Many people find it difficult to make healthy food choices when they’re away from home. But the reality is that from time to time we simply cannot prepare our own food. The good news is that by following these three practical tips, you can make the most of your travels while also staying on track with your real food commitment.
1. Grocery stores are your friend
Dining out at restaurants can not only tempt you into making an unhealthy choice (e.g. ordering the fries as a reward for dropping the bun from your burger!), it’s undeniably more expensive. Why not hit up a grocery store, or even a convenience market inside the highway service centre instead?
Look for items such as prepared salads, beef jerky, veggies and dip, or yogurt, fruit, and curd or block cheese.
As a bonus, on family trips we will often take our purchases to the nearest park or green space (weather permitting), or even have a car picnic overlooking a local natural attraction. Keeping utensils in the car is key to making this work.
2. Restaurants all have healthy choices
When the majority rules and you’re stuck eating at East Side Mario’s, it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to order the signature bread and pasta dishes. Make the most of a less-than-optimal situation with a soup or salad option, or ask for pasta sauce without the pasta. Nothing throws the wait staff for a loop like that request! Most restaurants are accommodating — all you have to do is ask.
3. Focus on what you CAN eat
Many of our clients report that some of the hardest situations to navigate are the workplace-provided luncheons and breakfasts. Pancakes, muffins, and pastries are the typical mainstays of the business breakfast. Sandwiches and wraps are usually the lunch staples. It’s a pure carbohydrate feast!
The good news is that once you know what to avoid (ninety percent of the buffet line!), there is still plenty of options to keep your brain and body well fuelled. Opt in to all the vegetable dishes (salads, sides, raw trays), protein sources (eggs, meat, seafood, poultry), and even the cheese platter if you’re tolerant of dairy.
Any dressings or sauces will likely be a cheat, but once again, doing the best that you can in any given situation is always better than nothing. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can see that it is entirely possible to uphold your healthy eating commitment while on the road.
Now over to you. Do you have a secret weapon that you can share with our community that keeps you eating real food when you’re away from home?