12 Mar Strategies for Maintaining Proper Nutrition While You Travel
Heading out on a trip, whether it is across town or around the world, can have your eating habits thrown out of sync pretty quickly. From greasy fast food to questionable water, the hazards are everywhere. You shouldn’t let fear get in the way of meeting your nutritional needs when you travel, though. There are some simple strategies you can use to eat well, stay healthy, and even try a few new things in the process.
Pack a Bottle of Water
Staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining your health and nutrition. Sadly, too many people allow dehydration to set in during travel. That means feeling sluggish and tired, suffering from irritability, and even being more prone to aches, pains, and falling ill with common colds and viruses. Drinking enough fluids also allows your body to properly digest your food and encourages a healthy gut microbiome.
You should try to get about eight glasses of water every day. If you are especially active, plan on adding a couple to that amount.
AN easy way to meet this goal, and ensure that you have safe and potable drinking water, is to carry bottled water with you when you go out. While single-use bottles may be potentially harmful to the environment, they are an easy way to keep safe drinking water handy when you travel. Using a water purification device is another option if you don’t want to use disposables.
Try Local Specialties
Local specialties and signature dishes are likely to be incredibly fresh and full of flavor. That means you can add a bit of variety to your trip while also trying some new (and hopefully healthful) foods.
If you are visiting an area near the water, be sure to look for fresh fish and shellfish dishes that use locally-sourced seafood. These will add a dose of healthy fats to your diet while also giving you a chance to experience what fish is supposed to taste like. A word of caution: you may never be able to visit the seafood counter at your local grocer again.
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are an excellent way to add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet. Make sure to get a few extra items for travel days. For an added boost for your immune system and digestion, add a drop of oregano oil to your water. It is completely safe and natural, and adding it may help you avoid any stomach upset from unfamiliar foods.
Avoid Fast Food
When you are traveling, especially along highways or in bustling airports, stopping for fast food is a quick and easy option. It is also one of the least nutritious choices you can make. Luckily, it is one you don’t have to make.
If your trip involves car travel, pack a cooler with healthy snacks and meals that can be eaten cold. Avoid anything that will spoil easily. Rice cakes, peanut butter, fruit, and fresh or dried veggies are all great ideas.
Air travel is slightly more difficult, but there are plenty of foods that are allowed through those security checkpoints. Look for cut fruit, veggie wraps, or yogurt parfaits for a quick treat at the airport. This can often hold you until you can get to more substantial food.
Use Safe Food Sense
Keep an eye on the temperatures of leftovers. Cold foods need to stay cold, which means below 40F degrees. Hot foods need to stay above 140F degrees. If they fall under that for more than a couple of hours, bacteria can start to take over. Don’t run the risk of getting sick; just toss the leftovers or leave them at the restaurant if you aren’t going right back to your room.
If you visit any produce stands or local markets, be sure to wash or peel (or both) any fruits and veggies you pick up. You should probably be doing this all the time, anyway, since you really have no idea who has handled that food before you got to it. It is easy to get lax when you travel, though. And with agricultural practices varying from place to place, it is better to be safe than sorry.
By using some common sense, eating local, and drinking bottled water, you will be able to maintain your nutrition levels and your health while traveling. Plus, you just may find your new favorite dish.