image via Pinterest
I’m heading back to one of my favorite places on earth – Costa Rica! – in the very near future and I’m starting to do a little pre-planning so I can stay healthy and still eat well while I’m away from home.
I love, love, love traveling but hate being away from my kitchen for too long – I start to miss my favorite staple foods/meals and feel off balance after one too many restaurant meals. Of course, I am still a believer that indulging in “naughty” foods is essential to any real vacation (FRENCH. FRIES.), but, I still stick to wholesome, nourishing foods the majority of the time so that when I return home, I don’t have to spend weeks repairing the damage that I did while I was away in order to just feel normal again.
With that said, I’ve put together a list of my 5 favorite tried-and-true methods for staying healthy on the go!
Tip #1: BYONDM (aka Bring Your Own Non Dairy Milk)
The sad fact is, the majority of coffee shops and restaurants out there still don’t carry alternatives to dairy milk, so I occasionally pack my own non dairy milk so that I have something to add to my coffee and cereal while I’m away from home. I’ve found that the 8 oz. aseptic cartons of almond/soy milk are perfect for travel and don’t need to be refrigerated (until they’re opened, of course, and then I stash them in the hotel mini bar).
Tip #2: Pack nutritious food for the airport/airplane
It can be tough finding fast food options that are vegan and/or healthy, so I almost always have some sort of food stashed in my carry-on so that I’m not left desperate and starving once I’m en route to my destination. Some of my favorite portable snack options are LARABARs (I like the Apple Pie flavor, which also happens to be gluten free, soy free and non-GMO), rice crackers with hummus, and fresh fruit. For meals, I usually pack a sandwich (peanut butter & banana, hummus/avocado/cucumber, veggie burger, chickpea cutlet, etc.) or I’ll pop into a Starbucks and buy one of their delicious Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowls with Tahini Dressing. If I’m ever in a bind, I’ll find a deli and get a bagel with peanut butter and an apple.
Tip #3: Pack vitamins and “health boosters” to supplement with on vacation
If all else fails and there are limited healthy options available to me on vacation, I can at least take comfort in knowing that I’m taking my vitamins and getting my daily dose of Omega 3s. I always pack enough multivitamins, B-12 and DHA supplements to last the duration of my trip, and little baggies of ground flaxseed and chia seeds to sprinkle on breakfast foods.
Tip #4: Water and tea, baby!
What is it about staying hydrated and/or sipping on tea that makes you feel so darn good? I always pack my favorite stainless steel water bottle to fill up with water once I’m past airport security. I also like to stash some decaffeinated tea bags in my carry-on, so that when the airplane stewardess comes by, I can ask for a cup of hot water and steep my own green tea. I also love to have hot tea in my hotel room in the morning and before bed (just use the in room coffee machine to heat up water).
Tip #5: Tote along kinder, healthier personal care products
I make a big effort to shop for personal care products that are not only cruelty-free, but also void of yucky things like parabens, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals. I usually make sure to pack some good sunscreen, DEET-free insect repellent, and a couple of travel sized bottles of my favorite shampoo and conditioner (I like Nature’s Gate brand) and toothpaste (Tom’s of Maine is great).
It’s also really nice to have a small bottle of lavender essential oil to rub on my temples/wrists during the flight and at night in the hotel to help me relax and fall asleep.
Finally, if there’s extra space in my suitcase, I like the bring along my dry brush to help boost circulation and detoxify the body every day before showering.
I’d love to hear – what are some of your favorite tips for healthy travel?