How to Keep your Stomach from Hating you While you Travel
While taking time away from the office for vacation can be a very healthy endeavor for the body and mind, eating healthy while traveling can be a challenge for our physical health. Before leaving for a 15-day trip to Europe, thoughts swirled into my head, “what am I going to eat?” and “will there be vegetables?” alongside Google searches such as, “how do you say almond milk in French?” In the land of endless pastries and macaroons (not hatin’), we were a little concerned about getting our greens in, keeping our gut healthy, and fighting the hanger on long train rides.
We’ve put together a compilation of the best methods to nourishing our body while traveling abroad:
First and foremost, pack snacks. This is our #1 rule for a reason. Before we even left the US, I went to Whole Foods and stocked up on items like jerky, protein bars, portable packets of peanut butter, and trail mix. This saved us in the Paris train station in which the only options were whole baguettes stuffed with cheese. Look for snack items that have a good blend of all 3 macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) to help with satiety and fullness.
Secondly, turn to social media. Instagram was incredibly helpful in finding restaurants and cafes with healthy options. There are whole IG accounts dedicated to “Gluten Free X city” featuring all of the best choices. We were able to use these resources as a jumping off point for planning our meals!
The third tip is to read the menu ahead of time and/or ask the server if there are gluten free or allergen friendly options. Europe is becoming more accommodating in this regard as we saw many menus that had items specified as “sans gluten” or “V” designating vegetarian or vegan. It can be a challenge if you don’t speak the language, but look up the word for “without” before asking about gluten-free items.
The fourth tip is to add a salad to every meal! Yes, every meal. When we knew we were going to eat pizza for dinner, we made sure the restaurant had a green salad as well. For lunch most days, we ordered whatever greens were on the menu with a side of protein. Not only are the greens giving you the micronutrients that you need, it helps to avoid the dreaded traveler’s tummy (we all know what that means…).
Finally, don’t deprive yourself! When traveling to another country, it’s so important to fully embrace the culture and enjoy your experiences there. Knowing there would be boundless macaroons and croissants, we opted for healthier options for the main meals so that we could indulge, GUILT-FREE. There is no shame in treating yo’self and we do not believe in deprivation. Choose what treats are most important to you and enjoy them fully (for me, that was skipping the bread and saving room for dessert).
With some planning ahead and a little bit of research, eating healthy abroad doesn’t have to be a complete disaster. What ways have you found to honor your health while traveling? Share them with us!