Eating Well While Traveling

It can feel difficult and overwhelming to stay on track with your wellness goals while traveling. But we are here to help! With a few simple tips, whether you are traveling by plane or car, you can get to your destination feeling energized and ready for what’s next. As someone who has spent the last few years frequently traveling between Ohio – Missouri – Arkansas, I have discovered a few things that can help.

Flying can be a stressful experience. The airport (depending on which one) can be full of different food options to choose from, and oftentimes it’s difficult to find nutritious options. So, what do you do if you want to stay on track with your goals? Firstly, make you have a balanced, nutritious meal prior to heading to the airport. Also, pack whatever non-perishable snacks you can for your carry-on. Per TSA, you can bring solid food through security, but any liquids must be at or below 3.4 fl oz. Filling sandwich bags with mixed nuts, whole wheat crackers, or a protein bar can hold you over while you wait at your gate or mid-flight. If you have a light travel day, bringing a small piece of fruit with you (as long as you’re traveling within the US) can be helpful as well. Second, be sure to drink plenty of water! Air travel can be dehydrating, and it’s important to keep up with fluid intake to prevent feeling lousy once you reach your destination. Sometimes, things don’t always go to plan. Flights can be cancelled, delayed, or missed, and you end up spending a far longer time in the airport than you bargained for. Don’t stress! Wherever you end up eating, be sure to honor your fullness cues and be mindful of portion size.

Driving to your destination? Pack a small cooler of snacks to bring with you. Things like sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, protein shakes (we love the Fair Life brand), veggie sticks & hummus are great way to get good nutrition while traveling. Non-perishable snacks like mixed nuts, protein bars, and whole wheat crackers are also a great option to have on hand. If you do need to stop and get something to eat quickly, again, don’t stress and follow the same motto as before – honor your fullness cues, and be mindful of portion size!

While staying on track while traveling can be a challenge, you can do it! It just requires a bit more planning and organization. Try not to be too hard on yourself if you do end up having to eat a few low-nutrition meals, it happens. Do your best, follow these tips, and you will be just fine!

-Alex Grbcich, MS, RD, LD, CPT

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