Our travels affect the way we eat. It’s a given. But that’s not necessarily negative. The effect traveling has on our diets and health depends on our choices. Undeniably, there is a change in routine and environment. However, these changes bring up as many opportunities as they do challenges.
Traveling broadens our perspective and increases our knowledge. It makes us look at the world in a different light. It might even make us rethink our dietary habits and adjust our taste preferences.
A significant challenge that most people face during travels revolves around nutritional needs. How do you go about meeting the nutritional needs of the body in unfamiliar surroundings? You may have a limited understanding of the local cuisine, especially regarding the ingredients that go into each dish. Then how do you balance meals? How can you stay energetic? How do you fuel your adventures in a new place?
We have the answers to all your questions here and plenty of beneficial tips. Specifics will depend on your travel destination, but in general, you can utilize these tips to cater to your body’s needs and make the most of your travels.
Plan For Your Meal Times
Many inexperienced travelers (and sometimes even the seasoned ones) make the mistake of not taking into account mealtimes. They also fail to consider the location they would probably be in when it is time for meals. Sometimes, people think they’ll just manage something when it’s time. Or, due to the excitement of the sightseeing, thoughts about meals slip the mind until hunger pangs make an appearance. The lack of planning leaves little to no scope for nutrition-driven choices later.
If you intend to travel soon, it’s wise to research the eateries and meal options in that area
Roughly calculate where you will reach by what time, select/book a place for meals, and always have backup options. What comprises ‘backup options’? Learn about this in our next tip.
Carry and Purchase Healthy Portable Snacks
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If you forget to make a reservation, and can’t find a place in time, healthy snacks will become your backup options. Examples include premade sandwiches, roasted chickpeas, and hard-boiled eggs. Another travel-friendly option that you can always keep in your dietary arsenal is a healthy protein shake. Protein shakes can help you meet your body’s needs for macro and micronutrients in strange lands.
You will have luggage constraints, so you might be able to carry some healthy snacks, but still not enough for the entire trip. And you obviously can’t carry perishable items for long. So then what do you do? Whenever you get the opportunity, you renew your stash of healthy snacks.
When you face a dire energy crunch, this snack stash will come to your rescue. Fresh vegetable sticks, protein bars, dried fruits, fresh fruits, dried fruits, and homemade trail mix are some healthy snack options for when you’re on the go. You might want to carry these in your backpack when you go sightseeing.
Do not, on purpose, skip meals. That’s only going to make you feel more ravenous, and later on, it will have you reaching out for the most accessible option, no matter how unhealthy.
Choose Local and Seasonal Options
This too is easier when you plan ahead. By choosing local and seasonal options, you can support the local economy and small businesses and reduce the carbon footprint associated with your meals. You also get to try the local cuisine and obtain all the health benefits from the flavorful freshly harvested ingredients. Besides, local dishes are often created to align with the nutritional needs of the body in the climate of that region. For example, when in Florida, try one of the local seafood establishments in Fort Lauderdale.
Allow Yourself One Treat Per Day
You’re striving to make better food choices, and that’s great. But it does not mean you have to be harsh on yourself. You’re going to be surrounded by enticing local food options. Don’t deny yourself the chance of trying something new, just because it is not the healthiest option.
Allow yourself one treat a day. Count your calories, and make up for the indulgence elsewhere. For instance, you could increase your activity level, or have a light dinner.
You’re in a different locale, surrounded by pleasant views. Why don’t you take time to really relish your meal in peace? You probably have good company. Enjoy meals with your travel buddies or family. If you’re traveling solo, then meal times offer the perfect opportunity to make new friends and bond over taste preferences and shared interests. Eating your meal slowly and mindfully in the company of friends or family can leave you feeling more satisfied with your meals. If you practice mindful eating, you’ll also be paying proper attention to your hunger cues, and feeding yourself only when you’re really hungry rather than due to other triggers. Be conscious of the size of your servings. Practicing portion control will allow you to try out more options without overeating.
Use Technology to Find Healthier Options
This one is like a cheat code in a video game. When you go to a new place, you obviously won’t have much knowledge about the local eateries and food items. But these days, you can find out a lot using online maps, and local apps. Ask the locals for names of apps they use for meal deliveries and for checking out restaurant options. You can even connect to health-conscious communities online and seek recommendations there for healthier local options.
Consume Foods That Could Improve Sleep
Many people find it difficult to sleep during their trips, not because they don’t have the time or place, but because they find it difficult to sleep anywhere other than their own beds. If you also dread traveling because of the inability to get quality sleep in hotel rooms, this tip is for you. Did you know that you can alleviate this issue with the right food choices? Some food items are rich in nutrients that can help improve sleep quality. Combat travel fatigue and insomnia with food items such as kiwis, tart cherries, and milk.
Take care of the nutritional needs of your body even during travels, and it might actually improve your traveling experience. You’ll have more energy, you won’t feel tired easily, and you’ll even sleep better. Explore the local cuisine, but also practice portion control. Eating right will help you maintain your health and make the most of your trips.