Ever notice how the simplest tasks become infinitely more difficult when abroad on a trip? Looking for the right hotel is so much more difficult than having a home, where sleep merely involves the short walk to your bedroom. Tasks as simple as crossing the road become a difficult and dangerous puzzle when you don’t understand the local rules and customs.
One thing that travelers are often surprised about is that they struggle with is eating properly. When you are trying to see all the sights, do all the activities, and successfully run an online business, finding food becomes an afterthought. Supermarkets are confusing, foreign menus are incomprehensible, and unfamiliar local eateries can be hard to trust. In these circumstances, it is all too easy to undereat or get your energy from sugar and junk food. For long term travelers, this is simply unsustainable. Follow these tips to maintain a healthy diet, anywhere in the world.
Order the Salad
When at home, eating out for dinner is a treat, so it is understandable that you’d order a large burger and fries. However, when traveling, eating out can become a daily occurrence. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the foods you are ordering and ensure that you are achieving a balance of nutrients. For many people, the idea of going to a restaurant and just getting a salad seems ridiculous, but for travelers, this is the easiest way to get something healthy.
Across the world, there are cheap fast-food restaurants that are perfect for busy digital nomads. You don’t spend much money, you get a good-sized meal, and you don’t waste any time. A McDonald’s in Europe can actually be quite a nice environment, with free and fast WiFi where you could sit for hours getting work done while ordering food and coffee as and when you need it. However, if you start having a Big Mac and Coke several times a week, then you will be seriously damaging your health. Remember, McDonald’s does salad and juice too, so explore other options on the menus of your favorite eating spots.
Choose Local Spots Over Familiar Brands
When finding food is difficult, the temptation is just to stick to the brand names that you know. However, across the world, these tend to be American junk food chains. The chances are that there are loads of delicious, inexpensive food vendors, which serve a greater variety of well made and, most importantly, healthy dishes. These will tend to be unknown, largely hidden, local restaurants. If you can find them, though, you’ll have an easier time staying healthy.
Befriending local people will you give to access to these hidden spots, so ask around. They will have insider knowledge of which food is cheap, tasty, and nutritious. If you stumble upon a restaurant when walking, then a quick Google search will hopefully bring up reviews and a menu to further help you to decide whether it is a healthy place to stop at.
Load Up on Protein Filled Snacks
If you are struggling to sit down for three square meals a day, then it is important to ensure that you have snacks. If you go out for a walk in the city or hike in the countryside, then you may end up being out longer than you anticipate. Avoid unexpected blood sugar crashes by always having an emergency supply of snacks.
However, it is important not to just load up on chips, chocolate, and candy. This can be tempting when you haven’t eaten properly, but over time this is not a sustainable diet. Instead, go for protein bars which are full of fruit and nuts. These contain more calories to replace those lost during exercise, as well as plenty of nutrients and minerals. The slow-release energy will keep you going until you are able to sit down for a properly balanced meal.
Consume Supplements and Vitamin Drinks
When getting enough nutrients from food is too difficult, be sure not to neglect your needs completely. There are plenty of drinks and supplements in grocery stores and pharmacies that can give you a vitamin boost to keep you going. This shouldn’t be used as a replacement for meals, but it can help you to maintain your cognitive health when you are in a place where it is difficult to source enough healthy food.
Protein shakes are perfect to supplement any exercise you might be doing, even if it’s just walking several miles a day with your backpack. Also, be sure to take plenty of vitamin C to stave off any illness and any other vitamins that are lacking from your everyday diet. Tablets take up very little space in your backpack but will help to keep all aspects of your health in check.
Get a Place With a Kitchen
The reason you find it so much easier to stay healthy at home than you do on the road is likely because you are doing your own cooking. The business model of a restaurant revolves around creating the best taste possible, which means there is probably slightly more oil, butter, sugar, or salt in your meals than you would put in yourself. By cooking your own meals, you are in control of the ingredients and will find it much easier to create delicious, but healthy meals every day.
There are plenty of apartments available for short term rent these days, especially with the rise of services like Airbnb. Read more about renting the apartment through AlltheRooms platform and get stunning discounts. It will, of course, cost a little more than a standard hotel room, but your meals will be far cheaper, which helps to even out the price. You could also stay in a hostel and make use of the shared kitchen. Often these hostels will have private rooms as well, while still being cheaper than an apartment. Once you check into a place with cooking facilities, do a big shop for plenty of fruit, vegetables, fish, and any other healthy food. Once you have it, you have to eat it to avoid wastage, so this acts as a motivator to eat healthily.
Healthy eating will make your trip infinitely more enjoyable. You will avoid illness and tiredness while being more productive if you have to work. The faster you can get work done and the better you sleep, the more time you will have to enjoy your destination. Both of these things are dependent on diet, so get this right as a foundation to everything else. By following the tips above, you should find it easy to maintain a healthy diet, no matter how hard you are traveling.