Even when you’re traveling, it’s important to take your healthy habits into consideration. Being on the go almost always makes it impossible to cook for yourself, so you’re often forced to rely on pre-packaged foods and other outside sources of food. Therefore, it’s necessary to be able to choose the good from the bad and make sure you get the healthiest, most nutritious meals possible. Here are some tips for having healthy meals away from home.
The Local Grocery
In most destinations, there is likely to be a grocery not too far from where you’re staying. This is a great place to begin your search for prepared meals that won’t strain your diet. The produce section is a great place to start. Bags of salad mix, veggie trays and fresh fruit are all great options. Don’t forget the deli and salad bar, either. These are great places to find baked or roasted chicken, fish and turkey, salads, steamed veggies and other nutritious choices.
In Your Car
If your travels only require riding in a car for a few hours, it’s still important to take healthy food along. If you become hungry and there’s nothing around to satisfy your appetite, you’re far more likely to make a beeline for the nearest fast food joint or rest stop vending machine. Consider bringing healthy snacks like fruit, veggies, dried fruit, nuts, jerky, whole-grain crackers and low-sugar cereal or protein bars. For long trips, bring a small cooler and stock it with things like sandwiches, yogurt, water, milk, 100 percent juice or tuna salad.
Before setting out, it is important to find a hotel that best caters to a healthy lifestyle. Doing a little research in this area will go a long way. I have found reviews to be extremely helpful in finding a hotel to fit my nutritional needs. Just this passed month I took a trip out west and found a great site that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding their amenities and services as well as the restaurants in the nearby area. This allowed me to find a hotel with a completely gluten free menu amongst the buffet ridden restaurants. Finding exercise facilities are a big plus and are in nearly every hotel these days. Ask the manager if the hotel serves meals and what you can expect to find. Common options include whole-grain breads and cereals, real juice, tea, yogurt, oatmeal, peanut butter, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit and vegetables.
At the Restaurant
It would be a shame to go someplace different and not enjoy any of the local restaurants, especially if you have good company to dine with. However, it’s possible to make the experience both fun and healthy. Avoid eating the skin on your meat as this can contain hundreds of extra calories. Go easy on the potato toppings, too. Opt for low-fat sour cream, chives and a little salt and pepper instead of the fully loaded version. Similarly, choose your dessert wisely. Things made from real, fresh fruit, like sorbet or a small slice of pie, are better than cake, cookies or brownies. Watch what you drink as well. There could be well over two hundred calories worth of sugar lurking in innocent-looking beverages like soda, iced tea and lemonade.
At the Bar
Sampling the local nightlife is just as fun as sampling the local eateries. However, you must use extra caution when selecting alcoholic drinks. Different types of alcohol have varying amounts of calories in them with hard liquor and regular beer being the worst. Furthermore, if you order a fruity-flavored mixed drink, you can bank on it having a ton of added sugars that translate into a few hundred calories. It’s better to just choose a nice glass of red wine or a light beer instead.