As the weather gets warmer thoughts turn toward traveling and outdoor adventures. Staying on budget and trying to eat healthy while traveling can be stressful and seem difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Here are a few things to keep in mind while planning for trips.
Plan to eat! It's easy to plan all aspects of a trip and forget to plan time for eating. If you have specific allergies or food needs this can be particularly important. A little bit of research into restaurants and eating options prior to arriving at your destination can save you stress, time, and money once you get there.
Don't forget to pack some healthy snacks. Ensuring you eat regularly can help prevent you from becoming ravenous—a state in which we usually do not make our healthiest food decisions! This can also help save money by keeping you from purchasing overpriced gas station/airport snacks. Some of our favorite packable snacks are:
Fruit and nut mixes like Sahale, Graze, and Prana
Dried bean snacks like edamame
Small bags of nuts and seeds
Kind or RX Bars and GoMacro Bars
Choose wisely at restaurants. When eating out, try to choose options based on fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. For example, try the oatmeal at McDonald's or the bean burrito at Mexican restaurants.
Remember you don't have to clean your plate. Eating out usually involves much larger portions, and we often feel pressure to eat everything because of the expense. Deciding to stop eating when you are comfortably full, even if there is food left on the plate, will ensure you feel good enough to enjoy the rest of your day. Pack up leftovers to enjoy later as a meal or snack.
Will you have a fridge or microwave? Try buying packaged oatmeal or yogurt along with whole fruit. Eating one meal at your accommodations can help you decrease the amount of money you spend on eating out. Save money on coffee with these cold brew pods that only require cold water (available at some Harmons locations)! As an added bonus, it will improve the nutritional quality of your diet.
Visit a local grocery store and pack a picnic. This can be a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery, and may even help you get off the beaten path because you won't need to be near a restaurant in the middle of the day.
Get creative. Some families will take a cooler and camp stove to grill up lunch while on road trips. This is an inexpensive way to feed families on the go, but it does take planning. Check your local Harmons meat department for pre-made fajitas and meat skewers that you can grill quickly.
Pack your water bottle. Staying hydrated can help prevent you from quenching your thirst with soda or juice and will also prevent dehydration.
The number one, most important aspect of eating while traveling: Enjoy your food! Don't stress too much about what you're eating or if it's as healthy as you would normally like it to be. Savoring the different food you get to eat while travelling is an emotionally healthy part of a well-balanced eating style. When you get home, you'll return to your normal dietary habits. A few days or weeks won't ruin your health, but you may always regret not trying something fun and new (and delicious)!
This blog was written by Harmons nutrition intern Emily Barrett.