If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I LOVE to travel. It is my passion & great love along with nutrition, wellness, and healthy living.
As a native New Yorker I’ve traveled everywhere from India, New Zealand, and Canada, to Mexico, Thailand, and Europe. I love to see the world, explore new cultures, and of course, try new food!
However, with the break in my normal routine that travel requires, it can be hard to stay on track while on the road. I don’t know where to get my morning paleo tacos and bulletproof coffee, where the best yoga studio in town is, and I end up sitting a lot more as I fly or drive from one place to another.
These past couple weeks, Ross & I have been on a road trip from Austin, up through Montana & Wyoming, over to Washington and down the California coast in our 1995 Dodge van.
Here are 13 ways I stay healthy while on the road:
1. Use a reusable water bottle and refill it every time you stop for gas.
Not only is drinking from plastic bottled water bad for the environment, it’s awful for your body. Even if the bottles are BPA free they leach chemicals into the water which then gets absorbed into your body and mess with the precious flow of your hormonal system. By committing to drinking from a refillable bottle (like the one I use) you are doing more good than you can imagine for your body, the environment, and even your wallet.
Our bodies are composed of 70% water. Our blood is 92% water, and our brains are made of 75% water. To say that proper hydration is important is hardly adequate. Staying properly hydrated while you travel will help prevent fatigue, feeling bloated, or overindulging in foods you wouldn’t eat in your normal home routine.
2. Prepare food in bulk before you leave and travel with a cooler.
Even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to fall off track when you have the world’s best doughnut or pizza staring you in the face. Like I say, preparation is key! Before you leave for your trip, pre-make several days worth of food (obviously this really only works for a road trip, not flying).
Once the food is gone, do research to find local health food stores in the towns you visit that offer pre-made salads and wraps to continue the journey with.
3. Do research on where to eat before you arrive.
From Montana to Idaho, California, and Oregon, Yelp has been my very best friend. I simply type in whatever I’m looking for (“hemp milk latte,” “paleo,” “whole foods,” “vegetarian,” “salads”) and I have first hand information on where to eat in the town I’m visiting. I found some of the most delicious and health supportive eats that I would have never found just by wandering around a new city.
Do research before hand.
4. See the city by foot.
We spend all day in boxes – our home boxes, our office boxes, our car boxes, and the list goes on. Magical adventures and connection with nature is always waiting right outside your door step. The best way to move your body in a functional way and get to know the place you just traveled to is to see the city by foot. Move your body, smell the fresh air, get lost, soak up the sunshine, and allow your body to guide you.
5. Spend time in nature every day.
6. Eat a full, healthy breakfast every morning.
Eating sugar first thing in the morning sets you up for cravings all day long. Stick to a source of protein, high quality fat (my favorite is avocado or coconut oil) and greens. Your body and blood sugar levels will thank you. You can find some scrambled eggs and spinach pretty much everywhere.
7. Cut yourself some slack.
When I leave for any trip, I take a moment to have a few words to remind myself that perfection is not the goal; ease, joy, fun, adventure, and relaxation is. That means that sometimes, I choose pizza and beer with my friends over searching out the one organic cafe and eating solo. It means loosening up the reigns so that I can enjoy a holistically healthy life.
8. Bring road snacks.
Stop at roadside stands, bring trail mix, sliced veggies, coconut water, hardboiled eggs, and pre-made salads. Don’t go more than 3 – 4 hours in between meals to help regulate your blood sugar levels while out on the road (hint: this greatly reduces convenience store cookie stops along the way…I know from experience).
9. Eat something green at least once a day.
Greens are essential to establishing a healthy body and immune system, and healthy bodies have access to more energy. Energy is what allows us to do the things we love, go where we want to go, see what we want to see, be who we want to be, and step into the power, truth, and brilliance of all that we are.
Eating these fiber-filled, nutrient rich foods allows the body to crowd out other foods and creates an alkaline environment to process and break down food properly.
10. Get some sleep.
Lack of sleep can negatively affect the nervous system, leading your body to lean more on the sympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the body which activates our fight or flight reaction, enabling us to feel more aggressive and agitated. Give your body a break while it’s adjusting to a new environment by shooting for 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night.
Trip planning can get stressful and by the time you plan out the drive, buy the tickets, get packed, take the time off work, it’s easy to feel exhausted. While you are traveling, take a moment to stop, look around, and be aware of where you are and what you are doing. Bring your awareness to the present moment and consciously shift your attention to a place of peace and gratitude.
Smile & breathe.
12. Limit your time on the internet.
The myth of modern day is that you have to move faster to do more, but the key to a more productive and fulfilling day is in efficiency, not in speed and burnout. Use your travel time as an opportunity to disconnect.
While I’m traveling I only use my phone for “must-use” purposes and less time scrolling Facebook & Instagram = a happier, more peaceful Carly.
13. Eat at home.
Especially when you are in a new city, it’s easy to end up eating out for every single meal. I have made a huge leap with my health and budget by only eating out for special meals while I’m traveling. Often that means only having dinners out and enjoying breakfast and lunch (the more simple meals) at my hotel, hostel (groceries purchased from local store) or friend’s home.