Summer is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me your calendar is packed with weddings, tropical vacations, work trips, and long weekend trips visiting friends who live too far away! I love to travel, but being away from my kitchen and my local Whole Foods can make it tricky to eat well on the road. I’m writing this post while flying home from Maui and thought I would share a few tips on how I nourish myself while on the road.
Tip # 1: Be prepared.
This may be the most important tip of all. It is easy to rush packing and just wing it, but that means you’re at the mercy of overpriced airport food. Don’t get me wrong- I will 100% buy that $7.00 Starbucks latte before boarding my 6:00 am flight, but I would prefer to eat a homemade goji berry oat muffin, an individual packet of Justin’s almond butter, and a banana that I brought with me for breakfast. I always make a point to hit up the grocery store a few days before my trip to stock up on as many non-perishable goodies I can fit into my Lululemon bag (you know the ones they give you at the store when you buy something? They make great travel snack bags!) Not only am I packing snacks for the flight, but I am thinking of things I can have on hand at the hotel or keep in my purse to snack on throughout my trip. Here is a list of things typically found in my Lulu bag (not all are pictured): trail mix (I make my own), bars (see my post on bars for specifics), granola, nut butter, fruit (fresh and dried), individual Vega protein powder (vanilla is my fav), KRAVE jerky (Chardonnay Thyme is where it is at), and Somersaults. I also always bring a few Emergen C packets and tea). While these are some good snack items to have on hand for your trip, it is also important to bring a meal with you, so you can skip the BK Lounge in the airport. For example, today my husband and I knew we would be flying home during lunch time, so we stopped at Whole Foods on the way to the airport and had some sandwiches made to take with us. People on the flight were jealous!
It is also a good idea to call the hotel ahead of time and ask for a room with a refrigerator (or you can buy/bring a cooler). Once you arrive to your destination, hit up the local grocery store and stock on some staples.
Tip # 2: Balance is Key
One of the best parts about traveling is exploring the local cuisine! Having a balance between getting in the foods that you know make you feel good (see picture above) and also being open to new food experiences is key. Getting caught up in negative thoughts about the macronutrient content of the food (nice way of saying calorie counting) is going to make it very difficult to be present and enjoy the moment. If a local restaurant or cafe is known for having the best __________ (fill in the blank) TRY IT!! Food is meant to be a pleasurable, delicious, and fun experience. So let yourself fully enjoy the food, location, and who you’re with.
Tip #3: Pack Your Nike’s
This tip also ties into tip #2. Yes, vacation is a time for rest and relaxation, but if you’re like me I enjoy being physically active on vacations. I typically dislike hotel gyms, so I will try my best to find a way to be active outdoors. Walking, running, or hiking outdoors can be one of the best ways to explore a new city while getting in some physical activity. If you know me, I love taking classes like barre, yoga, and spin. If I’m in a city that offers those types of classes I may do a drop in class. Make some room in your suitcase for your tennies and lulu!
Tip # 4: Stay Hydrated
Travel (especially on airplanes) can be very dehydrating. I can’t stress how important it is to stay hydrated. Unless you want to pay $4.99 for a 23.7 oz. bottle of Smart Water, I strongly encourage your to BYOWB (bring your own water bottle duh!). It is definitely worth investing in a reusable filtered water bottle and ask the kind Starbucks barista to fill it up when you get past security. (Hey, I paid $7.00 for that latte- you can hook up the water!) Yes, getting up to use the bathroom during the flight sucks, but being dehydrated is way worse!
Bottom line: Vacations are supposed to be fun and relaxing. Do your best to find balance throughout the trip, but know that kale smoothies and downward dog will be there when you get back.