Everyone has excuses of why they can’t travel – not enough time, not enough money, no-one to go with… Contiki’s FML to OMG videos inspired me to look at what my travel excuse is; and it’s the challenge of eating healthy while overseas. I've gone on some trips and been so totally unprepared that I've come back feeling a bit rubbish. But each time I travel I get better at it and I've learned that when I'm well prepared, I come home feeling as healthy as I did when I left. Big bonus is the jetlag is nowhere near as bad! I've added a couple of recipe ideas down below that you can make easily pretty much anywhere with very simple ingredients. But first - here are some tips to keep you feeling tip top on your next trip away
On the flight
- Take an empty water bottle with you and ask one of the hostesses to fill it up. The recirculated air on flights is really dehydrating so try to drink a minimum of 1 large glass per hour.
- While you can't take liquids over 100ml through airport security, you can take your own food - just be aware that anything not in a sealed package will probably have to be thrown out before landing. So take enough fruit, salads, sandwiches or whatever you like to last the trip.
- Get up and walk around the plane every hour or so, give your legs a bit of a stretch.
- In your seat, do some neck and shoulder stretches and when you use the bathroom shake up your body and do a couple of toe touches (if you have enough room!) The more movement you can get the better you'll feel at the other end.
- Avoid alcohol and soft drinks - stick to water! I know it's tempting because its free, but it will make the jetlag so much worse! If you do really want a drink, don't have more than 1 and drink a couple of extra glasses of water to help flush it through your system.
Pack some snacks
It can be tricky when it's a new country and you're unsure of what will be available when you get there, or if you're arriving late at night and you'll want a snack before passing out. I always take some packaged food in my suitcase, usually nuts, dried fruit, whole foods bars, oats, chia seeds, nut butter and seedy crackers. I also take a good quality greens powder that I can just mix with a glass of water.
It's the best way to sightsee! You notice so much more when you're walking, plus it's 100% free and you get fit at the same time. Just make sure you pack some decent walking shoes and socks. Good socks are important as I have learned the hard way, you don't want to get aching raw blisters on holiday
Do a basic workout each day
There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that can be done anywhere and will only take you a few minutes but you'll feel stronger and more energised for it. I like to do 2 x 15 lunges, ski squats, sumo squats, pushups & tricep dips.
Scope it out before you leave
Check out Google and Google maps to see what's within a few blocks of your accommodation. Look for supermarkets, salad/soup bars, fruit shops, healthy cafes. I often check happycow.net to see if there are some vegan cafes or restaurants in the area.
Know what to avoid!
What you really don't want, is to end up in bed vomiting your guts out for two days because you ate some unwashed food or had a drink with contaminated ice in it. Know what the potential dangers are in the country you're going to, and take precautions when you're there. IE you may have to only drink bottled water and avoid salads if you're in some dodgy part of Asia. Here are a couple of super simple things you can make on your travels
2-3 tablespoons chia seeds mixed well with 1 cup liquid like almond milk or fruit juice/coconut water. You can add fruit, nuts, coconut, or even just drink it (will turn into a jelly) like a sports drink. Chia seeds are full of protein so they fill you up, not to mention all their other benefits - they're super rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals.
Oats are hugely underrated. They're super cheap, nutritious, versatile and filling. If it's a cold day, mix your oats with boiling water or microwave to make porridge. Top with some fruit, nuts and/or coconut sugar and you're good to go! You can even stir in a spoonful of chia seeds to up the protein and keep you going for half the day If you're somewhere hot and sunny, pour over some almond milk or coconut yogurt and fruit, sprinkle on a few crushed nuts or dried fruit and you have a satisfying breakfast. Both of these options are cheap to make and easy enough to throw together anywhere you can find a spoon and a cup. But if you don't want to lug a whole lot of stuff around with you, just remember you can buy fruit almost anywhere you go, and that is always the best fast food!