Anyone in the meetings industry knows that the luxuries of travel also come with the struggles of eating well. But being on the road or in the air doesn't have to mean letting your health take a back seat.
With a little preplanning, you can stay on top of your nutrition no matter where you are. For those managing food intolerances or a lack of energy, packing some basic provisions can be a game changer.
Here are a few tips for taking better care of yourself when traveling.
You'll likely grab a bite to eat at the airport, but don't settle for sitting down at the nearest fast-food restaurant when hunger strikes. Take a look at the food vendors on the airport website beforehand and figure out which ones are in your concourse. Then, when you're tight on time before takeoff, you'll know exactly where to go to get a good meal.
It's also a good idea to bring snacks. This will save you time and money while traveling. Pack a one-gallon, zip-lock bag for your suitcase and a quart-sized bag for your carry-on. You can fill the bags with protein bars, trail mix, turkey jerky, nuts and even dark chocolate. You'll thank yourself later.
Most people should drink three to four 16-ounce water bottles per day, but it's often hard to stay hydrated when you're on the go. Set a reminder on your phone to purchase water at the airport, or take an empty, BPA-free water bottle with you to fill up once you've gone through security.
Keep Healthy Options in Mind
Try to choose healthier restaurants when entertaining guests and aim to have a salad for lunch or dinner every day. Skip the starch whenever possible and instead opt for chicken, fish or vegetables as your main dish. Asparagus, brussels sprouts and grilled vegetables make for great appetizers.
For the days where you don't feel like eating out, consider ordering healthy options from room service or stopping by a local store to pick up yogurt, hummus, hard-boiled eggs and fresh fruit. You can also have a balanced meal delivered to your door. Starbucks, for example, has a number of healthy options, including the Spinach Feta Breakfast Wrap (290 calories), Protein Bistro Box (370), Zesty Chicken and Black Bean Salad (360).
Linda Illingworth is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in functional nutrition, with a food-first approach to health. She provides innovative solutions for the lifestyle health problems her audiences face. Using real-life scenarios, hands-on interaction and a healthy dose of humor. Linda currently is the director of nutrition at Lifewellness Institute, where she provides clinical care to patients as well as corporate wellness programming on topics including cardiovascular, cancer, gastrointestinal health, diabetes and vitamin supplementation.