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Healthier Ways to Eat When Traveling

Smart Substitution: Foods for the Road


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My sister and I went to Hawaii some years ago. Occasionally ate out but the instant we got in headed to a large store and picked up peanut butter, a cooler, and appropriate fstaple foods to keep us going. We treated our cooler as a picnic kitchen. Cooler is good in tropics to keep local critters from joining in, and you can donate it to goodwill or some such before you leave. Hawaii and Alaska have great fun places to eat so once in a while out is great, but expensive, indeed it can be. So... we saved money and did some portion management from our cooler. Report
I just completed a three day drive from New Jersey to New Mexico, 2000 miles, with a friend addicted to fast food restaurants. I packed healthy foods and a case of water in the truck, but never opened the food because it was so easy to eat on the road.


At a pancake house, the cook was willing to make me two poached eggs on a Romaine lettuce salad with excellent tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers. The eggs acted as a salad dressing.

At a taco joint, I had several tacos; I ate the chicken, beef, lettuce, and salsa and left the rest.

We drank plenty of water and snacked on reduced fat cheese sticks from Kraft.

On planes, I drink only bottled water and never, ever, use the ice which has a very checkered reputation.

Regards, Bob Report
When drinking water on long flights, see if you can get bottled water-many airlines now serve it. If I remember, the kitchen water on planes is not always safe to drink. The EPA tested water on planes in 2004, and found about 15% of planes sampled had bacteria problems. They haven't tested since. Similarly, ask for no ice, especially if you are flying from somewhere where the water isn't safe to drink. The ice is often made from the water in the location where you board the flight, so you are better safe than sorry (this goes for ice in other drinks, too). Often, after security, you can buy bottled water at a high price-it may be worth it, and if you have your own bottle, you don't have to wait for a flight attendant to offer water. Report
I'm fortunate in that the only travel I get to do is to see my boyfriend in London. Thus, I only fly BA or Virgin, so I can order great vegetarian lo-fat meals, and eat as well or better than on the ground. They don't limit water consumption, and I am hugely into drinking water. So, if I fly elsewhere, I've made a point to ask for a diabetic or vegetarian meal.
Once I get to London, I live on fresh fruits, a little fish, and whole grains. Easy to do, as my boyfriend has certain allergies, and knows great (inexpensive!) organic markets. So, if I travel elsewhere, I go on Trip Advisor and find out where the organic marts are.

We pick up fruit and oats and we walk everywhere. It's an infinitely walkable city. I walk 90 minutes a day here in Boston, but with him, we easily log hours. So, if I travel elsewhere? I make a point to find out how and where to walk safely.

I generally lose between 5 and 7 pounds every week-long trip now! Report
I am planning a three day trip with my husband on Thursday this week, all of the tips are great, I took notes and have a list in hand to go shopping with. Thank you all. On the jerking thing, is it good to have or not? I use to make it quite a bit but I thought the sodium is what preserved it and made it safe to eat. I never heard of low sodium jerky. Any comments would be helpful. I am leaving this very cold weather and heading south for some warm sunshine!!! Thank heavens! Report
After talking with several over the road friends it was suggested not to eat heavy meals while traveling on the road. Stop every 200 miles, take a 15 minute break, Wash your hands and face, and stretch... I made a 1080 miles trips in under 18 hours ALONE and felt great when I got there. My cooler had small portions of fruit, meat, and wheat products. Just a nibble was all I needed. and water, again this is so important. Report
i like peanutbutter on whole wheat because it doesn't get soggy. im also a huge fan of nuts, and fruit (the original portable snack!!!). in airports or reststops, pretzels are pretty safe - just brush off most of the salt, and dont eat it with huge gobs of cheese or frosting on it!!! crackers, trail mix, cereals (like frosted mini wheats) are all good snacks!!! Report
I always bring those packets of Quaker Instant Oatmeal with me. I mix it with hot water that I makr in the coffee machine that every hotel room has. Report
I love grapes on a road trip in the car.............. instead of buying soda at the gas station I purchase lotto tickets........You know how you feel obliged to buy something when you use the restroom?? Maybe some day I'll win the lotto, lol. Report
For some of you that travel for a living there is a group I just joined called Consulting Nomads. Where we consultants that have to travel a lot of work are talking about these sorts of things as well. It is hard when it is our day-to-day life. This is a good article as a first step. A lot of people don't know these common sense easy tips when they travel, even if it is a short distance - forget half way around the world. The water piece if key, and packing snacks is a great tip too. I grew up with my mom always packing a cooler for trips, so that part is engraved in my head from the beginning, too bad I don't always follow her lead on that.

Thanks again for the article! Report
Whenever it is permitted by the airline, I order a diabetic meal in advance. That makes it possible to have whole wheat bread, fruit instead of a dessert, and a main course which is low in fat and sugar. I wonder why that is not the sort of thing every passenger gets. Report
I take food on planes all the time and have never had a problem. You just can't take things like yogurt (because they're close to a liquid apparently). Report
This idea is great when DRIVING, but not so when flying!!!! You CAN NOT take food on the plane... Report
Great Article! Just wish I had read this BEFORE my vacation, instead of immediately AFTER! ~lol~

Ann Report
I like the idea but I'm just not sure about taking food through the x-ray machines at the airport. A security guard once told me it wasn't safe to eat the food afterward. I'd appreciate some comment from the SparkPeople experts on that one. Report

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