Click to view: PHOTO GALLERY: My Trip to Atlanta, Georgia
Traveling is one of my passions. I absolutely LOVE going new places, seeing the beauty of nature, experiencing different cultures, and tasting different foods. But, sometimes staying on track towards your fitness goals can be tricky when you're on the go. Let's face it: airport food, gas station snacks, and hotel breakfasts may not always offer the healthiest of options. This topic was requested via Facebook, and many others agreed with the topic suggestion and stated that they too feel frustrated with traveling and maintaining their diet. So, it got me thinking. How can we make sure we have healthy options to snack on when traveling? Here are my top 5 tips for staying on track when you're on the go.
1. PACK, PACK, PACK!
This may be the most fool-proof way to assure that you ALWAYS have something nutritious and delicious to munch on when hunger strikes. When I traveled to Nassau, Bahamas for Miss Teen USA 2014, I packed an ENTIRE suitcase full of healthy snacks. Things like Quest Bars, apples, almonds, freeze-dried fruit, peanut butter, protein powder, and instant oatmeal pack great in a suitcase, can be stored in a carry-on suitcase, and are easy to prepare in a rush if you are short on time in your busy travel schedule. Measure out portions in ziplock bags before you leave so you can just grab a bag and go. I never leave the house for a trip without my bag of food!
Click HERE to view my recipe for Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites - a quick snack that packs EASY!
2. Be Realistic.
Let's face it. Sometimes when traveling, you have to make the best out of your options if you do not have a healthy snack on hand. Often times, airports will offer snack sized bags of mixed nuts, trail mix, protein bars, or other snack type foods. Hotels often have vending machines, (yes - filled with candy bars, but most of the time there is some form of granola bar) with several options that are better than others. If there is a granola bar, choose that instead of that chocolatey candy bar front and center in the window.
3. Plan Your Meals.
I am guilty of this one... Road trips can be long, boring, and seemingly the perfect snack time, right? It can be easy to eat mindlessly when you have been in the car for long spans of time. To avoid this, make sure you plan when you're going to eat what from your snack bag before you leave for your trip, and stick to the plan! Try to fuel your body every 3-4 hours with a high protein snack to keep yourself satisfied and avoid overeating at meal times.
4. Do Your Research - Know What You're Ordering.
Often times traveling means eating out at restaurants or fast food. I love using apps like Lose It!, My Fitness Pal, Fooducate or any other food diary app that allows you to search for a restaurant and can give you the nutrition facts for each meal. Always look before you order, you may be surprised at just how many calories you can save by ordering a salad with the dressing on the side!
5. Don't Stress!
Lastly, DON'T STRESS! If you're caught without a healthy snack on hand and you're hungry: EAT SOMETHING! The key is being knowledgable about the options presented before you. Use your judgment to assess which snack fits best into your diet and will give your body the proper fuel it needs to enjoy your travel.
Have any other suggestions for the health conscious traveler? Leave your opinions in the comments section below. I want to hear from YOU!