Healthy Living

Eat Healthy While Traveling

Out of Town

If you are outside of your normal area and unfamiliar with the local restaurants simply try wandering into a grocery store instead of the nearest fast food establishment. Most delis will provide lunch and dinner options such as soups, subs, and salads. If you are looking for quick healthy breakfast bypass the Egg Mc’Muffin and head towards the dairy section of the grocery store and pick up an organic vanilla yogurt cup, stop in produce and buy some fresh organic berries to top that yogurt, and maybe a single granola bar to top it with. Now I realize that some fast food places do offer parfaits or fruit salads, but I seriously doubt that it’s organic. And when it comes to eating fruits (especially berries, and fruits with edible skin) organic is really the only way to avoid pesticides. The thing about pesticides is that they are absorbed by the fruit’s skin (washing does not remove pesticides) and berries don’t even have a skin to peel. So organic is a must!

On the Road

 Unfortunately there are no freeway exit signs for grocery stores, and if you are like me getting off the freeway to explore an unfamiliar city in hopes of finding a  store will more likely result in me getting very lost. So when you have no other option than to choose fast food, control the portion. The employees will try to trick you into buying more bad food than you need. Don’t be fooled! A children’s happy meal is actually the correct portion for an adult, plus you get a toy. I also suggest ordering an apple juice (or two they are very small) or tap water (it’s free at most establishments) instead of soda pop.  Also to ensure that you are getting freshly made food just place a special order. Ask for a cheese burger without ketchup, and unsalted fries. When you order a special burger or fries the employees cannot grab something from under the heat lap. Your food will have to be made fresh and you can ask for extra ketchup and salt.

Expert Tip:

Travelers that endure particularly long trips not only experience dietary issues due to the fact that they may be in "unfamiliar dietary territory" (think about the untreated food/water supplies of many far away continents), but also stress on the body from changes in environment as well as sleep patterns.  Probiotic supplements may be taken to improve/minimize the negative effects of these particularly taxing trips, ultimately improving the traveller's short term health as well as their experience while travelling.

In the Hotel

The best way to eat healthy while staying in a hotel is to take advantage of the mini-fridge. Buy foods that don’t require a lot or any preparation. Stop at the local store and pick up some freshly sliced meat of your choosing as well as cheese and bread (and condiments too!). Often eating healthy on vacation can also save you money. An easy way to save money is bringing some food and/or drinks from home to avoid the expensive vending machines. If your hotel room does not have a mini-fridge you always have the option of bringing a cooler.

Eating healthy is not always convenient but it is always worth it! Just remember these tips and your body will thank you for taking your diet on vacation with you.

Nickole Siegman is a student at UW-Stout and a regular contributor at and…leading health product and information sites on the web.

Karla Urwitz
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