Good morning and happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. What’s on the agenda this week? I thought it would be fun to talk about one of my favorite topics: travel.
Whether you travel for fun or for work, a change of scenery can do wonders for sparking creativity and helping you hit the mental reset button. That said, it can also be tiring and stressful and often presents some challenges when it comes to staying on track with healthy eating habits. Packing some healthy stuff can dial down the crazy, save calories (and money) and help you feel energized and clear-headed.
I’ve written about travel snacks before for publications like Fitness and YouBeauty and I definitely practice what I preach. Here’s a little glimpse at what I brought with me recently to the Lady Project Summit:
I also ended up bringing clementines, a banana, a yogurt, and some snap peas. For the trip up, I packed a salad so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding something on the go. I like to save these clamshell packs from greens so I can use them as a to-go container I won’t feel as guilty about tossing en route.
While I didn’t end up needing all of what I packed, knowing that I had healthy options available gave me one less thing to worry about. For example, being able to supplement a carb-heavy lunchbox at the conference with those snap peas and skip some of the bread and chips was a great way to keep myself full and focused so I could enjoy the rest of the day—and not get accidentally wasted on prosecco at the after-party.
My magic formula when it comes to healthy travel snacks is to make sure you cover the different food groups or at least gaps you’re anticipating and to go for stuff that’s going to fill you up.
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
- String cheese or other individual portion
- Nuts, seeds, or dry-roasted edamame or chickpeas
- Nut and seed butters
- Pouches of tuna: Handy for dressing up salads, sandwiches, or eating as is
- A minimally processed bar made from nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
- Low-sodium cold cuts
- Protein powder: Great for shaking up with water or adding to plain oatmeal
Fruits and Vegetables
- Fresh fruit: I’m squeamish about it touching stuff in my bag, so I usually put fruit in a bag or sealed container or choose stuff with a peel.
- Sliced fresh veggies.
- Freeze-dried veggies: Choose something that’s just the veggies with maybe a little oil or sea salt.
- Vegetable juice: Fresh is best, but bottled (like low-sodium V8 juice) works in a pinch.
- Vegetable juice powder: Just shake up in a water bottle. I buy single-serve packets of this chocolate-flavored one from Amazing Grass
- Avocado: Slice in half with a knife and eat out of the skin with a spoon. To keep portions realistic, this is best shared with a travel companion for a filling 125-calorie snack that provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, and potassium.
- Single-serving packs of olives—Oloves are my fave
- Single-serve packets of ground flaxseed or chia shots: I add these to yogurt and oatmeal for extra fiber and omega-3’s.
- Oats: Packets of unflavored instant oatmeal can easily be made with hot water. They’re also great stirred into plain yogurt for a shortcut version of overnight oats.
- Popcorn: This fiber-rich whole grain will hold you over a long time and is lower in calories than a lot of other snack items.
- Hummus: Look for single-serving packs. These Wild Garden hummus packs are my go-to because they don’t need to be refrigerated. I even used to keep them in my labcoat pockets to add to lunch when I was a dietetic intern.
And don’t forget—hydrate!
Because mild dehydration can be mistaken for hunger and make you feel sluggish. Drink plenty of water and seltzer, but go slow with coffee—too much caffeine can lead to dehydration and make you feel like you have to pee every 10 minutes.
Do you get frustrated with trying to eat healthy when traveling? What are some of your go-to travel foods and drinks?
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