Healthy Travel Tips

May 30, 2018
 

By Addison Ford, R.D.

Summer is upon us which not only means some triple-digit weather in our near future, but also, for many, travel and vacations. If you are like me you tend to travel on your stomach. That means about 20 minutes into a trip. you are thinking about food and craving some tasty snacks, but this doesn’t have to be all bad.  If you do just a little bit of planning, you can make sure you have some healthier items within reach, as opposed to stopping at a gas station for snacks or spending all your money on airport food.

Traveling is exciting but having to pay for overpriced food is much less so. Don’t head out unprepared, there are a ton of great foods that travel well and don’t require refrigeration.

A classic peanut butter and jelly is a great go to. There is now a wide variety of nut butters, almond, sun flower seed butter, etc. Just be sure that when you are buying nut butters, there is no added sugar or fats. You can figure this out by looking at the ingredients or nutrition label. It should only have roasted nuts or seeds and salt in the ingredients.

If you want a quicker option, a great bar to grab is an RXBAR. These bars have egg white powder, nuts and are sweetened with dried fruit.  KIND bars are another good option with minimal added sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Bring a reusable water bottle to fill up once past security at the airport. Most airports now have quick water filling stations that have a good filter system so you don’t have to drink metallic tasting fountain water or pay $5 for bottled water.

If you are planning a road trip in your car, you have a little more flexibility for what you can bring. Set yourself up for success by packing some food in a cooler to help entertain you on the long ride. Chopping up some veggies for hummus or guacamole dipping, make or purchase some deli sandwiches with a good amount of lean protein and fiber rich vegetables will help sustain you and hopefully prevent you from purchasing less healthy options from fast food locations dotting the highway.

Fresh fruit is an easy sweet treat, but make sure to bring some extra napkins as many summer fruits are quite juicy! Bananas and apples are a solid standby and tend to be a little less messy.  You can also make the most of your cooler space by packing drinks filled with ice or freezing drinks for the ride. This will help keep other food items cool and provide a refreshing cold beverage for later on your journey- think spa water or agua fresca minus the added sugar. Listening to a good book or podcast can also take your mind off food for a little while on the long drive.

Whichever way you travel, a little bit of planning can go a long way in staying healthy this summer and setting yourself up for success!

The author is a registered dietitian with NorthBay Healthcare.

 

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