Eating on the road is tough. Eating healthy is even harder. There have been multiple times while traveling where I have had to settle for a less than desirable meal just because I’m hungry. Over years of traveling, I have found some simple ways to eat better. I want to share 5 food hacks that can help you stay healthy on the road. These food hacks can help you avoid that greasy cheeseburger you don’t really want because you’re starving. They will help you stay satiated without sacrificing good health.
These food hacks have become especially important for me in my travels. They are essential on a bike tour with limited food options and insatiable hunger. They are also useful when traveling through Europe’s bountiful cuisines. These food hacks can be used whenever you need them on the road!
1/5 Food Hacks: Pack a Green Powder
I’ve mentioned this in some other posts, but it’s worth mentioning again. A green powder is an awesome food hack because it covers some core nutritional bases. First, it gives you the much-needed nutrients that you might be missing on the road. Vegetables may be hard to come by in certain countries; a green powder supplement will cover your nutritional bases. Secondly, it satiates you so you don’t overeat later. The fiber fills you up decreasing meal sizes later.
I recommend taking the powder right in the morning. You will start your day out on the right foot. This will allow you to attack the day without the fear of missing out on key nutrients. It also sets a precedent for the rest of the day. I recommend the Amazing Grass Green SuperFood. It’s inexpensive and does the job. Get your green powder in to maximize your health on the road.
2/5 Food Hacks: Buy Fresh Fruits and Vegetables at a Local Supermarket
I have used this strategy many times to get my fruits and veggies in. Hostels and hotels usually have refrigerators to keep them fresh. If you don’t have a fridge you can always put them on ice. It is hard to get the proper amount of fruits and veggies on the road. Restaurants often give out measly portions of fruits and veggies. By buying fruits and veggies at a supermarket, you ensure you are getting your daily requirements. Adequate fruit and vegetable consumption is important for optimal health.
Try to eat across the rainbow to maximize nutrients. Traveling can take its toll on the body. Keep yourself healthy by maximizing your fruit and vegetable intake. Check out this killer infographic from my nutrition certification company Precision nutrition on how to get all your phytonutrients.
3/5 Food Hacks: Have Some Protein Bars or Powder on Hand
Protein can be another hard macronutrient to get on the road. Meals often do not have nearly enough protein. That lonely piece of chicken doesn’t do the job. Packing protein powder or protein bars can help satiety and keep you fueled.
Travel often brings more exercise and protein is the best way to recover. It also helps multiple other body functions. The linked article also describes how much protein you really need. A protein bar can also keep you going when you are traveling. It can be a quick meal in itself until you actually have time to eat. I recommend Quest bars. They have quality ingredients and are not super expensive. Protein bars have fueled my explorations across the globe. A quick bite or two has allowed me to explore Machu Picchu, The Great Barrier Reef, and the beaches of Thailand.
4/5 Food Hacks: Plan and Know When You Won’t be Able to Eat
I don’t know how many times I’ve had to settle for a bad meal while on the road. Mostly this was due to poor planning since I knew I would be moving from place to place. Airports are notorious for overpriced and unhealthy food. I will freeze a few meals to have in the airport before I jump on the plane. They will stay cool and be ready to eat when you’re ready for them. This is much harder when you are coming home, but you can still pack healthier snacks. Nuts are a great way to fill up and stay satiated while traveling. You can also pack some protein bars from your destination.
These rules apply when you are moving around a country. Always have some healthy snacks on hand. Pack an apple or a bag of almonds. These have saved me many times from dipping into food that I didn’t even want. Plan for the times a nutritious meal will be hard to find! Pack healthy snacks when good food isn’t available!
5/5 Food Hacks: Practice some Intermittent Fasting (IF)
This is more of an advanced food hack, but it can help get through long food droughts on the road. Begin by fasting overnight at home. This involves eating dinner before sunset and waiting 13 hours for breakfast. It can be tough at first, but many people’s bodies actually prefer this (mine included). It is a bit more of an advanced technique, but it can be fun to try. There is also some emerging research showing how intermittent fasting can help you live longer. Check out this comprehensive guide.
This skill can help you get through “healthy food droughts” on the road. You won’t have to grab the chicken fried steak because you aren’t hungry. I have found that intermittent fasting has made me much more aware of when I am actually hungry. This helps me avoid the ice cream or fry craving while traveling.
IF also has some promising applications for combating jet lag. There are some preliminary studies that have shown a 16.2x reduction in jet lag symptoms when flying from Korea to the US. This is a huge benefit for frequent travelers. Follow this protocol to try it in your travels (includes what to do before).
Eat Your Way to Better Health
Eating on the road is always tough. These 5 food hacks are some simple ways you can continue to eat healthy on the road. Don’t use travel as an excuse not to get in proper nutrition. Follow these 5 food hacks to quickly and easily stay healthy on the road:
- Pack a Green Powder
- Pick up local fruits and vegetables at the supermarket
- Pick up or pack some protein bars or protein powders
- Plan and KNOW when you won’t be able to eat
- Practice some intermittent fasting
These techniques are not the only way to eat healthy on the road but they are definitely a great start. Check out my other post on breaking the travel norm and 4 tips for better nutrition on the road for more tips.
What are some food hacks you employ on the road? How do you stay healthy while moving from place to place? What’s your favorite go-to travel food product? Let me know in the comments!
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