Eating healthy food is fundamental, no matter where in the world you are. Whether you’re a full time traveller or on holiday, a balanced and varied diet is always essential. For the last year, I’ve had the chance to gather all kind of information and tips to keep fit and a healthy diet. Let me share them with you today!
Always bring healthy food with you
I advise you always have in your bag a few items that you might need during the day. For example, I don’t go anywhere without a bag of mixed nuts. It is healthy, rich in protein and a handful (if you can resist to more) is enough to give you the energy you need when you feel a bit down. Energy bars are a good alternative too. There are so many brands and so many flavours that you’ll quickly find your favourite one. I love the dark chocolate and peanuts one. Thus, no worries if you find yourself on a desert island at lunchtime with an empty stomach! If it’s not possible for you to find it in the local supermarkets, you can take any kind of healthy snack like fruits, carrots or my all times favourite: cherry tomatoes.
Always bring water with you
Healthy food also means running water, and it is not always potable. In my experience, most of the countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia do not have a drinkable tap water supply. I used to carry everywhere with me plastic bottles. I’ve realised what a waste it was (about 480 billion plastic bottles are sold every year) and I purchased a small stainless steel bottle: the best investment of the year without the shadow of a doubt! There are a lot of designs and I’ve found a pink glittery one which is so cute. Now I buy a big 10 litres jar of water, leave it in my hostel room and I fill it up every morning. I’ve considerably reduced my plastic consumption and feel proud of it.
You can also buy a water filter (about 25 GBP or 30€). It lasts years and you can drink literally from anywhere.
Choose a hostel with a kitchen and a fridge
This is the first thing I check when booking a new room. It is unthinkable to me not to have a kitchen. You can cook and prepare your own food for the day. You can buy healthy perishable products and keep them in the fridge. Although hostels kitchens are not always spotless and often busy, it gives you much more options. I try to cook in empty hours, early in the morning or late at night and choose easy recipes such as pasta with vegetables or Mexican tortillas.
Eating healthy on a day out
Healthy food in restaurants
Local food is part of the discovery and the richness of a country. You absolutely have to try the specialities! There is for all budget but I strongly advise you to make sure the place is clean. Indeed, in low and middle income countries, the hygiene rules are not the same. It can be very hard for our digestive system to get used to it and food poisoning is common. This is why you have to be sure food is fresh, clean, and well cooked. Avoid raw fish and meat. But eat as many fruits and vegetables you want ! It is easy to find local healthy food. For example, some tropical places do the most amazing smoothies and grilled vegetables. You can also ask recommendations to other tourists or locals, they will be very happy to advise you.
Prepare your lunch box with your favourite healthy food
For me the most important and easiest way to keep a healthy diet. You can prepare your own food for the day. You can make an infinite types of sandwiches. Use fresh products such as grilled aubergines, mushrooms, hummus, guacamole or even peanut butter. For variations, you can use Mexican tortillas instead of bread (I know, I’ve mentioned it before, but I love it so much!). I assure you won’t be bored by your food!
Eating healthy while travelling can be a bit tricky but with enough preparation, it becomes a real pleasure. You discover new ingredients and flavours. That being said, do not be intransigent with yourself. It is OK to try fried fish in the south of Spain or burger in the USA! Just make sure it doesn’t happen every day.
What about you? What is your favourite local food? How do you keep healthy while on holiday?