Fuel Up While Traveling



By: Grace Iberle, RDN, LDN, CHC, CPT

Early flights, late nights, busy travel schedules can put a wrench in your plan to eat healthy. Not only is it difficult during the the time spent traveling, but coming home to a house with no groceries or trying to eat through your fridge and pantry before you go can make eating healthy a bit harder. Follow these tips to help you stay on track while on the road. 

Be Prepared 

Having snacks on hand will help to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. It also prevents the ravenous hunger from coming on as you’re waiting for your next meal. Have non-perishable snacks with you so you’re not completely reliant on whatever is close by. If your hotel or conference center gives out free fruit, be sure to take advantage and pair with a protein/fiber/fat option such as nut butter. 

  • Trail Mix or nut packets 

  • Nut butter packets

  • Healthier Granola bars 

    • look for snack bars between 100-200 calories

    • Aim for more protein than sugar

    • Keep sugar < 10 g and check the ingredient list for the source of the sugar, if one of the first items is sugar, that's the majority of what you are eating

    • Fiber > 3 g

  • Low sugar, high fiber granola

  • Roasted chickpeas 

  • Dried edamame 

If you’re staying a few nights, grab some refrigerator options

  • Individual Greek yogurt

  • Single serving tuna packs

  • Pre-portioned veggie packs with hummus or guacamole 

  • Pre-hard boiled eggs

  • Fruit (apple, clementine, banana, orange, pear, etc.)

Plan for a grocery delivery shortly after you arrive home. There are many options currently available. Never used one before? Often they have first-timer promotions. If the added delivery and service fee seem too much, think of how much you’ll be saving by making food at home instead of dining out for the rest of the week. Here are a few simple go-to meals to get you through the week with little to no-cooking. 

  • Salad

    • Salad greens 

    • Protein (rotisserie chicken, edamame, cubed tofu)

    • Veggies (matchstick carrots, pre-sliced peppers, mushrooms) 

    • Healthy Fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, dressing) 

  • Tuna Salad 

    • Canned tuna with Greek yogurt, onion and celery served on whole grain bread 

  • Sandwich 

    • 100% whole grain bread, low sodium roasted turkey, avocado, mustard, LTO

    • 100% whole grain bread, peanut butter, mashed up banana or berries  

  • Omelet 

    • Eggs, variety of cut up vegetables, whole grain bread 

  • Smoothies 

    • Plain Greek yogurt + 1 cup of frozen fruit + liquid + 1 Tbsp peanut butter

Choose Healthy Options when Available

Picking healthy options when dining out can be difficult since were not in control of exactly what’s going into the food. You may have experienced when you’re trying to choose a healthy vegetable, but it’s smothered in butter and salt. Put yourself in better control of your meals by following these tips: 

  • Balance your meal and include multiple food groups 

    • Aim for half your plate to be produce (fruits and vegetables), a quarter to be starches (bread, rice, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables), a quarter to be protein, and a little bit of healthy fats

  • Check if there is nutrition information available at the restaurant 

    • Choose options lower in saturated fat and sodium and higher in protein and fiber 

  • Take a look at the menu when you’re not hungry

    • Creating a plan helps you to be more mindful when at the restaurant 

  • Don’t show up ravenous to the restaurant

    • Ever heard don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? The same is true when dining out! Being extremely hungry throws any mindfulness out the window. Be prepared by fueling your body throughout the day with snacks (See above). 

  • Don’t sweat it! 

    • If you end up at a restaurant that has no healthy options available, try your best, enjoy your food, eat slowly, and move on! 

Unsure of how to make your travel plans a bit healthier, reach out to your LifeStart Registered Dietitian today!