How to Eat Healthy When Traveling

Marilyn McKenna

During the summer and winter travel seasons, many of us take trains, planes and automobiles in our quest to find the perfect spot for a little “R&R.” However, travel can throw a wrench into healthy habits as we’re left at the mercy of airplane food and gas station snacks. What’s a health-conscious traveler to do?! Here are some common food challenges we encounter while traveling and a few ideas for working around them.

At the Airport

If time allows, by all means pick a sit down restaurant; they’re more likely to have fresh options. If time is at a premium, grab-n-go sandwiches and salads are preferable to in-flight options. So take something onboard with you. Eat half of it once you get settled and save half for a couple of hours into your flight.

On the Plane

The in-flight offerings are almost universally abysmal and lacking in fresh fruits and veggies. Ideally you should try to avoid them, but do drink water whenever offered.

At the Hotel

The minibar in your room is a trap! It may offer mixed nuts, but there are too many tempting candy bars and snacks that are hard to resist after a day of traveling. Many hotels have breakfast buffets that offer eggs, oatmeal and fresh fruit – all great choices to fuel a busy travel day.

In the Car

Traveling by car allows for much more flexibility when it comes to packing healthy food. A small cooler with reusable ice packs keeps water bottles cold and veggies crisp. Refuel at grocery stores where you can buy baby carrots and snap peas, as well as sandwiches on whole grain bread.

At Grandma’s House

If your destination is someone’s home, the truth is that you’re going to need to be a good house guest and choose from what you’re served. Of course, if you’re asked about your preferences, suggest your healthy favorites but if not, make your best possible choices from what’s available. And remember, grandma may be serving coffee cake for breakfast, but she likely has an apple and yogurt too, so try to have that instead!

Travel Rule of Thumb

Avoid the “vacation mindset” that shrugs and tells you, “Oh, lighten up! You’re on vacation!” You’ll enjoy your trip more, and have fewer pounds to lose on your return, if you find ways to stick to your healthy living goals.

Marilyn McKenna speaks publicly and writes about fitness and weight loss. After being morbidly obese for decades, Marilyn lost 120 lbs., transforming her body and her life. She now brings hope to others who are struggling with an approach that is both relative and real.

Marilyn is a guest blogger partnering with The Hartford to share her stories. All opinions are those of Marilyn and do not reflect the opinions of The Hartford. The Hartford does not endorse or have any association with the products and/or services referenced. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting a new exercise regimen.

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