Summer’s here! I hope you have time to take to the airways, open sea or winding road for a destination that allows you plenty of rest and relaxation—or adventure—depending on your preference. While you’re traveling, take your healthy plant-powered eating habits along for the ride. For many people, traveling is a recipe for disaster when it comes to healthy eating, with food choices limited to fast food restaurants, convenience stores, and airport eateries. Traveling also can be linked with indulgent meals and little movement. But you don’t have to forsake your best intentions for plant-powered eating—just check out my best tips.
1. Search for Veggies. No matter where you’re traveling—on the road, in an airport, or at a tropical destination—keep your eye out for vegetables. By loading up on these fiber-rich, phytochemical-packed plant foods, you can feel more full and satisfied during the day. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s really hard to spot these brightly colored plants while traveling, but look for veggie sticks in convenience stores, prepared to-go salads at take-away spots and salads at fast food eateries. Pack up your own easy veggies—snow peas, edamame, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, and zucchini wedges—in an insulated bag.
2. Check out a Supermarket. One of my favorite destinations during vacation is a local supermarket. (OK, I’m a food geek!) You can check out the local food culture, discover regional foods, and even find some healthy meal choices for a picnic or your hotel room, such as prepared dishes, whole grain snacks, nuts, and seasonal produce.
3. Pack your Bags. No matter where you go—planes, trains, and automobiles, take along a little goodie bag of healthy foods so that you have some choices. Some of my favorites include: individual packs of nuts and seeds, dried fruit, whole fruit such as bananas and oranges, and roasted chickpeas (check out my Roasted Chickpea Recipe in Plant Powered For Life).
4. Power up on Whole Grains in the AM. Skip out on the refined grains—pastries, white bread, bagels—at the breakfast buffet and choose whole grains to boost fiber and slowly-digesting carbs. You won’t experience those mid-morning crashes, plus you’ll keep your digestion nice and even during your trip. Try muesli, whole grains breads, and oatmeal.
5. Look for Legumes. One of my favorite adventures while traveling is discovering how a particular culture uses legumes as the backbone of their diet. I’ve tasted black-eyed peas in the South in the U.S., broad beans in Greece, white beans in Italy, and lentils in France. Let legumes be the star of your dinner plate.
Images: Sharon Palmer, RDN