I used to do a lot of travelling in my corporate job and I always ate really well even when I was on planes and staying in hotels a lot (when Qantas staff start recognising you on flights, you know that you’ve been flying too often!!)
But a lot of my friends and colleagues used to say that because they were traveling, they were not able to eat as well. I have news for you! This really is no excuse and I am going to give you some top ways to stay on track with your healthy habits whilst travelling on business.
1. Always carry fruit
There is nothing better to consume for a quick healthy snack than fruit. Bananas even come in their own biodegradable wrapper. Whilst you often can’t get off a plane in another state of Australia with fruit, there are no restrictions on the amount of fruit that you take on your flight (as long as you eat it before you get off!) So always board you plane with some fruit. In fact, when I was doing a lot of travel between Perth and the Eastern States of Australia every week or two, my fruit intake was very high. I would always take on at least an apple and a couple of bananas which I would choose to eat any day over the plane food.
2. Dried fruit and nuts
Always ensure that you carry some dried fruit and/or nuts to snack on. They are much better than reaching for the chocolate bar.
One of my favourite trail mixes is from Sweets and Greens. Check it out here.
It’s also a good idea to always carry a nut/seed bar in your bag too for something healthy on the go.
Ensure that you are drinking plenty of fresh, filtered water. Often we can become tired and lethargic because we don’t drink enough throughout the day. If we are flying a lot also it is important for our skin and general health to stay hydrated. Always carry a bottle of water with us and ensure that it is not plastic.
4. Buy a mini blender
Skip the hotel breakfast which is often not healthy and pack a mini blender with you when you travel.
I Love the triblest blender and have one which I take with me travelling. It is compact and easy to use. It also comes with a cup that you use to blend and drink from so you can make it in your hotel room, pack the blender and take the smoothie with you as you get into the taxi to the office/work site!
You can often ask your hotel kitchen/restaurant for a banana and some spinach that you can use to make a smoothie with some dates or pop to a convenience store when you arrive to buy some items. It is also a good idea to carry some greens powder with you so that can you add this to your smoothie too. I love Raw Amazonia products and they do a great greens prebiotic powder-perfect for supporting gut health too.
5. Do your research
Before you travel do your research about where you are staying and don’t use lack of time as an excuse. When I used to travel to Adelaide a lot, I used to choose a centrally located hotel close to an organic café and shop. I used to go to the café as soon as it opened. I would have a healthy breakfast to start the day. Then in the shop I used to buy healthy snacks and fruit to last me throughout the day. Using the excuse that you don’t have time to stop for lunch or buy healthy food is not a good enough excuse.
6. Shop online
Often one of the excuses I hear for people not eating healthily is that they didn’t have the time to visit the shops. Nowadays this is not a valid excuse as we can buy everything online including all our favourite health products. The products come straight to your door so the time you would have spent in the car going to the shops, you can now spend making and stocking up the freezer on healthy snacks.
Here are some of the ones that I use and shop from:
7. Beware of Alcohol
Do you drink alcohol mid week at home? Don’t think that because you are in a hotel room working away on a report, that you ‘deserve’ that glass of wine if that is not what you do at home. Stick to the same healthy habits that you would follow at home. Remember with plane flights, time zone changes and long drives your body can become naturally depleted of nutrients so it is important when you are travelling to give it as much nourishment as possible.
Don’t be tempted also to drink the (often free) alcohol offered on the flights. This will make you more dehydrated and tired. It will also disrupt your sleep later that day and won’t make you as productive.
8. Choose dinner sensibly
I often hear the excuse from friends that they don’t have time to leave the hotel room because there is so much to do so they ordered the easiest thing from room service (which may I add is not always the healthiest). Chose options carefully off the room service menu if that is what you choose to do. Or take some time out in the hotel or local restaurant to breath, relax and enjoy your meal more slowly. Plenty of people travel on business alone and I can guarantee from personal experience that nobody takes any notice of you on your own. Put your phone down. Enjoy your surroundings. Enjoy every mouth full of food. Goodness, even enjoy the peace and quiet if your meal time is normally hectic and stressful with your children. But please take the time to sit and enjoy your healthy meal.
One of my old managers said that when he first had a company credit card he used to go a bit crazy. Every time he went out for dinner he would order the biggest steak with a big glass of red and really overindulge. He put on weight and became quite unhealthy but as the novelty of his business trips wore off he realised that he had to make much healthier choices than he was making.
9. Plan Ahead
Call the airline before you travel and request a healthier meal that suits your needs such as gluten or vegetarian. If you don’t want to eat airline food (and who can blame you) pack a big salad or some hummus and crackers. Healthy doesn’t need to be complicated.
10. Stop the excuses
I’ve lost count of the number of times friends have said, “Oh, but it’s hard for me to be healthy because I travel so much.” STOP this belief! You are only using this as an excuse. Remember to pack your fruit, nuts and snack bars and you are half way there. Snack regularly and choose options wisely. During business lunches, opt for the salads and healthy options because these will make you feel better. Start by shifting one habit and notice the difference.
I’d love to hear if you have any extra hints or tips that you can share with fellow readers when you travel.
*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links which means I earn a small commission when you shop in these stores….because I want to keep eating healthily right?!