How to: Travel (The Healthy Way)
Foreword: This blog was inspired because the Hubs and I just got back from a 2 week vacation visiting family. We manage to stay healthy and have a great time, never allowing food to determine our moods! Here is how we do it!
When I was first diagnosed with food allergies right before my 20th birthday, it was a shock. I had been eating a certain way my entire life, and although I always ate on the healthy side, my diet consisted mostly of foods I was allergic too (hence why I felt like I was dying a slow and painful death). I will never forget having to learn how to eat again. I printed off and laminated lists of food I had to avoid and all of the ways that specific food could be listed in an ingredient list. What ended up happening for the first few years of my allergies was that I started to have a lot of anxiety about not eating at home. I would avoid day trips with friends because it would cause me so much stress to not have my own food. I also just never wanted to inconvenience anyone. Therefore, for a few years I would just avoid those situations. I also NEVER ate when we went out to eat. I would make sure to pack a Larabar or something similar and I would wait until I got home. I just didn’t want to risk it. I didn’t want to get sick. I didn’t want to order some crazy thing at the restaurant. I didn’t want to make the waiter’s job harder. I didn’t want to seem difficult to the people I was with. The list goes on and on. It took me a very long time to get over all of my anxiety. Honestly, I didn’t completely get over all of my fears until I met Logan. We travel for weekend trips at least once a month and seem to do longer trips just as often. We have gotten very proficient at traveling and staying on a healthy diet. I want to share with you how we do it!
1. We don’t get gas station snacks. This saves in a lot of different areas. Firstly, we don’t waste time in gas stations therefore our road trips don’t become an hour longer because of snack breaks. Secondly, we don’t spend unneccesary money on food that isn’t good for us. We bypass this by packing food from home. It’s also always the same type of snacks.
2. ADULT LUNCHABLES: This has become a staple for our road trips. It is easy to eat in the car, its easy to pack in the cooler, and it is balanced in protein, fats, and carbs. BOOM! We bring a couple pounds of deli meat, Daiya cheese (my vegan cheese) and regular cheese, hummus, pre-cut veggies, tortilla chips and some Blaine proof crackers. The non-driver makes the snack for the driver and all is right with the world (and Logan’s constant hunger).
3. We Clean out the Fridge: We also bring protein bars, protein powders, and any leftovers we have in the fridge so we don’t waste food. Every single time we go on a road trip there is some type of leftover in the cooler. Anything that is going to go bad while we are gone goes with us. It saves you money, and it also saves you from having smelly Tupperware to clean when you get home.
4. Grocery Shop: Whenever you get to your destination, go to the grocery store. I know not everyone enjoys cooking, but we certainly do! It is the best way to control what is in your food. When hubs and I went on our honeymoon we cooked dinner almost every night together. We honestly just enjoy it, but it is also a way to save money, and eat exactly what you want. Especially when you have food allergies like me. I have all sorts of substitutions I can use at home that are not available to me at a restaurant. So, I get much better food at home most of the time.
5. Check the menu: When we do go out to eat when we are in a new town, we almost always look at the website and checkout the menu first. With all of my ridiculous allergies it is easier to know what we are walking into. Some places are much more food allergy friendly. We always look for a place that has a chef. That is because you are much more likely to be able to personalize your order.
6. Eat Local: When we go to a new town, we always look for cool local places to eat. The food is always better, and you are supporting small business. Most chain restaurants have food pre-prepared in pouches or the food is delivered already seasoned and frozen. There are not nearly as many options. We have gotten really good at finding funky little places that offer healthy options. So, I encourage you to ask locals for good places to eat and really do your research for some places with good food! Your tummy will thank you, both from eating way better quality food and from not getting sick because of the extra additives that are usually in your food.
Ever since traveling with Logan, my whole perspective on eating out and traveling has changed. I cannot remember the last time I got sick from going out to eat. Some of that may have to do with Logan’s very firm voice towards the waiter/waitress concerning my food allergies, which used to embarrass me but now gives me comfort. That combined with all of my other tricks has taken all stress away about traveling. I cannot remember the last time I was stressed or had anxiety or skipped out on dinner. Even if you don’t have food allergies and are just trying to eat healthier, I hope that gives you some hope in the new year! You don’t have to miss out on life to be healthy, you just have to think ahead and do a little planning. Which is totally worth it when you get to feel good!
With love and a happy tummy,