On the go: how to eat healthy while traveling

Ashley Cramer, owner of The Barre Studio in Capitola, Calif., writes a monthly lifestyle and wellness column for The Penny Rose. 

Whether traveling for leisure or business, healthy eating can quickly go by the wayside. Fast food stops, junk food and restaurant meals can lead to post-travel pounds and a twinge of regret. These simple strategies and a bit of planning will help you eat well and still enjoy your travels.   

Pack healthy food for the trip. Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, always plan healthy food to eat en route. If you’re flying, check to see if your airline offers healthy meals to purchase. If not, grab a salad or sandwich before you board the plane. I also like to bring travel-friendly, nutrient-dense snacks like an apple, nuts or a protein bar. If you’re on a road trip, pack a cooler with healthy snacks so that Funyuns and Snickers bars don’t tempt you when you stop for fuel.

Find a grocery store nearby. When you get to your destination, stock up on healthy snacks. I try to find a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or other natural market, but any grocery store will do. Having healthy foods on hand sets you up for success.

Request a hotel room with a refrigerator. I almost always call ahead to my hotel and request a room with a refrigerator to store some of my favorite food like yogurt, cold-pressed juice, baby carrots and hummus. If your hotel doesn’t have a refrigerator available, just make sure you have healthy non-perishable foods on hand. 

Use technology. Your Smartphone is a valuable tool for healthy eating. Most restaurant chains list their nutrition information online. If a menu doesn’t call out healthy meal options or list calories, check out the restaurant website. Calorie tracking apps like Lose It! also include nutrition information for popular restaurants and packaged foods. 

Indulge consciously. When I travel, I look forward to checking out local favorite restaurants and experiencing new cultures and flavors. Eating out is necessary, and it can also be one of the best parts of traveling. However, remember the mantra “everything in moderation.” For example, if you plan to get dessert at a local creamery, skip the breadbasket and order a healthier entrée at dinner. Consciously plan your calorie splurges, and truly enjoy your indulgences.

For healthy snacks and more information to help you eat well as you travel, visit my Healthy Travels board on Pinterest.