4 Great Strategies for Eating Healthy While Traveling

Last updated October 16, 2023

Ask any traveler the top three things they remember about any destination they’ve visited and I can guarantee one of those three will be: food.

Food and travel pair together like departure and arrival. But often when we travel, our healthy eating habits tailspin out of control. That is, only IF we allow it.

The good news is that there are ways to maintain healthy eating while traveling.

As a mainly plant-based wellness traveler who has been to an array of countries, cultures and dietary offerings, no matter where my passport has taken me I’ve been able to maintain a fairly steady weight and overall healthy habit routine. 

Fuel Your Wanderlust

With a few helpful tips, eating healthy while traveling can be accomplished with just a little bit of effort and preparation. These are the four food rules I live by when traveling for work and while on vacation.

1. Create & Stick to a Routine

Many people will go on retreats to learn healthy habits, incorporate additional fitness into their day and make time to disconnect from the email world in order to reconnect with one’s self and sense of well-being. What if that was every day, and not just on a vacation?

Routine is a lifestyle, not a diet. When you can incorporate a routine and daily habit schedule at home that you can also take with you when you travel, the food choices you make become a healthy lifestyle (not a diet).

It’s a choice for each meal, each bite and each taste bud you can savor. It’s a choice based on feeling good, nourishing yourself, taking care of one’s body and enjoying a travel adventure long past the last day’s stay.

Very true, having an avocado sandwich with the exact bread and side of steamed broccoli and hummus won’t be able to follow me everywhere, but it is possible to incorporate similar foods and balanced eating along the way.

The routine of eating when I’m hungry, typically fasting early mornings and eating mid-mornings post workout, having a lunch of raw fruits and or vegetables and a cooked dinner with balanced greens, fats and carbs is a mainstay. 

Most resorts and locations can work within those concepts, and the power of simply asking for specific dietary needs can go a long way. 

The routine, the habit—these stay the same. Any additional healthy tips you can take home with you from the location can only add to your healthy routine back at home AND produce some happy memories.

2. Keep Your Mornings Simple

For myself, no matter where I’m traveling in the world, I keep my mornings simple. I wake up at the same time each day, drink water with lemon, meditate, sip coffee, move my body and have a general idea of the “Top 3” things I want to accomplish during the day to feel successful, followed by movement of some sort.

A kind reminder here that success can be anything from landing an audition to exploring a new beach or having a fruitful call with my production team. 

While this morning routine may vary depending on whether I am working or on vacation mode, the importance is that it’s simple. It’s not overcomplicated with a new meal every morning or reinventing what I’ll do Saturday and Sunday compared to Monday through Friday or if I’m in Miami, Los Angeles, the Mexican Riviera or Barcelona.

It’s simple, the same and helps me ground for the day ahead to be focused, enjoyable and productive—whatever productivity looks like for you and where you are! 

3. Consume What You Need

So many times I’ve seen this happen, especially in all-inclusive resorts, where the eyes eat more than the stomach can consume. Or, really need! Mindful eating is a habit I practice before, during and after each meal to ensure I’m eating from a place of need rather than a place of (insert any reason we eat mindlessly).

More often than not, overeating happens with boredom, eating too quickly or being distracted, to name a few. 

The practice of mindful eating and consumption stems mainly from my own desire to simply feel good ALWAYS at home and when I travel. It puts a focus on the food that I’m eating to be more delightful and enjoyable.

Mindful eating certainly helps me maintain my health and figure, of course. Perhaps the greatest benefit of all? I’m not wasting any food. 

4. Mindfully Enjoy

On the subject of mindful eating, there’s also mindful enjoyment. Because we all eat differently, here are a few tips I keep in mind when it comes to certain food categories: 

  • Drinks

While I personally don’t drink alcohol, I know many who do. If you do enjoy a drink from time to time, my greatest suggestion is this: enjoy it! Enjoy it with vigor, each sip and taste. When possible, cut sugars, follow it with some fruit-infused water and let it be shame-free. If you prefer a soda of such, the same follows, but creating a goal for yourself of having one drink or soda per day, the rest hydrating beverages (such as water with lemon, strawberries or melon). 

  • Sweets

Moderation and total enjoyment. Without limiting yourself, enjoy one or at one meal. Limiting or eliminating completely will only leave you feeling deprived, so enjoy bite by bite without any distractions when you choose to. Or, perhaps instead of having a pastry, your new “sweet” is a bowl of local fruits instead.  

  • Meals

I opt for simple dishes, foods prepared, adding in my own flavors and (if any) toppings. Go for simple dishes, create a three-dish variety, choose mainly fruits and vegetables over heavier foods, ensure you’re plenty hydrated prior to eating, limit food before bed for proper sleep and above all, enjoy without digital distractions and envision the food you’re eating going through your body and nourishing your cells and soul. 

Eating Healthy While Traveling

The idea of having food “rules” is less about being restricted from rules but about offering freedom. Once you’ve developed a lifestyle of healthy living, you can pack that with you no matter where you’re traveling. The rules then FREE you up to live and travel well for many more years ahead with proper health. 

About Vacayou

About Vacayou

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