In the past two days I’ve talked travel-eating strategies with a client headed to Istanbul and another going on safari. My travel plans aren’t nearly as exotic but still require planning. I thought I’d share my top travel-eating tips and treats as well as some exciting news.
Avoid airline food at all costs
if you are actually served anything. I don’t care if it’s business class or coach. On certain airlines the food may look decent or taste fine (doubtful) but it’s still brimming with sodium, preservatives not to mention bacteria
. Bring a salad, brown rice sushi or sandwich on sprouted bread instead.
Quickies (as far as workouts) are worth it. If you’re used to a super spin class or hour-long run you may feel those are difficult to replicate while away. Don’t let your type-A ness get in your way. Fifteen minutes of plank, pushups, tricep dips and water-bottle bicep curls are better than nothing. I love my friend Amie Hoff’s advice- tell yourself you’ll do 10 minutes (at the gym or for a run) you’ll always do more. Fifteen minutes a day might keep a little weight away.
Start your day on track. I’m a fan of including protein in breakfast to help control calories later in the day. Whether it’s eggs, yogurt, nut butter or a “shaken” smoothie there’s plenty of time to play later.
No lunch drinking. Maybe it has to do with the city of drinkers I live among and counsel every day but vacation often means every hour is happy hour. This is dangerous. Lunch drinking makes you more likely to eat the wrong things, nap away your afternoon and wake up just in time to drink again. Cocktails, preferably singular, are fine at cocktail hour.
And finally, beware of the “ef-its”. I have no problem cursing in real life but don’t think I should here, not sure why. It’s a few days into a vacation you’re eating anything and everything and feeling down on yourself. Do not ever say “when I get home I’ll eat well” or any version of it; that’s an “f-it” mindset. That also gives you license to eat more and worse. Pick 1 area to try to reign in whether it’s dessert , the breadbasket or drinking.
We organize food “packing lists” for client’s vacations. This includes must have items to help keep them on track when away from home. The best news of all? All of these essentials are available in our *new* Foodtrainers Online Shop
(that’s the exciting news in case you didn’t know).
Kale Krackers– our new favorites from Kookie Karma. These are adult Cheese- Its sans cheese (or any dairy). They’re low calorie and addictive. A carry-on must.
Barney Butter and GG Bran Crips. These 90-calorie almond butter backs on GG’s are a great snack. They also come in handy when breakfast options are slim or “continental”.
Chia Sticks– sometimes things don’t “go” so well when we’re away. Chia can help get things moving. Chia seeds are high in fiber and in the manner in which they digest can act as an appetite suppressant. These single-serve chia packs are milled (no sticking in your teeth) and can be added to yogurt or sprinkled over fruit on the road.
Sheffa– we admit there’s no easier snack than nuts but there’s only so many almonds a person can eat before craving something more exciting. These gluten-free, single serve nut mixes come in various flavors and include interesting ingredients like chickpea “noodles”, coconut and papaya.
Eboost– bust bloat and jet lag at once. “Boost” contains green tea and vitamin C. It’s the perfect healthy, stevia-sweetened energy drink. Just mix with a tall glass of water and enjoy.
What helps you to eat well while away? What’s on your food-packing list? Any fun trips planned? Even day trips need treats, be prepared.
Lauren, some great suggestions, thank you.
I love the products on the online store! Chia sticks will definitely be packed with me on my next trip.
I generally do find it hard to pack not-so-unhealthy snacks for trips. I take an apple, some string cheese or a Luna bar usually which can become terrible boring after a while. So I really appreciate you mentioning these products!
Agreed, awesome suggestions, especially about lunch drinking and the "ef-its". When I'm away, keeping some structure around meals and exercise is always helpful — Especially making sure to get active aside from the typical sightseeing/shopping. If I'm staying with friends, we usually cook a lot rather than eat out every night — healthier and saves $$! Travel go-tos: single serve Barney Butters/Justin's nut butters, string cheese, or hummus w/ fruit/veg & triscuits/GG bran crisps. And Karma Kookies will now be an occasional addition.. dangerously good 🙂
Lunch drinking on vaca usually gets me. Also, I agree about airline food. Even airport food is usually good to avoid – unhealthy and wayyyy overpriced!
Yes, airport food too. I can't stand getting a day-old unappealing salad when I can bring a fresh, enjoyable one. Carolyn- cooking while away is great and I love checking out local markets. Sam Chia sticks are great and good for running too.
I SO want to win this! I am intrigued by each and every one of the goodies you mentioned, esp the chia sticks!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pick me!! haha Oh and I liked you on FB too!!
Great travel tips! I don't think I've EVER said F'it while on vacation! I typically eat healthy most days and save a few splurges for when I really want something (like that burger from hawaii!?). I don't really indulge in alcohol either.
I also always make time for SOME form of exercise (usuallly build it in to our travel day…like hiking, biking, etc). While in hawaii I brought my work out tapes and got up around 6am to squeeze ina work out before starting our day. Exercise just sets the tone for making you want to eat healthy the rest of the day!
Wait a minute Erin, you packed your work out tapes (or I guess DVDs) for Hawaii, I would say that's the opposite of f-its, impressive.
i know they've already been mentioned, but i find nuts are a great thing to pack…and carrots! i like to be sure we have clif and z bars…we don't have them a lot at home so they are considered a "treat"…thanks for the chance at a giveaway, lauren!
This is awesome!!! I have totally heard my clients say "ef-it I am on vacay!" before. Ugh breaks my little heart. I am alllll about the to-go nut butters when I am traveling.
Super great tips!!! Thanks for sharing and I totally want to try some of these treats.
I tried the Krackers this week. OMG, they are so great! I cannot believe that they are a healthful snack. I also bring along packets of my protein powder (I use David Kirsch's) and make smoothies for breakfast if I'm staying somewhere that has a kitchen.
How good are those Kale Krackers? there's another good flavor too. I will be making a smoothie for the plane tomorrow Gayle, you certainly travel healthfully.
Those Barney Butter packets are amazing!! They are 90 calories packed with vitamins and nutrients, so healthy, convenient and sooooo delicious!! Thanks!!
WONDERFUL tips and advice!!!
gotta check out those chia sticks- they look so cool!! 🙂
My #1 rule for traveling is that I try very hard not to eat breakfast out. I realize that we'll be eating out for lunch and dinner, most likely – but we don't have to eat out for breakfast. I can bring packets of oatmeal if there's so much as a microwave (can buy paper bowls/plastic spoons there), or I'll bring Kind bars or Luna bars, or plan to buy yogurt or cereal/milk at the destination. There's almost always at least a mini-bar fridge in the hotel that I can clear some space in to make room for a couple of little things. And I'll try to buy some fruit to last a few days for breakfast and snacks as well. As for the plane, it's tough to bring a real meal from home because of the security rules, so I do usually buy something at the airport – the options are not great but getting better. There's usually a salad option, or a reasonable sandwich that i can share with my husband, plus an overpriced fruit salad. At least it's something. And lots and lots of water. I try not to bring too many snacks on the plane with me becuase I'll just eat out of boredom! This is tough when traveling with my 5-yr old though, he requires snacks and I'd rather bring those from home than buy him junk at the airport.
Great post. If I am going somewhere where they have a frig, I will always do a grocery shop when I arrive that way I save money and can eat healthy breakfasts, snacks, etc.
I do splurge a bit more than I should when on vacay, but try to be active.
Awesome travel tips! I clicked over here thanks to a link that Julie N. shared. So glad she did! I just got back from an almost month long trip and I brought some things along as well. For the first part of my trip I went to Canada and was astounded by all of the selection they had! I always make sure to bring my own food with me to the airport though because one time I caught a stomach bug from traveling, and ever since then…. no more airport food for me. And to comment on the "f-it" attitude. I agree. If a person says "f-it" to what is considered a lifestyle then maybe that lifestyle choice isn't for them. I feel at peace with what I eat so I don't feel the need to curse it 🙂 Oh! also for staying active. I'm an outdoor runner so you can really do that anywhere. It felt awesome to know I ran around Canada and New York City. Plus, I got to know the places better and reorient my brain's compass.
great tips I am so with you on airline food, I did an ebook 101 tips for traveling with kids with similar tips some from RDs from twitter 🙂
Those chia sticks are fantastic. Love them.
Liked you on facebook 🙂
Rebecca would love to read the ebook. Lisa- so impressed you know the chia sticks, do you use with your NEW blender?
AH, snack-packing! My favorite thing to do. I think I actually eat better when I travel because I get all OCD about avoiding all that processed airplane food and unknowns. I love, love, love this list! Chia Sticks? How did I not know about those??? I also love Kale Crackers – I would ideally like to buy a dehydrator and make my own but, come on, I have no room left in my tiny apt for such a contraption. Great tips, as usual!
PS. I still need to claim my GF Cake – do I just go in and announce that I am she who won contest?
When I was doing a lot of traveling for work last year I always bought those little pouches of AB and PB! My favorite was Justin's. And I agree with you that it's important to avoid the airport food at ALL costs. There is never anything healthy! The healthiest thing I ever find it oatmeal, or Subway.
I always hit up Whole Foods for sushi when I'm about to get on a plane. Aside from Virgin Atlanta I have yet to find a decent plane meal!
I hit up One Lucky Duck and bought their cinnamon crisps – not sure how healthy they are but I am looking forward to nibbling away on my ride back to LA on Saturday!
I hope you have a fabulous trip as well Lauren!
Like Ameena, I always travel w/ sushi as my airplane snack. Easy to carry, no mess, no smells…unlike the guy in front of my yesterday who was enjoying an all-onion sandwich apparently. I just came home from a 10 day work trip, and reading this I realize how well you've taught me. I followed almost all of your hints without thinking about it! (Well, except the no lunch drinking one…) While I indulged in some foods (clam bellies in Newport for the win!), I eschewed others like dessert and bread. I came home 4#s less, go figure!
Hope you have a great trip! We're headed to Santa Fe this weekend, and I'll keep all of your tips in mind. Except the no lunch drinking one…
Well done Marie, ooh always wanted to go to Sante Fe. I guess we can't get the Tulanian out of you, huh?
ok adding another entry bc I seriously want to win this!! ha pick me Lauren! and yes, I got up with the sunrise (almost) every morning to work out! IT was worth it!
Oh Lauren, I think you'd really love SF. Amazing food, art and music. Stunning outdoors activities year round…it's a really fit city.
Once a Tulanian, always a Tulanian. Even if my diploma says otherwise.
Great tips and fun giveaway! I just liked Foodtrainers on Facebook :-). I'd love to try those kale crackers. I'm sure they're delicious, as the Kooki Karma cookies are one of my favorites. I always travel with various bars, trail mix, and Marys Gone Crackers, and I try and do a lot of walking when I travel.
Looks like I break almost all of your rules! Except the airplane food cause yuck… I just can't eat that crap.
When I travel, I try to find a healthy balance. I want to have fun and throw caution to the wind a bit, but I don't want to end my vacation feeling gross, bloated & tired. I try to eat salads, and of course I always run & practice yoga, but I do enjoy the occasional liquid lunch 😉
Highly doubt you do "everything wrong" Ms Erica. Throwing some caution to the wind is ok but you're "securing things" by exercising and including all the good stuff you like. Maybe liquid lunches ok in France, I would make that exception.
these are good travel tips for sure! i have a tough time with the don't drink at lunch thing. it is so fun when you are on vacation to drink at lunch. like you are being super naughty!
Great tips. I already love Eboost, which I buy at the Harmony Pharmacy at SFO. I travel every week for work, so always looking for new healthy snacks. Look forward to trying all of your recommendations….and keeping my fingers crossed I win!
I would love to be able to try out these food suggestions…I liked you on Facebook.
Great tips, as always, Lauren. with 100 degree heat I was tempted to say F-it about exercise. instead i found a gym that charges 30 dollars a day. i figured–I'd spend that on a dinner–so why not spend it for 30 min on the treadmill?
Portioned out my snacks for the 3 days in a zip lock, along with my gg bran crackers and chia and i look forward to going to my stash each day.
I'd love to sample your favorite travel snacks!
I try to be prepared when traveling. I usually take plenty of food and stick with a "two treats per day" rule. I also try to stay active.
I don't like to eat to much in restaurants because you know they are not very clean… I'm not japanese of something but i love those rice balls with flavor or with something inside, is very cheap and really fill full you, anyway thanks for the tips.