My favorite thing to do in the whole world is travel. Traveling has only one downside in my mind: You can’t always have access to good, organic, nutritious foods. Or can you?
There are millions of people coming in and out of airports thinking they have no choice when traveling. They let their surroundings control their lives, their health, and the health of their families. I used to be one of these people. For years, I traveled for work, all over the United States, going from city to city. I didn’t know anything about the food I was eating and felt terrible about myself. I was overweight, felt tired all of the time, my skin was a mess, and I was generally less productive. Then, I realized that I had a choice, and was actually in control of everything that I put into my mouth! I learned how to always be prepared while traveling so that I no longer had to eat nutritionally dead food. I now feel obligated to share my traveling habits with you, because they truly changed my life and can change yours, too!
Whether you are taking a long summer vacation or just packing for a quick weekend road trip, here are my top tips for keeping healthy on the road, as taken from my bestselling book, The Food Babe Way.
Do Your Homework:
Before you go anywhere, do some research to find restaurants and businesses that use local and/or organic products. The Eat Well Guide, Happy Cow, and Pressed Organic Juice Directory are all great resources to use.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For What You Want:
If you plan to eat at a hotel, contact them ahead of time and ask them about their food. List out the ingredients you’d like to avoid, and confirm this with the restaurant when you order. It’s worth the extra effort. And don’t be shy!
Tackle the Munchies:
Pack baggies of organic granola, whole grain crackers, or homemade trail mix. Try a mixture of organic raw nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and seeds like sunflower and pumpkin, along with something sweet like organic raisins, golden berries, or dates. Trail mix doesn’t need refrigeration and can last for the entirety of your trip in your suitcase. I’ve made several individual servings to last me throughout long travels; you’ll never know when you need them.
Pack Your Own Airline Food:
It’s a little known fact that the TSA allows for some food from your home to be brought right through security and onto your flight. My favorite options are smoothies (on the way to the airport), oatmeal for morning flights (packed in a clear bag or glass container) or hummus sandwiches on sprouted wheat tortillas packed with organic greens for later flights. Just wrap the sandwich in parchment paper and put it in a quart-sized plastic bag. All of these will keep your hunger in check so that you can avoid the snack cart when it rolls around. Important: don’t pack your food in aluminum foil. It will set off alarms in the x-ray machine.
Drink Ginger Tea:
My traveling secret is fresh ginger tea. It stimulates circulation and makes me feel terrific after I deplane. Take a thermos, and toss in a quarter cup of freshly chopped ginger. After passing through security, head to an airport coffee shop and request a large cup of hot water (and be sure to give the barista a nice tip for serving you free hot water). Pour the hot water in the ginger-filled thermos and let it brew. Once you’re on the plane, sip your ginger tea. You’ll feel so energized when you arrive at your destination.
Also pack a water bottle to be filled at the airport after you’ve cleared airport security. I like to bring at least 32 ounces of water with me. Drink at least 16 ounces of water a few hours before your flight, and limit alcohol and caffeine. Drink 8 ounces of water for every hour of flying time.
Make Your Own Oatmeal:
I place a mixture of ¼ cup instant plain oatmeal and a few sprinkles of organic cinnamon in a ziploc bag. In another ziploc bag, I carry one date and a few walnuts. When I’m ready to make my oatmeal, I get a cup of hot water from the hotel, a gas station, a coffee shop, or wherever I happen to be. Then I break or cut up the date into pieces and add it with the oatmeal to the hot water, do a quick stir, and let it sit until it’s warmed through and the oats have soaked up all the water. Before eating my oatmeal, I add the walnuts as a crunchy topping. The cinnamon and date, which dissolves quite a bit in the oatmeal, bestow amazing flavor and sweetness. Often, I’ll add banana, raisins, goji berries, and/or other nuts if I have them.
Avoid Factory Farmed Meat:
Unless we know the source of meat, my husband and I try to eat vegetarian meals while traveling. Don’t eat meat unless the restaurant or grocery store assures you that it’s free of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics.
Detoxify Your Body:
Even when I’m traveling, I try to keep my morning lemon water habit every day! Lemons and a jar of cayenne pepper are easy to pack for the morning, and I’ll also throw in some organic apples to eat after a long flight. The apples provide fiber and keep your hunger at bay until you have your first meal after arrival.
I’m traveling all over the world this Summer and will be doing my best to eat as healthfully and organically as possible, while sharing my adventures on Instagram. I hope you come on over and follow along! Happy & Healthy Travels!