As my client is getting ready to head to Antarctica to complete his bucket list of running a ½ marathon on all seven continents, I got thinking of all the challenges and careful planning required to making his trip successful. From the disruptions and distractions of a new environment, changes in schedule and time zones and exposure to different foods, nutrition can take a hit.
So what are some strategies to minimize the impact of travel on nutrition?
No matter the length of your trip, if you want to eat well while you are away, you need to do your research.
- Familiarize yourself with the itinerary and meals served
- Aim to eat as similar as you do at home
- Identify food availability – types of food, grocery stores and restaurants
- Identify any food safety concerns (water and food contamination)
Snacks are an important component of eating and recovery for athletes but it’s also the best way to guard us from pitfalls while we are on the go. Some of my favorites include:
- Nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, beef jerky, tuna packs and protein/snack bars
If you are traveling by car, pack a lunchbox/cooler and fill with veggie sticks, fruit, HB eggs, salads, sandwiches and snacks and don’t forget the utensils!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Traveling by plane can leave you feeling depleted and dried out by the time you land.
- Buy a bottle of water before boarding the plane or better yet pack a water bottle and fill at the airport or gas station
- It’s suggested to drink 8oz. of water for every hour in the air, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Caffeine and alcohol can contribute to dehydration so avoid or kept to a minimum
A big problem when traveling is when we are faced with hours of either waiting around or in transit. As a result we get bored and turn to food. Instead of reaching for that snack bag, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If not find here are some other activities to pass your time.
- Read a book or listen to a podcast
- Create a new playlist
- Learn a new language
- Or my default CANDY CRUSHED IT!
Food experiences are often our best memories of travel. I think it’s important and necessary to tryout the local cuisines but be smart…maybe avoid the roadside food truck.
- Go with the flow of people. Busy restaurants typically serve fresh, clean and safe food.
- Make sure your dish is served HOT
- Wash your hands before you eat 😉
So whether you are traveling for work, fun or for a competition, plan ahead and set your intention on eating healthy delicious food. If the desire is there, the forethought will come easily.
Before I sign off, I just wanted to give one last shout out to my client. He might be 80-years old but his mind and take on life are exuberant. He brings a smile to everyone he meets and is a true inspiration to us all. Help me wish Tim the best of luck! Enjoy those glaciers and penguins and we will see you back in SD soon.
4 Devils Press