A lot of our conditioning around food comes from living a hyper-busy life. Think about it: if you had 12 hours per day with nothing to do, you might start making new types of food from scratch instead of reaching for fast food and instant meal solutions.
Photo by Brian Wallace
One of the most busy times is during travel, when food is either an inconvenience or turns into a massive drain of energy.
If you plan on traveling this summer on vacation, for work, or to visit friends and family then this article is for you.
Here are my tried and true ways of staying healthy (and not getting sick!) while you’re traveling.
1. Drink lots of water
That’s because we tend to be more rushed, to be thrown out of our routine, and to forget to hydrate. It also happens that you never know when you’re going to have access to a source of drinkable water, so always carry a reusable water bottle with you.
2. When in doubt, eat less
One thing I noticed when I travel is that people seem to eat more. Either because the plane / train is trying to sell lots of snacks, or because there’s nothing to do.
I’ve been there before: between a long flight, a never ending bus ride, or a 10 hour car ride… there’s not much to do unless you’re the one driving. So you dig into the snacks in an effort to stay awake or keep your energy up.
What does all of this increased snacking lead to? First, it causes major stomach traffic jams because you’re eating different foods in quick succession. It also leads to major bloating and constipation. It’s no wonder travel messes with our regular bowel movement schedules.
That’s why I recommend you keep your snacks and meals to within a few hours of each other. Bring a book or take a nap instead of entertaining yourself with food.
3. Research juice bars and restaurants
One thing I love about the internet is that you can research the restaurants and juice bars before you even set foot in a place. Make sure that the local listings are accurate, since restaurants and stores open and close without necessarily updating their sites.
I love “Happy Cow” for vegetarian and raw-friendly restaurant reviews. You can search by location and drill down from there.
If you end up at a restaurant that you didn’t research then check out my article on how to eat raw when you eat out.
4. Bring something you can eat on the go
One thing that is predictable about travel is the uncertainty. You never know when you’re going to get a chance to refuel (your car or your body) and that means preparation is key.
Although I recommend keeping snacking to a minimum, it’s better to have your own snacks on hand than to react to your hunger and eat something really unhealthy.
Here are some travel-friendly foods to pack:
- Baby carrots
- Sliced veggies: celery, cucumber, bell peppers
- Dried nuts and seeds in a trail mix
- Dehydrated green smoothies
- Fruit: apples, berries, citrus
5. Go to the grocery store
As soon as you arrive to your destination, make a trip to the grocery store. Most of the time you can grab a few staples, something green, and be on your way in less than 20 minutes.
It makes a huge difference when you have your go-to fruits and veggies for breakfast or snacks. If you can get your hands on a blender or juicer, then all the better. If not, don’t worry – you can always get back on the wagon when you get home.
6. Sleep and rest generously
This isn’t so much about food as it is about giving your body what it needs, but it does tie in to what you eat.
You see, if you don’t get enough sleep then you’re going to be reaching for something sugary or caffeinated to kickstart your body. That’s not the way to go, because it leads to a vicious cycle of sugar ups and downs and will definitely not leave you feeling refreshed.
So make sure you get some good shut eye while you’re traveling.
7. Focus on water rich foods
If you’re going to be veering off your usual way of eating, make sure you’re compensating with lots of water rich foods.
That means if you’re having something a little dehydrating like some wine or coffee, then follow it up with some fresh coconut milk or a green juice. (Both are great hangover cures too!)
Instead of having something salty like salted peanuts, reach for sliced munchable veggies.
Are you counting your miles?
Remember to stay grounded and take some time for yourself when you’re traveling. If you want to see someone who knows how to keep a regular schedule even when he travels, check out my friend Chris Guillebeau.
He’s on a mission to visit every country in the world, and he’s keeping to a vegetarian diet while doing it. He’s also got a great guide for anyone who wants to get lots of frequent flyer points without the flying.
Where are you off to?
Now I’m really curious about where everyone is going. Personally, I’m going to Miami, then Ottawa for the Healthy Living Festival, then back to Quebec to visit my family.
Family is a theme that runs throughout my travels this time, what about you… why are you traveling and where to?
Naomi & I
One of the questions I hear often is how do you stay raw when you eat out at restaurants? There are a pieces to this puzzle, so tag along with me as I explain my rationale.
I was inspired to answer this particular question today, because I had a great time meeting up with fellow bloggers and twitter friends last night.
How to Pick the Right Restaurant
Picking the right type of restaurant is important, especially if you are going with people who aren’t all raw or who don’t know you’re raw.
The idea is to go for a type of restaurant that has salads. Or at least some sort of non-cooked vegetable options. This usually rules out some of the Indian, and Asian restaurants. Those tend to have vegetarian or vegan options (great if you’re not 100% raw) but not so many raw options.
I recommend you check out Italian restaurants, steak joints (really!), mexican restaurants (for guacamole), and other restaurants that happen to serve salads.
How to Order a Raw Plate Without Stressing Yourself Out
Now the tough part when it comes to ordering at a regular restaurant is not getting caught up in your mind games.
What do I mean by that?
It’s something that I’ve noticed happening in my own mind quite a few times, and that other people seem to pick up on.
When you look at the menu, you’ll be tempted to say:
“Screw it, I don’t have to eat raw tonight!” and just order something else to fit in or reward yourself. (Rewarding yourself with food is a whole ‘nother blog post!)
If you do order a salad and other people ask you questions like:
“Don’t you feel like having something else? Aren’t you sick of eating salads?”
You’ll start feeling left out, kind of down, or just plain jipped.
I seriously encourage you not to fall into that trap. The truth is that every time I order a salad at a decent restaurant, I’m really happy with it.
I tend not to enjoy restaurant salads if they are “cheaper restaurants” because then you get a few pieces of iceberg lettuce and two non-ripe tomato slices on top. (Think truck stop restaurants here.)
But with higher end restaurants or steak houses you’re going to be getting some quality veggies.
Making a Special Request
What I’ve had success with is asking the waiter for something special with my salad. Here are a few examples of orders I’ve made at restaurants that have made my experience much better.
Double Your Salad Order
I ordered two “house salads” and asked them to be put into one big bowl. The waitress asked if I was really sure about that… she probably didn’t get that request very often.
The house salad was about half the price of a regular entree, and to me it made sense to just double it and have a full meal. It turned out great, I felt satisfied, and I got lots of really great tasting greens.
Add Extra Veggies
Another great option is asking for vegetables that you see in other dishes or salads to be added to your green salad.
If you see that they have avocado in a sandwich, and they have red bell peppers as part of another dish, you can just ask them to throw some of these into your basic salad.
That adds bulk and really makes it a fuller meal for you. Sure, it might cost you a bit more but most salads tend to be on the less expensive side of the menu anyways.
Feeling Good About Your Choices
I often worry that I’m going to want to eat what other people have ordered. Honestly, this happened to me even before I went raw.
It’s just my monkey brain trying to convince me that my life isn’t perfect, and that I should be doing things differently.
The truth is that when I focus on the present moment, and commit to enjoying every bite of what it is I have in front of me, I really don’t care what other people order.
Now when people imply that the restaurant doesn’t have any good raw options I can say I’m really happy with my order.
More Importantly, You Should Enjoy Your Company
Remember that most of the time when we meet up with people at a restaurant, we are doing so to connect with people.
To enjoy each other’s company. To get to know each other. To share stories, laugh, and really treasure each other.
It shouldn’t be all about the food, though that can be fun too.
So the next time someone invites you out to eat, do a little research about the type of restaurant that has salads you might like, and go for it!
Enjoy your time together, and make the most of the present moment. It’s the only one you’ve got.