Helpful Tips for Healthier Travel
A friend recently asked me for some tips for healthier travel, and I thought that perhaps our savvy readers here would be interested too– especially since we’ve already written about essentials for your vegan roadtrip and shared our tips for vegan backpacking! There is a little bit of crossover, but check them both out, as they have slightly different angles about how to make sure you get your veggies when you’re on the go.
Whether you are traveling on short trips or epic international adventures, even a few days away from home can disrupt your dietary patterns and mess up our digestion and nutrition. Here are few tips that have gotten me through international travel to Southeast Asia, mainland United States, and Europe.
Green drinks are an easy, simple way to ensure that you get some daily greens into your diet. My favorite brand is AmazingGrass Green Superfood powders, which are dry powders that include barley grass, wheat grass, spirulina, veggies, flaxseeds and probiotics. Simply mix the powder into some water and drink!
This oddly colored beverage gives you a nutritional boost when you are not eating your best. You can buy single-serve packs or larger containers in various flavors. There are many brands on the market– ask your health food store for some samples, they should always share! But be careful, some are sweetened with fructose (PowerPak) and others have dairy (Spiruteen), so I recommend avoiding those. I take their small single serve packs with me every time I travel.
There are also dozens of great vegan protein powders on the market that include veggies, fruits, protein, vitamins and minerals. If you’re traveling very light, most of these come in smaller packs for using in one or two drinks, but they also come in larger sizes which you could divide into single servings yourself!
Some of the brands I like that most are the Amazing Meals from Amazing Grass, Vega’s One protein power, and Manitoba Harvest hempseed protein powders. You can mix these with water by blending or shaking, and are a quick way to boost your daily nutrition. Sunwarrior and Raw Meal are two other options that I’ve tried, but not loved.
When we’re at home, most of us probably eat a pretty balanced diet and get adequate amounts micro- and macro-nutrients. But when traveling, we might be missing out on some important stuff (like when I was in Germany and subsisted on beer, pretzels and Kaesespaetzle, the German version of macaroni and cheese).
Even if you’re traveling very light and not staying in places where you can cook food, there are still ways to ensure you get some fresh foods into your life. Find a local market or store and grab sturdy veggies like celery, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber to dip into salad dressing, hummus, or peanut butter. You can also grab a few apples and oranges to have on the road each day. These items will last awhile without refrigeration, and will help you get your daily quota of fresh foods.
Make Quick Superfood Snacks
Granola bars, Larabars and other snacky foods are helpful both for long travel times (air, train, car, what-have-you), but they can also come in handy when there is just not enough food around. If you have time before your trip, make up some healthy superfood snacks like Homemade Larabars, Chocolate Hemp Protein Bars, or these Mango Sunshine Cashew Bites. If you don’t have time to prepare your own, stock up on Larabars, MacroBars or similar.
On top of snack bars, always be sure to bring along nuts, seeds, kale chips and dried fruits too, for some snacky fun. And be sure to restock anytime you can along the way– sample the local versions of trail mix, granola and get fresh fruits whenever you are able. These foods will get you by in a pinch, and keep your sweet tooth happy! And if you have even more time before your trip, prepare some wholesome, homemade airplane meals– an important start for any trip. Start your holiday off healthfully with pre-made salads, trail mixes, and wraps.
Keep your Belly Healthy
During my time in Indonesia, I often found myself with ‘Bali Belly’– an unhappy tummy from unclean food. To avoid all that awfulness, take probiotic supplements before, during and after your trip to keep your intestinal flora happy and balanced, which can decrease the likelihood that you might become ill. Additionally, acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors recommend liquid collodial silver and grapefruit seed extract to keep our tummies happy on international trips. These supplements kill off the bad stuff that makes us sick. Check with a practitioner to find which method is best for you. Psyllium husk is helpful to ensure you don’t get constipated while traveling. Read here about how to use psyllium husk for happy poops.
Hopefully these tips will help keep you well on all your holidays! Happy trails!
Lady eating salad image from Shuttstock