Eating well while on the road is tough for all of us! And since I’m heading out on vacation, I appreciate Janel’s great guest post on nutritious eating on the run. Big thank you Janel! Be sure to check out awesome blog full of culinary tips and delicious recipes.
Whenever I travel, whether it be a road trip (hate ‘em) or a cross country flight, my eating always gets out of whack. It’s not that I have such regimented eating habits, I’m just so used to eating an abundance of whole grains, fruits and veggies, home-cooked food and snacking that when I deviate from this, my body, brain, mood, and energy totally shift – and not in a good way. Usually after a few days of traveling I readjust and can always manage to find nutritious foods on the go, but even the healthiest dining establishments will take a toll on your wallet.
A few months ago I headed to Oregon for a conference. It was a quick trip – about 48 hours in total – and one where I arrived late at night in Portland, and then left at the crack of dawn to fly home. And since I wanted to bring my A-game to speak at this conference, I didn’t want to rely on airport fast food or questionable conference food to fuel me for this trip.
For breakfast in my hotel room (there was none provided with the hotel) I packed a little oatmeal bar to go: snack bags filled with oats, currants, walnuts, brown sugar, chia seeds and hemp seeds. All I needed to do was heat up some water in the hotel room coffee maker and I had a piping hot bowl (ok paper cup) of oatmeal as I ran through my talk one more time. I also packed one of these for breakfast the next day. Instead of paying Starubcks for some perfect oatmeal in the airport, I just got a (free) cup of hot water and enjoyed my own perfect oatmeal breakfast as I waited to board. I also could have saved this for the flight and asked the flight attendant for some hot water.
I made sure to pack plenty of snacks, like Larabar minis, apples, Triscuits, walnuts, and dried plums. Granted my trip was short so I only had to pack a small amount to tide me over for 48 hours, and this of course didn’t cover my lunch or dinner in Oregon, but it was the best way to keep me on my toes for an important conference.
Also, since I was stranded in some business center hotel in the ‘burbs of Oregon without a car, I didn’t have the opportunity to check out any Portland restaurants like I did in January. Instead, I ordered room service from the hotel restaurant, which didn’t seem to have many appealing vegetarian entrees. So I scanned the menu and put together three side dishes: a vegetable plate, grilled polenta cakes, and sautéed cannellini beans. It turned out to be a delicious and well-rounded dinner. Who knew sides could be so satisfying?
What are some ways you eat well when traveling?
Janel Ovrut Funk MS RD LDN is a Boston-based registered dietitian who helps you reach your nutrition goals, one bite at a time. Follow Janel on her Eat Well with Janel blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter feed for more healthy tips.