by Andrew Adorno, DTR
Sticking to a healthy diet while traveling around the world can be difficult. Traveling requires planning ahead and arriving prepared – the same goes for making nutritious choices. While there is much temptation on the road, integrating these nutrition tips into your travels will help you stay focused on your long-term health goals.
Protein pack your coffee.
First thing’s first: coffee. If you’re carrying your coffee with you as you travel, try combining with a protein source to keep you sustained and focused longer.
Latte/Cappuccino with skim milk or unsweetened soy milk: 16 ounces = 12 grams protein
Mix equal parts coffee with ICONIC protein beverage: adds 10 grams protein per serving
Mix together 1 scoop whey or vegan based protein powder with 4 ounces unsweetened almond milk to use as coffee creamer: adds 20 grams protein
Choose a location with access to a kitchen.
Staying with a local family or bed and breakfast can allow you to cook your own meals more often. Even if the only meal you prepare for yourself that day is breakfast, having that kitchen space will allow you to have more control over the foods you consume.
Purchasing some staple groceries can save you from excess calories.
100% whole grain breads or whole grain bagels
Lean proteins: eggs, chicken, sliced turkey, beans
Low fat/fat free dairy: cottage cheese or local yogurts with more protein than sugar
Natural nut butters
Immerse in the culture and visit local farmers markets.
Ask the locals! Connecting with your cultural surroundings by talking with people from the area can help you find the best eats.
Local Farmers Markets: Pick up pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables, hummus, local yogurts, sandwiches, salads, and portable fruits with peels.
Sandwich Shops: Choose whole-grain bread, extra vegetables, and mustard instead of oil or mayo.
Drive-thrus and casual restaurants: Focus on items that are grilled, steamed, broiled, or baked instead of fried or sautéed. If nutrition information is available, aim for a meal with 400 – 600 calories.
Consider salads with a lean protein and vinaigrette-based dressing, broth-based soups, oatmeal and eggs with whole-grain bread.
Snack throughout the day.
A snack that will sustain you throughout the day combines proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and whole-grains. Snacking will help you refrain from long periods without food, which will aid in preventing you from overeating at meal time.
Create a healthy snack by combining foods from 3 of the following 6 groups
Fruits: sliced apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, kiwi
Healthy Fats: natural peanut/almond butters, almonds, pumpkin seeds, avocado
Low-Fat Dairy: 2% cottage cheese, 0% plain Greek yogurt, part-skim string cheese, brie
Portable Proteins: boiled eggs, turkey/chicken breast, edamame, tuna in a pouch
Vegetables: sliced carrots, celery sticks, sliced bell peppers, sliced tomatoes, baked kale chips
Whole Grains: 100% whole grain bread/crackers, air-popped popcorn, corn tortillas
Non-perishable portable snacks
Freeze dried vegetables
Nut butters: many brands have to-go snack packs
Nuts: Pre-portioned into snack-size bags
Protein bars: Strong + KIND, Nature Valley Protein, Quest
Tuna in the pouch
Whole or dried fruit
Whole-grain pretzels or crackers
Limit splurging to once a day.
When traveling to places unfamiliar to you, going for the most convenient or culturally decadent food is a hard temptation to avoid.
If you’re craving comfort food, just watch your portions
Stick to the basics such as:
Lean proteins without the bread or special sauces
Vegetable or side salad instead of starches like potatoes or rice
Water instead of soda or sweetened beverages
Based your meals off mostly fruits and vegetables if possible
Split large meals with a friend or loved one
Pack half your plate to save for eating later
Focus on consuming half your body weight in ounces of water per day
Avoid sugar sweetened beverages like regular sodas and pre-sweetened iced teas
Choose potassium-rich foods and drinks: Bananas, fruits, V8 or tomato juice, and coconut water
can aid in keeping you hydrated for longer periods of time, as they replenish electrolytes.
Chia seeds: chia seeds absorb and retain a ton of water. Add some to your water to help with your body retaining fluid throughout the day.
If you’re moving around a lot while traveling, drink an extra 2 cups of water per pound of sweat lost.
Many hotels and inns provide access to a workout area. Try integrating 45 minutes to an hour of cardio each day throughout your trip.This will help burn excess calories and keep your energy levels up!
Eat Fit NOLA at the Louis Armstrong Airport
Be on the lookout for Eat Fit NOLA options available at the Louis Armstrong International Airport! There are now healthy, dietitian approved options available at:
Ye Olde College Inn
Andrew Adorno is a Dietetic Technician, Registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics