Staying fit and trim while traveling is no small feat. With fast food options being the first thing you see on many street corners, it takes a fair amount of strategic discipline to navigate the food scene of virtually any destination. A few things however, are under your control. Here are my favorite ways to streamline the stay-slim process when I’m on the road.
Choices: A bit of preliminary research regarding your hotel dining options will leave you feeling informed and in charge of your vacation calorie count. If your chosen venue doesn’t offer enough healthy choices to suit you, consider switching to one that does. For example, at the Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, on-site dining selections include veggie wraps with hummus, mixed greens with mango dressing, breakfast quinoa with soy milk and a fruit ceviche. It also helps to do your part. Do your accommodations come with a complimentary breakfast buffet? Consider choosing fresh fruit, oatmeal or toasted bagels instead of greasy home fries and sugary morning pastries.
Chains: While I certainly enjoy exploring independently-owned eateries when I travel, the truth is chain restaurants have their place. Especially when it comes to mid-day highway stops and fast-paced business trips that leave you little time for advanced menu reviews. In these cases, familiarity with franchised menus can be a life saver. For example, I know that Ruby Tuesday’s always has a number of dark greens, cranberries and other healthy items on their salad bar, along meatless sliders for a bit of fun without the extra grease. Chipotle Grill serves another one of my on-the-road value faves, the vegetarian burrito bowl with a side of guacamole. For fast stops, Subway has a variety of locations that are paired with gas stations, making it easy to pick up veggie sandwiches and hit the road without resorting to drive-through French fries.
Kitchens: Healthy convenience options do exist, keeping meal prep time to a minimum in your vacation rental or hotel room kitchenette. For example, Bold Organics frozen pizzas are dairy and gluten free, allergy friendly and available grocery stores around the United States, including Sweet Bay, Whole Foods and Hannaford. Similarly, the Fit and Active line of foods available at Aldi also offers lower-calorie convenience food alternatives for travelers looking to save some dough on vacation vittles.
Produce fans can also prepare penny-pinching meal alternatives with a few kitchen items, or at least a hotel fridge and an electrical outlet. According to Catrell Cooney of The Wandering Coconut travel web site, one of the most helpful items for health nuts to travel with is a Vitamix. Cooney never travels without hers, using it for sauces, salad dressings, smoothies and more. For additional options, don’t dismiss the power of hot water for travel food. It can be used to create simple sore throat remedies, flavored teas, warm peanut sauce and more.