take a little time off now and then. And while it’s ok to indulge a bit on vacation, there’s no need to send your diet off the rails and quash any potential health benefits your getting from your trip. If the place I am visiting offers an absolutely irresistible regional treat, I will treat myself once or twice during the trip, but otherwise, I stick to the tips above to get the most out of my vacation!