On the road nutrition

Do you spend a lot of your time travelling for work? While eating well while travelling can be tough, it doesn’t have to mean your diet should suffer.


Andrea Hill

With business travelling, most of your meals are eaten in restaurants and depending on the city or town you’re in, your choices may be limited. This is one of the biggest challenges when travelling.

The other major challenge is late dinners. By the time you get around to eating dinner it is usually late in the evening and those calories tend to add to a growing waistline more easily if you eat a big meal late at night.

If you know when you are going to be travelling, it is important to be pro-active and that means planning ahead. The trouble starts when you get really hungry, your blood sugar drops and you end up grabbing for those cookies or donuts in the meeting or that a burger combo if on the road.

To keep you healthy while travelling consider these tips:

#1 Plan to bring portable snacks: Pack granola bars in a bag or briefcase, energy bars (for both protein and carbohydrates), or dried fruit and nut mixtures (package up little snack-size bags of dried apricots and almonds for a convenient grab and go option).

Tip: Don’t take a big bag of almonds as just a few handfuls can really pack on the calories! Just one cup of nuts will end up costing you close to 1000 calories!

#2 Visit the local grocery store: If you know you’re going to be in a town for a few days, it is always a good idea to visit the local grocery store so that you can stock up on some fresh fruit. This way you can simply throw it in your bag on the way out in the mornings. If your hotel room has a mini fridge, yogurt can also work as part of your breakfast in the mornings.

#3 Plan your breakfast: Another challenge for travellers is eating a morning meal. While some folks are faced with a buffet others might be dashing off to an early meeting and skip this meal altogether (which will only set you up for unhealthy eating later on in the day).

A great tip to use is to pack your own breakfast when you travel. If you’re trying to control your cholesterol levels take a box of All-Bran Buds with psyllium or plain packages of instant oatmeal with you when you travel.

Add a little Bran Buds to your yogurt in the morning or use the hot water from the breakfast buffet and make your own heart-healthy oatmeal. If you’re in a dining room or a hotel restaurant, order an egg-white omelette with fresh fruit or a bowl of oatmeal.

Otherwise, if you’re at a Continental breakfast, bypass those pastries and stick with whole-grain breads and cereals, hard boiled eggs (for lasting protein), fresh fruit, and yogurt.

#4 Manage late night calories: To avoid setting yourself up for an unhealthy day, make sure you never skip breakfast! Eat your pre-packed morning snack and a sensible lunch so that you’re not starving by late evening and end up devouring the bread basket.

If you’re trying to control calories, skip the starchy side. Eat grilled protein and vegetables only, or choose two appetisers instead of an entrée (if it’s late you don’t need a big meal anyway).

Order a cappuccino, skim milk latte, or fresh fruit if it’s available for dessert.