Healthy Travel Snacks

Chances to find healthy travel snacks at the airport or on the road are close to chances of catching a bird with your bare hands. To remove uncertainty and avoid trading my money for unhealthy food, I came up with five strategies for healthy eating while travelling. They include preparation and critical thinking – sometimes, thinking out of the box.

Recently I had to fly with connecting flights. Airport after airport food choices were poor - practically nothing was healthy. In the line right ahead of me stood a 20-something slim, down-to-earth couple. Armed with tiny spoons, they were eating aromatic lentil salad and dipping appetizing pieces of pita into hummus. I asked them where they bought it, and they said, ”We took it from home. Vegetarian options are rarely available, so we travel with our own food.”
unhealthy travel snacks

What a wonderfully simple yet powerful idea. When travelling, we leave our health at the discretion of merchants. Whether we want to lose weight or simply stay healthy, this is a risky thing to do. Vegetarian or not, we may be forced to eat fast food or spend premium bucks on a super oily restaurant meal, just to contribute to plugged arteries and upset stomachs!

What are the solutions for the travelers? Are there any healthy travel snacks?

  1. Drink your water

    Get an empty water bottle and refill it wherever you can. Water is good for you - and, seriously, can you boast about drinking those 2 liters per day that every nutritionist recommends? You do? You are a super(wo)man! Now get your bottle and use the opportunity for uninterrupted water drinking! Note that many merchants will fill your bottle if you ask so you don't have to go to the tap.

  2. Consider water fasting.

    Don’t eat at while you travel at all! Proper fasting gives your body a break from digestion and allows it to focus on toxin elimination. Get a smoothie before you leave home, and give your body a rest for up to 24 hours.

  3. Get a trail mix or nutritional bars

    If you find healthy travel snacks - super. If you don’t, you won’t be forced to eat junk.

  4. Pack your own healthy travel meals

    Pack healthy veggie sandwiches, homemade cookies, veggies, and bean or lentil salads.

    Note to travelers: you should check with local regulations concerning what you can take through the security line at the airport. Some cities do not allow pre-made food or beverages but for those purchased inside the terminal.

  5. Notice your thinking process

    Challenge your own food choices while travelling and resist "sabotaging" thoughts such as “One snack doesn’t matter”,”I am tired and don’t care” or ”I will start eating healthy tomorrow.”

You may be resistant to the idea of making or packing healthy travel snacks - after all, it looks like a lot of work. The key is to refuse to put unhealthy food in our bodies, and understand that every unhealthy meal counts, especially if you are trying to lose weight. There is no neutral food. Everything works either for you, or against you.

Stop before you eat anything in your travels and ask: is this meal getting me one step closer to my goal or one step further away - you will find that there are three answers: yes, no, and I don’t know. Over time, you will start resisting the “no” foods, and be curious about the ones about which you don’t know.

PCRM's survey of 13 busiest airports in the U.S. discovered, that airport healthy food choices were improving, showing the upward trend. These great news sound promising, but until healthy travel meals become a widely available food choice, it's better to prepare for the worst. Being prepared, having your own healthy food snacks, and mentally challenging your food choices helps you to stay on the healthy path even when you are away from home.

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