School’s out, the sun is shining, and the open road beckons. When you take off to parts unknown this summer, don’t leave your good eating habits behind. Staying healthy while traveling means you can enjoy the trip even more once you arrive at your destination.
Whether you’re cobbling together a series of minimeals between taxis and airport stops, or having a long leisurely lunch on the train, build your repast with the protein-carbohydrate-fat triad. Protein and fat take longer to digest, providing you with extra staying power, while carbohydrates provide much-needed energy to prolong your travel stamina. Keep in mind that sitting on a train or car or on an airplane demands much less energy than your daily work-a-day activities, so listen to your body’s needs and eat only when hungry.
Pack perishables in a small cooler.
Your journey won’t be complete without a carry-on of carbs. “Carbohydrates," says Elson Haas, MD, author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition, “are a quick source of energy for the body, easily converted to glucose, the fuel for the body’s cells.” Make your carbohydrates complex (not refined) by choosing whole-grain pretzels, crackers, cereal, and tortillas, and whole fruits and vegetables.
For fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as well as color for your menu, fruits and vegetables make ideal travel mates.
This trove will come in handy if you find yourself out of food and in the midst of a long layover at the airport or at the tail end of a long drive.
Drink lots of water before you embark on your journey and by avoiding alcohol and caffeinated beverages while en route. Make water a constant travel companion or sip decaffeinated teas or fruit juice mixed with bubbly water.