Making healthy food choices when you are in the comfort of your home and in a normal routine are hard enough. Take the routine away and access to a kitchen, it becomes even harder. Eating well while traveling can be a lot of work. It is much easier to go with the flow and eat the more processed things that are easily available. For me, whenever I do that I always wish I had put in a little more effort and found an option that would nourish my body.
On our trip to Orlando this week I did some preparation ahead of time. On the trip we ended up on both sides of this, finding healthy options and not so healthy options. I have to say that when I made the latter choice I wished I had not. I definitely felt the difference in my body. It is always so amazing to me how quickly the body reacts to the food you fuel it with. It is a great feedback mechanism if you tune in and listen.
Here are some things I did to help make our trip to Neil’s conferences and to theme parks in Orlando, FL more healthy.
Pack food for the airport
To start, I set out plastic tupperware the night before our early morning flight and had a plan for breakfast we could bring to the airport. I made avocado toast for myself and a bagel for Neil. We were able to quickly make this and bring our breakfast to the airport to enjoy while we waited to board the plane. This was much cheaper and healthier than a lot of airport options.
While traveling on a previous trip with my good friend Meg Marvin she packed us these amazing bento snack boxes. It was fabulous to have these on a long flight. She has quite the traveling routine. She packed things like celery and peanut butter, carrots, almonds, babybel cheese, homemade granola bars and kale dusted popcorn (it was green). With herbal tea for the flight we were nourished and hydrated when we landed, also in Orlando interestingly enough. It was great to learn the ropes from someone who traveled for work quite often, before quitting her job and moving with her husband to Spain for a year (read more about their adventures here).
Here are a couple of vespa pictures from my stay at the same Orlando hotel last year and this year, quite silly! Two different partners in crime pictured (Meg Marvin and Neil Bulger).
Pack snacks for on-the-go
I also packed lots of dried fruit and bars to bring with us to snack on. These were great for in the parks in the middle of the day to tide us over and avoid park food. The one day out of three that we did eat a park lunch, we both felt a little sick after eating fried food and a creamy-dressed salad.
I loved having healthy snacks in my bag while we were at the parks because I not only saved money and had healthier options but they were available whenever I wanted. A quick handful of dried cherries while waiting in line, don’t mind if I do!
Look up some healthier restaurants – even chains
Out of four days total we had great breakfasts 3 of those days. We had breakfast at the hotel restaurant the first morning. I had a fabulous breakfast salad … YES … you heard me right – a breakfast salad! It was fabulous. I am definitely going to need to re-create this at home. It had a bed of spinach and greens with quinoa, shaved parmesan, avocado, bacon, and topped with a poached egg and sherry vinaigrette. It was filling and so delicious. The next morning we were trying to leave quickly to make the most of our one day in DisneyWorld so we hit up the more cafeteria-like breakfast spot. It was not very filling or tasty. It was also comparably priced to our other amazing breakfasts.
The next two days we went to the same local chain we found called, First Watch. It is a farm to table inspired restaurant with lots of fun options. It is great to find these gems when you are traveling, so we knew we needed to go back! The first morning I had avocado toast with evoo and lemon served with two local over easy eggs. I had their orange, carrot, ginger juice. Neil had a savory quinoa breakfast bowl that was huge and filling. The next morning I had their steel cut oats with strawberries, banana and pecans, it was great and with a small sprinkle of brown sugar it tasted similar to my great grandma’s cream of wheat I loved as a kid. It came with a fresh baked lemon poppy seed muffin on the side and I ordered their kale, lemon, cucumber, apple juice. Neil had an egg, avocado, arugula sandwich. He loved it and was very satisfied – ready to hit the HVACR conference!
Overall, I think we made some great healthy choices on this trip and have even more ideas for our next trip. You live and you learn – and enjoy great meals along the way.
Do you prepare or plan food when traveling? What are your tips and tricks for making good food choices on-the-go? I would love recipes and recommendations.