My Top 5 Real Food Travel Tips

I just got back from a wonderful few days in Florida… visiting Grandma and Grandpa Honey Bee and seeing a few friends – it was just perfect! While I did some work and studied (I’m still taking nutrition courses… always more to learn!), I certainly took time to relax too. Yes, that includes food and fitness.

Amy feet at the pool

I obviously eat (and live) a certain way – I make my food choices based on what works for me physically and intellectually and am an advocate for movement. When I am away from home (traveling, out to eat, etc) I certainly don’t throw my beliefs and lifestyle out the window but rather make the best choices that I can and aim for an attainable balance. Trust me: it is possible to maintain your food philosophy yet not drive yourself or anyone around you crazy! (And I couldn’t have said that a year or two ago).

I don’t freak out if the chicken at the restaurant isn’t organic – because it rarely will be. I don’t freak out if my meal doesn’t come with veggies. I don’t ask for a billion-and-one substitutions (two is my magic number). If it comes with bread, I don’t eat it. If it’s cooked in canola oil, I don’t have a kinipshin. If I want ice-cream, I have it. If I don’t, I pass. I pack snacks, ask questions about how food is prepared and yes often check menus beforehand but do my very best not to draw attention to myself and just live. I aim to make the best choices possible and make these choices based on me and me alone.

More from the blog archives:

Top Travel Tips

But in order to maintain a real food lifestyle, you’ve still got to be prepared. Here are my top five tips:

1. Pack snacks/food: I always bring some non-perishable items with me: nuts, seeds, dried fruit, jerky, oatmeal, dark chocolate, tea, etc. Sometimes, depending on the situation, I pack full meals and items that I pre-make beforehand.

Check out the post linked below for more on how I travel with pre-made real food.

From the blog archives:

Peru Snacks

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2. Stock up on food: When I arrive at my destination away from home, I locate a grocery store and do a bit of shopping to stock up on easy items for breakfast, on-the-go lunches and snacks. I try to keep cooking at a minimum so I look for legit pre-cooked items or things that require minimal cooking.

Whole Foods Groceries USA

3. Incorporate movement as a part of travel or exercise in the morning: If I want to hit the gym (or if I’m in training), I do so prior to any family activities/events so I don’t miss out on anything because I “have to workout.” But I am a big fan of incorporating movement as a part of a trip: biking, hiking, walking. It’s a great way to see a new place and you can cover lots of ground!

Bike tour

4. Make balanced choices: This is going to be different for everyone. If you are celiac, well the scone below is not a good idea. But if you’re like me and “just” get some discomfort and bloating but loveeeee a scone from Harrods? Enjoy it. But don’t get the mac n cheese as well – go for some greens and protein. All of the veggies will balance out the gluten and sugar.

From the blog archives:

Salad and Scone from Harrods

5. Relax: Take a deep breath. You are not going to be perfect and don’t try to be. You’re on vacation, or whatever. Enjoy it. Don’t deprive yourself of things you want to enjoy or things you want to partake in. When my whole family was making s’mores in Arizona (and I freaking love s’mores), I made a tiny version for myself to share in the fun and enjoy. I aim for consistency, not perfection and I hope you will too.

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Questions of the day…

How do you maintain your lifestyle while you are away from home or traveling? 

6 thoughts on “My Top 5 Real Food Travel Tips

  1. Looks like such a fun trip! For me my one thing when traveling is staying gluten free. I also try to limit dairy and just go with hard lactose free cheeses since I’m also sensitive to lactose. But I like changing it up and relaxing and trying new things. It’s also great not to be sick while traveling like I used to be every time!

  2. Great post and good tips! I think traveling is definitely something that can be anxiety provoking and present challenges for trying to maintain food philosophy (a great way to put it). It definitely requires some thinking in order to be prepared, but also important like you say to not stress and just relax. Ultimately it’s all about balance – figuring out when you need and what you can get by without. Figuring out what works for you.

  3. This post came at the perfect time for me, as I’m heading to the airport soon to visit some friends for spring break :) I made a Trader Joe’s run yesterday and got a lot of good stuff (freeze dried fruit, bars, apples, almonds, etc.).

  4. Always pack snacks is pretty much my personal motto. I try avoid getting hangry while traveling and remember not to compare what I eat with what’s best for other people. If you can remember to just do you and strive for feeling good not being perfect (like you point out) chances are you’ll find a happy balance.

  5. Hi Amy! My parents live in Florida (that’s where I grew up) and so I go back all the time. LOVE the Florida sunshine. Anyways — when I travel, I ALWAYS bring healthy snacks, but I like to sample the local food, eat more indulgently and not worry too much. I usually fit in quick workouts while away, but also enjoy a week or two here and there, where I really don’t exercise at all. You don’t have to always be on your A-game, just like you said here. :) Have a great Wednesday!

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