On the road a lot, or working shifts? Healthy eating in these situations can be challenging, especially with the fast food choices available today. Here’s my Top Ten list of healthy travel foods to eat while you are on the road.
When we are busy it's easy to go too long without eating food, this will throw off your blood sugar balance. When we do this we are much more likely to make bad food choices when we finally realise how hungry we really are. While travelling long distances by car or spending time in airports or on planes we tend to eat out of boredom. Having some healthy eating snacks to hand reduces the chance of reaching for sugar-laden or fast food options.
These healthy travel foods will help you stop sugar cravings, boost your energy levels, lose weight & feel great!
- Sprouted Bread & Nut Butter Combo:
- Protein: Spread a generous layer of almond or cashew butter on sprouted bread or Ryvita.
- Vegetable: Accompany with crunchy carrot sticks for something fresh.
- Fruit: Sliced dried prunes or figs add a touch of natural sweetness and are great for digestion.
- Veggie Surprise:
- Protein: Tofu cubes can be marinated and baked till they're crispy, serving as a protein-packed addition.
- Vegetable: The collection of carrots, cucumbers, celery, sugar snap peas, and capsicum offers a refreshing crunch.
- Fruit: A side of kiwifruit halved and eaten with a spoon can add a tangy twist. Great for constipation.
- Fruit Fiesta:
- Protein: A handful of roasted chickpeas offers a savoury contrast.
- Vegetable: Capsicum strips, which can be dipped in a light vinaigrette.
- Fruit: Cherries, plums, apples, pears, bananas — mix and match according to preference.
- Egg & Avocado Duo:
- Protein: Hard-boiled eggs are protein-rich and travel-friendly.
- Vegetable: Avocado slices sprinkled with a pinch of salt or paprika.
- Fruit: A side of blueberries offers antioxidant benefits.
- Nutty Delight:
- Protein: Raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, or cashews.
- Vegetable: Raw broccoli or cauliflower florets, perfect for munching.
- Fruit: Dried cranberries for a mix of tangy and sweet.
- Berry Yoghurt Bliss:
- Protein: Plain yoghurt provides probiotics and protein.
- Vegetable: Shredded or grated beetroot can add colour and nutrients.
- Fruit: Fresh berries like strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries for natural sweetness.
- Hummus Heaven:
- Protein: Hummus, rich in protein from chickpeas.
- Vegetable: Sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks, or flax crackers for dipping.
- Fruit: Dates, providing a natural sweetness to contrast the savoury hummus.
- Delightful Dolmas:
- Protein: Dolmas have rice and often include lentils.
- Vegetable: Enjoy with a side of roasted or steamed asparagus.
- Fruit: A handful of pomegranate seeds can add a fresh flavour.
- Seafood Ryvita Combo:
- Protein: Canned tuna, salmon, or sardines are ready-to-eat proteins.
- Vegetable: A topping of rocket or spinach on Ryvita crackers complements the fish.
- Fruit: Thinly sliced apple pieces for a crisp bite.
- Raw Fudge Indulgence:
- Protein: These fudge balls can incorporate protein powder or/and nuts.
- Vegetable: Spinach or kale chips seasoned lightly can offer a crunchy contrast.
- Fruit: Mango slices, which pair well with the richness of fudge.
Each of these combos offers a balanced mix of macronutrients, ensuring sustained energy and satisfaction during travels.
The Importance of Hydration While Travelling:
Staying hydrated during travel is of paramount importance for both our physical and mental well-being. As we journey, our bodies can become susceptible to dehydration, which, if left unchecked, can manifest in the form of fatigue, dwindling concentration, and persistent headaches. Such symptoms can become particularly challenging, if not perilous, when one is travelling unfamiliar locations or is behind the wheel driving. To mitigate these risks, travelers are advised to always have a reusable water bottle within arm's reach. This ensures a consistent intake of water, even if the body doesn't immediately signal thirst.
Furthermore, for those seeking a flavourful twist without the added sugars, herbal teas and infused waters present themselves as refreshing and health-conscious alternatives to conventional sugary drinks.
The Mental Boost of Healthy Eating:
The brain, a remarkable organ that governs our thoughts, actions, and emotions, thrives on a diet abundant in nutrient-rich foods, a need that amplifies during the demands of travel. When confronted with the unpredictability and stress that often accompany journeys, nourishing the brain becomes paramount.
Essential nutrients, like Omega-3 fatty acids, play a pivotal role in improving cognitive functions, promoting sharper focus, and bolstering memory. Meanwhile, antioxidants combat oxidative stress, safeguarding neuronal health. Together, these brain-boosting compounds not only elevate our mood but also equip us with the mental resilience and acuity required when exploring unfamiliar terrains or grappling with the challenges intrinsic to travel.
Pre-travel Meal Prepping:
Preparing meals ahead of a trip, commonly known as pre-travel meal prepping, can be a game-changer for those on the move. By dedicating some time before setting out to thoughtfully craft your travel snacks or meals, you're ensuring a journey filled with nutritious options tailored to your liking.
The benefits of this approach are manifold. Firstly, it's economical, as it curbs the need for often overpriced airport or roadside eats. Additionally, having pre-prepared meals on hand acts as a defence against the allure of less wholesome temptations that one might encounter during travel.
Moreover, for those with specific dietary needs or preferences, meal prepping offers a surefire way to meet those requirements without compromise. Think of simple, yet satisfying make-ahead recipes: a quinoa salad with fresh veggies, a wrap filled with grilled chicken and avocado, or a mason jar layered with yoghurt, berries, and granola. Such combinations not only satiate hunger but also provide the energy and nutrients essential for a comfortable journey.
Traveling with Dietary Restrictions:
Navigating the world of dining can be a nuanced challenge for those with specific dietary restrictions, be they the result of allergies, intolerances, or conscious lifestyle decisions. When in unfamiliar places, effectively communicating one's dietary needs becomes paramount. One useful tool in such situations is an allergy card—a concise written explanation of one's restrictions.
If venturing abroad, it's beneficial to have this card translated into the local language, ensuring clarity and understanding. Additionally, the digital age offers further support in the form of specialised apps and websites. These platforms can guide users to eateries that cater to their specific needs, be it gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, or any other specification. Through the combined use of these tools and methods, individuals with dietary restrictions can ensure they dine safely, healthily, and enjoyably, even while on the road.
Being organised is key to staying healthy and keeping on track with your diet when you have to travel a lot. It's a good idea to keep a small pot of nuts or a raw bar in your bag for those unplanned delays or meetings that go on too long. A piece of fruit can also be ideal and an apple will last in your car or bag until it's needed.