Five Ways to Eat Well While Travelling

Eating Well © Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

Alongside packing and jet lag, the food available at airports and on the road can be a bit of a downer and really affect the way you feel throughout your journey.

Now that restrictions have eased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are keen to get travelling again.

Kate Delmar-Morgan, head of clinics and a registered nutritional therapy practitioner from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition, has offered up her top tips for eating well when on holiday.

Avoid eating and driving

If you are road-tripping, be careful not to eat and drive at the same time.

“If you eat and drive, you are more likely to eat quickly, which can lead to compromised digestion,” she said. “Digestion starts with chewing, if you are rushing to eat the food, it won’t be well digested, so take a break and stop to eat.”

Don’t drink and fly

It can be very tempting to hit the airport bar before a flight, but drinking alcohol may actually be counterproductive.

“Even a small amount of alcohol will cause you to become dehydrated, which can ultimately make jet lag worse and possibly cause constipation if you are flying long-haul. This will leave you feeling uncomfortable,” the expert explained. “Alcohol affects sleep patterns, making it harder to adjust to a new time zone. Water is the best thing you can drink both before and during a flight.”

Food for focus

What you eat can impact your concentration levels, so whether you’re getting behind the wheel or looking after children on a flight, you need to keep your wits about you.

“Quick snack foods are often chosen for car journeys or at airports and train stations, but foods like this tend to be highly refined, sweet, and lacking in nutrients, so they may lead to poor blood sugar balance,” noted Delmar-Morgan. “This in itself may cause poor concentration and feelings of fatigue, which won’t help your energy levels or focus when travelling.”

Pack some sandwiches

It’s a great idea to make sandwiches if you are going on a long drive or journey—just be sure to increase the nutritional value where possible. “Aim to make or buy sandwiches with wholegrain bread or a wholemeal wrap, rather than white bread, as this will provide more consistent energy. Try not to overload on starchy carbs as these can make you feel sleepy. A definite no-no if you are driving,” she continued. “If you buy a packet sandwich, choose wholemeal bread and try taking away a slice of bread from each sandwich and putting it back together with maximum filling but less bread.”

Plan ahead

Irregular meal patterns and skipping meals can cause fluctuations in tiredness and decrease energy levels.

“If you are going on a long journey, take snacks that will support energy and concentration, such as a piece of fruit and some nuts or some hummus and oatcakes,” she advised. “For road trips, take a cool bag or box and prepare a tasty salad that can easily be eaten with just a fork. These can be loaded with healthy salad items, grated carrot, peppers, quinoa and proteins such as chicken or tuna.”


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