5 Ways to Maintain Your Diet While Traveling
Here's how to stick to your healthy eating plan when you're on the go...
I recently got back from my first trip to Europe. I had a lot of apprehension about a number of things. At the top of that list, as someone who's on a completely plant-based diet, was... what was I going to eat?
Here are five things I learned about how to maintain your dietary transition while you're traveling.
1. Plan Ahead
There are two main elements to this step. First, mentally, remember why you are eating the way you are in the first place. What's your "why" for making—and continuing—healthy changes in your life?
Secondly, you're going to need to eat, so you're going to need an actual, actionable plan. Failure will rarely happen if you've got your mind right, and part of your preparation may take a little research and list-making.
Just go in prepared and you should be good to go!
2. Research restaurant/menu options
In all but a very few cases, you should be able to find something healthy on the menu to order either as is or with slight modification. But it's always a good idea to prepare ahead of time and make sure you go in with a plan.
At a restaurant, order fish or chicken with no sauces or breading (if you're eating meat, at all) and steamed vegetables. Even better, you can just load up on vegetables!
You can also order a salad with no cheese (substitute avocado), processed meat, or dressings. Make your own dressing by asking for olive oil and vinegar or a lemon, and then season with salt and pepper.
Also: Don't be afraid to ask for your meal to be prepared the way you want it.
3. Buy and prepare your own food
If farmers markets or grocery stores are available—this will depend on where you're traveling, of course!—do your shopping there. If you're in the grocery store, stay to the periphery of the store where the fresh, organic food is. Avoid the processed foods in the aisles. And if you're in a place with new-to-you fruits and vegetables, get a little adventurous. Diving into the local (healthy) food is often one of the best ways to explore a new culture.
4. Stay hydrated
A lot of the time, people snack because they're actually just thirsty. So, make sure you have plenty of water available, no matter where you are.
Also, your body needs water. So, drink enough of it.
Avoid sodas or sugary drinks at all costs.
5. If you mess up, don't beat yourself up
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I want you to hear it anyway. If you fall off your diet, pick yourself up and do it better again tomorrow. Part of the joy of traveling is entering into the unknown, even if it's just a little different than normal. So, because of this, you'll find yourself in situations that might not be entirely conducive to maintaining your nutritional plan.
If you fall off, don't let it ruin your day. Just get back on, reaffirm your “why,” and go back to enjoying your trip!