Healthy Travel Tips—Dessert + Wine Included!
June 13, 2017
LifestyleFood & DrinksTravel
Healthy travel may seem like a contradiction, especially with the overabundance of unhealthy treats and snacks in airports. But, with a little preparation and a discerning eye, your next trip doesn't have to exclude a healthy lifestyle. As a Registered Dietitian and avid traveler, I know the all-or-nothing approach rarely works.
Plan Ahead
Planning ahead takes a little extra effort, but will ultimately make a world of difference in sticking to a healthy lifestyle while away from home. Before leaving, pack a few TSA-approved snacks, like pre-measured nuts (stick to around ¼ cup servings), freeze-dried fruit, or pre-cut vegetables like carrots, celery, or snap peas. These will be easy to stash in a carry-on and will stay fresh until you reach your destination.
If already in the airport, look for healthy snacks at coffee shops or newsstands, including unflavored popcorn, bistro boxes, roasted chickpeas or whole fruit. Snack bars are ubiquitous, but not all are created equal. Look for bars with simple ingredient lists and no added sugar or sweeteners. Protein sources in bars should come from familiar foods, like nuts, seeds, or egg whites. Skip bars with processed protein sources, like isolated soy protein or protein concentrate, as they can often cause GI distress or abdominal cramping -- something each of us should be happy to avoid in-flight.
Stay Hydrated
Cabin air is notoriously dehydrating, but dehydration happens both in the air and on the ground. Many people aren't drinking enough water on a daily basis, meaning those out-of-routine times likely result in even less H2O consumption. Water aids in improved digestion, gives skin a dewy look, and can even help improve jet lag symptoms. To combat dehydration, bring along a water bottle from home to refill in the airport once past security. This will this ensure you'll have enough water on-hand and the visual cue will prompt you to drink more.

In-flight, avoid sugar or sodium-rich beverages, like sodas or tomato juice, which may worsen dehydration. If you're feeling festive, choose wine or an alcohol without added sugary mixers, like juice. Try to stick with one adult beverage in-flight and drink plenty of water before and after.

Savor Indulgences
You've worked hard for your vacation time, so you certainly want to enjoy yourself. Instead of simply throwing caution to the wind and ignoring nutritious foods until the post-vacay blues set in, think about meals in a more balanced way. When dining out, consider the meal in its entirety and decide which indulgences mean the most to you.
If you have a sweet tooth, skip the bread basket and instead, choose a dessert you truly love and split it with a friend. Or, if out for pasta or pizza, stick to a reasonable portion, but round out the meal with plenty of non-starchy vegetables, like a green salad, roasted brussel sprouts or cauliflower. Eat the vegetables first to fill up with fiber and nutrients before diving into the more decadent dishes.

Overall, choose mindful indulgences that are true treats to you and special to the trip itself. Consider skipping those easily accessible options you can find at home and instead, opt to savor local delicacies or the restaurant's famous dishes. When thinking about the entire trip, allow yourself a few indulgent items while filling in the majority of meals with healthier foods. Granting yourself permission to enjoy certain foods removes guilt and helps to stay on track, both throughout the trip and once arriving back home.

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Amanda Baker Lemein , MS, RD, LDN, is a Registered Dietitian and freelance writer from Chicago. She works in private practice, helping both pediatric and adult clients find healthy lifestyles that work for a variety of nutrition needs.