Whether traveling for business or pleasure, finding healthy food choices at your final destination is not easy. But, it can be done. Trust me, we travel often, and it is critical to maintain your healthy diet while on the road.
- Avoid the shock to the body. You work so hard to stay healthy at home. Your body is used to it. Dumping in artificial ingredients, high sugar, or gluten-grains can lead to trouble.
- It is hard to get back on the horse once you fall off. Once you start eating junk, you may find it hard to stop once you get home. Cruises are notorious for this. Plan ahead.
- Set an example. Your friends and family probably look up to you and respect your food choices. Don’t pick and choose your lifestyle. Talk the talk and walk the walk. Show them that it can be done. Your behavior and food habits just might change someone and save their life.
Here are some tips to find healthy food on vacation once you arrive at your final destination. Remember, the key is to plan ahead and avoid last minute pitfalls. I start my search days before we are set to travel.
- Buy extra water in the airport. Depending on what time you land, you will need water. Usually your hotel will have a limited selection of cheap plastic bottled water. Buy some extra Fiji or Evian to get your through the night. Although they are in plastic, they are better options than most.
- Find an organic grocer near your hotel and preferably on the way from the airport to hotel. I start off with a search on Google for “natural grocer + city name” or natural grocer near me during a recent trip to Park City, Utah. Obviously, you would search in the city of your destination. Most major cities have a Whole Foods or Natural Grocers. I love to support the local food co-op as well. Check the hours of the store. Get stuff for breakfast such as eggs, fruit, or gluten-free cereals. Cheaper and healthier choice than going out. You can cook in your room (number 7 below). Get some coconut oil or ghee to fry up your pastured eggs.
- I am an organic coffee guy and I always search ahead for “organic coffee + city name”. You find so many neat places this way and really support the local economy. You can also buy an organic cold brew in a glass bottle at the natural grocer and warm in your hotel room. On extended trips, we bring our own cookware.
- Google “farm to table + city name” to find healthy restaurants. Hopefully, a lot of choices pop up in your area. Then, go to their website and read the menu. Look for words like “grass-fed” and “natural”. Usually, if the menu item has the proper name of the farm where it came from, you are set. That being stated, call ahead. Speak to someone who knows the menu and food well. The person answering the phone may not be the best choice. Ask for the manager or even the chef. If they want your business, they will come to the phone.
- Farmers Markets are a great way to get the local flavor. I always try to hit the farmers market during any summertime travel. In Arizona, there are options all winter long. On a recent trip to Kentucky, the farmers market had 7 vendors that were selling grass-fed, grass-finished meats. This is a very encouraging sign. You can find Farmer’s Markets using this directory on a government website, and here’s a list of Farmer’s Markets open in the winter season.
- Another favorite is to search “organic juice bar near me“. Stock up on some healthy organic juice options. Hopefully they sell their juice in glass bottles. Call ahead and ask. Make sure the juice is 100% organic. Concentrated pesticide juice is not a good choice.
- Stay at a hotel with a full kitchen. When you buy the organic food, you will need somewhere to store it. A large refrigerator is a must for us. Helps keep almond milk for breakfast cereal, cold-brew coffee, and anything else you bought at the store or farmers market. Next, try to get a room with a stove. That way you can cook your food or even heat up leftovers from the day before. Buying local pastured eggs and making veggies omelets in another favorite of mine. The choice of cookware is limited, so we often travel with our own pan.