We get this question ALL the time, “What do you do to avoid feeling gross from all that eating out?” “What’s your secret to sticking to your clean eating habits when your on the go?” “How do you stay healthy AND travel the world?”
Vacation can be synonymous for indulging in guilty pleasures, overeating, and enduring low quality questionable airplane food because you are stuck on a plane for 14 hours (We’ve ALL been there). You end up eating too much of the food you don’t normally eat, which leads to you feeling blehhh. Then you look at all those swimsuits you packed but instead reach for the cover-ups because your feeling bloated and not ready to strut your stuff… Sound familiar? But you booked the trip! You want to enjoy 100% of the time, feel your best, and think about adventuring not about if your bikini (or speedo) ready for tomorrow... Ya with us.
It’s not hard to do and can actually be pretty simple. If you take a bit of time beforehand, it can be easier than you think to stay healthy AND happy on all your wanderlust dreams.
Here are our two biggest tips:
You don’t want to get caught hangry and just eating ANYTHING to fuel your body… Planning ahead and researching to find the restaurants that will have healthy options available can be a game changer. We typically use search engines such as Yelp or TripAdvisor and with keywords “paleo” “organic” “vegan” or “healthy” restaurants into the search bar then look at the menu. This helps to map out plans so you know which restaurants are near the places you want to go. Easy enough, right? By planning ahead of time, you don’t waste those “critical hunger” moments (like when your body slides into hangry-stress-death mode) so you decide to settle for something you would never have eaten in the first place. Don’t settle.
Wherever we go, we always make sure to bring LOTS of snacks. Cue Mary Poppins’ bag of never ending snacks. It’s great to try the local foods, but when waking up early for tours, in transit, on planes between destinations, or out all day, it’s nice to have a few healthy bites to stay fueled! Equally important, depending on your style of eating, it gets tricky to find something that suits you when options are limited: ENTER HEALTHY SNACKS. We’ll vary between paleo, vegan, and keto, but consider ourselves non denominational healthy eaters. You’ll see most of the snacks we carry avoid gluten & grains, dairy, legumes (things like peanuts, soy, beans, etc.), and ALL forms of sugar (after doing a sugar detox a few years back we get migraines - even with the natural forms like honey and maple. ugh). Ever since we started bringing munchies and on-the-go meals we ALWAYS thanked ourselves later.
Here’s a list of some of our favorites!
1. Healthy Fats: Especially when we are more keto we love to have healthy fats Because fats = full. Which means less time worrying about meals and more time worrying about exploring. They also help keep our brains hyper focused. Or else things happen, like missing flights.
Nut Butter Sachets – These are great on-the-go either plain or with some fruit like apples. Artisana is our favorite brand and has a lot of options like almond or walnut. Our favorite is coconut butter (ground up coconut puree) because sometimes if we overload on nuts we can feel a little funky. It’s higher in healthy fats that keep you full and satiated (remember fat = fullllll, stay full my friends)
MCT Oil – Talk about brain on fire! If you haven’t read up about MCT oil, it’s essentially ketones you can take to help your body get into and feel the benefits of ketosis (things like satiety, brain focus, and less sugar highs/lows). So, brain food. We always bring these sachets and add them to any smoothies we order, use it as a salad topper, or add to our avocado wrap (see next…).
Avocados – These can be hard to manage for long trips but have become our secret go to weapon to keep us going. Pack them in your bag safely so they don’t smash, or just buy them slightly under ripe. To make our avocado wrap, we use a ziplock bag to mix and mash avocados with either a hard boiled egg / canned tuna / chicken, or just plain avos, coconut aminos, MCT oil, then wrap it all up in seaweed or paleo wraps. It may sound like a sad meal, but don’t knock it till you try it.
Olive Packets – These are amazing for a quick snack and so convenient for on the go anywhere. Davis “doesn’t do olives,” so I consume enough for the both of us. Tehe.
2. Crunchy Snacks + Wraps: Because sometimes you just NEED that crunch
Seaweed- This is one of our new found FAVORITES! Seaweed is a great source of chlorophyll (plant energy- and we all want more ENERGY right?). It’s low in calories and depending on if you get it roasted or raw, it can have a nice salty crunch that is addicting. We use it as a snack by itself or to make avocado wraps. Seasnax is the only brand we eat roasted because they use olive oil instead of canola, sesame or soybean oil (which become trans fat when heated/are full of GMO’s - and we’ve all heard the sketchy stories about both.. yeah no thanks).
Coconut Wraps- a substitute for seaweed in the above mentioned avocado wrap. Or another great hack is to buy a garden salad from the airport and add to any of the wrap ideas. It’s great for more on-the-go eating and these are made with just coconut meat and coconut water!
Coconut Chips- We like either the toasted DANG chips, or unsweetened raw coconut flakes. They are great when you need a little crunch, but without all the fried, high carb, damaged oils of your normal potato/corn chips.
Plantain Chips- When you need something a little closer to your normal chip, but still made with high quality ingredients, plantain chips are great. There’s a lot of brands out there using sketchy oils (just avoid okay?), but these are made with coconut oil and are a great healthy alternative!
3. Something Sweet: We like to have any of these after a meal as a little treat. And hey, you do you on vacations, because you earned your vacation and DESERVE to enjoy it.
Fresh Fruits / Veggies – Anything fresh can be nice to have when your stuck on airplanes trains and automobiles for hours on end. Typically before we fly we will grab some apples or carrots to have on the trip. Then when we land we go to local markets. It is fun to try the local in season fruits & veggies!
100% Cacao – Yes. The Hundy. Since we can’t do sugar we go for the 100% cacao bars, which when you try for the first time can be intense, but now we’re hooked! Since there is only cacao flavor there, it can be fun to try all different roasts and beans - they all taste unique! This one is one of our faves and relatively easier to find. Eat in small portions at first. It’s very rich.
Apple Sauce/ Baby Food – This can be a great hack for fruit/veggies on the go. Apple sauce is pretty basic, but make sure and read the labels on baby food - sometimes they sneak in rice/grains or other legumes. If you’re not into that.
4. Protein: A nice bit of protein is great to keep you going on long, action packed days. As trendy as “high protein” is right now, it is increasingly harder to find clean healthy sources.
Collagen Protein – Clean protein powders are somewhat of a rare unicorn. Since we don’t do diary, grains, or legumes, that eliminates 99.9% of the blends out there. Lately we have been loving these- collagen protein from grass fed cows. We add them to smoothies we order or you can ask them nicely to add for you. Also you can mix with a nut butter sachet for almost like a “paleo protein cookie dough” on the go. YUM.
Jerky – Jerky is great source of protein on the go. But be sure to read your labels here. A lot of brands will add things like sugar and soy sauce. We’ve had a lot of mixed results with jerky as we always prefer things more fresh, but when you need clean protein these CHOMPS are the best we’ve found. They come in a lot of different flavors which is great for variety.
Canned Fish/Chicken – Canned what? While we are not fans of canned meat on the regular, when in a pinch we’d rather have a can of high quality, organic, free range, wild caught protein we CAN TRUST than opt for the mystery meat on the plane. You can take cans through TSA but you may have to take them out to screen separately because of the thick metal. Cue judging looks from TSA people. Cue us not caring. Pouches can be slightly easier for that reason but both get the job done.
Hard Boiled Egg – Yes they don’t always smell the greatest, but they can be perfect on-the-go protein breakfasts or lunch. Most airports in the U.S. will have little to-go egg pouches, or you can boil some up yourself before a trip and use a carry case like this one. They don’t last long non-refrigerated, but can be a life saver on long planes or road trips.
Trail Mix/Paleo Granola – Nuts can be a great non-meat alternative for protein and on-the go snack (just watch out to not overload yourself, nuts are small but filling!) There are some great trail mix/paleo granolas (if you are into mocha this one’s sinful) out there, just watch your labels on dried fruits and sulfurs/added sugars. Most of the time we prefer just the raw nuts themselves.
5. Super foods + Adaptogens: Herbs and medicinals Are great to keep you thriving even when traveling through foreign countries… and non foreign countries too.
Herbal Teas – Anything GINGER or mint? Yes, please. These two are our favorite: Yogi Lemon Ginger and Tulsi Tumeric Ginger because they can also help with digestion. Nothing like bookending your days with a cup of tea in the morning and evening.
Digestion Pills – Not the stuff your parents take everywhere. When you are out traveling you can be as careful as possible while ordering food, but you still may find yourself hurting after meals. In this case we like to bring charcoal pills to help soothe our stomachs so we’re not uncomfortable and feeling sick when we want to be adventuring. They work.
Four Sigmatic – These mushroom sachets are our new obsession! Our favorites are the lionsmane (for brain focus) or the chaga (immune support). We add them into our tea in the morning, depending on which support we feel like we need for the day! When we first heard about these, we weren’t sure… But try and see for yourself.
6. Coconut Stuff: maybe the coconut Girl Scout cookies were not the best (Samoas, anyone?), but seriously, coconut makes everything better. As a typical rule we always order food without any sauce or dressings and instead add these…
Coconut Aminos – If you don’t know about this magic liquid, you have been MISSING OUT! It’s soy sauce, but not soy. It’s coconut instead. We bring this for having sashimi or cucumber wrapped sushi while traveling, or to add to salads/wraps on the go.
Coconut Oil- We use coconut oil for EVERYTHING. Skin lotion, oil pulling, hair hydrating, and instead salad dressing substitute. When we found these sachets it was a game-changer for us.
Comprehensive, We know. But this is how we roll.
And the last item that makes most of this possible - ZIPLOCKS (always freezer, because no one likes a ripped ziplock).
If you have any healthy travel tips we’d love to hear from you!!