I’ve been on the road traveling now for 7 weeks without my own kitchen and usual organic whole food supplies. Although I’m not as healthy as I would be at home, I’ve discovered a few things that have worked to maintain my health. I spent the first two weeks of my trip in Italy and the 3rd week in London preparing to race in a triathlon. Here are my tips:
Find accommodation with a kitchen where possible
In Italy I booked most of my accommodation through airbnb to find villa’s with kitchens. For those on a budget hostels also have kitchens. The main limitation is kitchenless, high fat buffet hotels. While wanting to also enjoy the local food I ate breakfast at home everyday and either lunch or dinner also when possible. I went out for the third meal and enjoyed the local cuisine. I also brought my own snacks such as nuts, granola bars etc from the supermarket and carried them around.
Load up on veggies – prevent carb overload
Remember while travelling it’s important to still get your nutrients, so as tempting as pasta and other carb dense dishes may be in Italy or other countries, don’t forget your veggies. Order side salads, veggies on the side etc. Find farmers markets, fruit and vegetable stands. I visited local markets and deli’s in Italy and the supermarket in London. To get my nutrients, I cooked a plate of veggies and made a salad before I went out a few nights a week, then just had a snack out to still enjoy being out.
Bring your own super foods
When I travel especially as I know I’ll be making meals myself where ever possible I like to bring super foods. They are good to add to breakfast, salads and make smoothies. I personally like hemp seeds, chia seeds, greens powder and protein powder to make smoothies, nuts for flights and travel, organic herbal tea. It’s also good to travel with probiotics, vitamin C and magnesium powder to help sleep. Be prepared because you never know where you might find a blender. I found a small retro blender in my villa in Sardinia that did the job.
Eat local and keep it simple
Eat according to the season you are in. Even if you are a fan of mostly raw foods and salads if you are in a colder climate eat more warm food and vice versa for hot temperatures. Eat fruit, veggies and grains that are local to the region. Make the most of the local grains such as amaranth in mexico and quinoa in peru. In Italy I was lightly cooking vegetables with chopped tomatoes and basil and garlic even though I don’t usually cook that at home. Although you may be staying in accommodation with kitchens you can’t really travel around with big bottles of olive oil and sauces etc so keep your seasonings simple by using spices, ginger, garlic when cooking and fresh lemon juice or olive oil for salads.
Source spring water
You can’t go wrong and will be doing your body a great favour by sourcing either natural springs or large bottles of spring water. Ideally buy the largest bottle you can find and keep refilling your water bottle from home. If there are no large 4L or gallon bottles then a 6 pack of 1.5 litre bottles will do.
Yes I know Italy has amazing pasta and pizza and France has amazing croissants. Yeah I know you are only there for a few weeks and want to make the most it however, listen to your body too! Find the balance between enjoying the taste of food and overloading your body until you become sick. I threw in a few deborturous meals here and there and as soon as I noticed my body reacting badly I loaded up on vegetables and eating my own healthy breakfast every morning. Keeping alcohol intake to a balance also helps. Tip: if you love gelato and are in Italy alternative with sorbet.