Eating healthy while traveling can be a huge challenge. At least for me.
What makes it even worse and challenging is being on a budget! But it’s essential if we want to stay physically and mentally healthy on the road.
Seriously, so many health-related issues can be fixed by eating well.
What works for one individual doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work for another.
I tried many things in order to find the right ones that work perfectly for me, so here they are:
1. Drink water
Lets start with the “boring one”. I know you see/read/hear this everywhere but think about it, if its that “popular”, I think its time for you to try it out. At least that was my logic.
What I learned is that it is super important to stay hydrated in order to eat healthy!
You are probably thinking “what does this have to do with eating on a budget?! “. But, besides increasing brain function and physical performance, staying hydrated prevents unnecessary hunger and poor choices.
Many of the unhealthy cravings we experience on the road can be satisfied by simply drinking water! And I think that I don’t even need to remind you how much you are actually saving up.
2. Get enough rest
Ok so, first I advised you to drink water, and now this?!? Like what the heck has resting to do with eating?
The truth is, lack of sleep equals making poor choices when it comes to food.
I always feel better when I am well rested and got enough sleep, and feeling better makes me want to eat better food in general.
Lesson learned: make sure you are taking some time to rest. It will definitely give you more will to make the right choices when it comes to food.
3. “one a day” rule
This is seriously the best tip you should try out. I started to pack my own food and started using the “one a day” rule.
It basically means that you can pick one meal/restaurant a day that you want to eat out.
So for example, I would eat breakfast at home, snacks/lunch that I had packed AND THEN choose a delicious place to eat dinner.
This will definitely, without doubt, save you a ton of money and calories from not eating out at every meal.
4. Pack your own food and snack smart
Don’t be afraid to stop at the grocery store/supermarket instead of a fast food restaurant! It gives you way bigger healthy choices. And it saves you tons of money.
Packing my own food definitely saved me money and saved me from making bad choices with picking “the wrong” meal that I will most likely regret after.
Also, packing your own food gives you the freedom to add healthier ingredients and control the portion.
And as snacks are inevitable when traveling, make sure to snack smart by choosing foods that are high in protein (like nuts and lean meats) to keep you fuller for longer.
5. Add veggies and fruits
When ordering out, at every breakfast, lunch and dinner – have vegetables and add fruits in the dessert!
Even if you cook or order some macaroni.
Just please add vegetables and make sure you have them at least during 2 out of 3 meals.
The fiber in veggies keeps you feeling full longer, and eating it first will take space away from the less-healthy decisions.If you wanna try everything out when visiting a new place and your meals are not the healthiest, a good salad for lunch will help you keep things in check.
Oh and, in-season produce will be a lot cheaper since farmers are mass producing these foods. In season produce is also fresher which means HEALTHIER.
If you just don’t have the time to research the “in-season list”, no worries.
Here it is:
Year-round vegetables (January – December)
Amaranth, Arrowroot, Banana squash, Bell peppers, Black eyed peas, Black radish, Bok choy, Broccoflower, Broccolini, Burdock root, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Cherry tomatoes, Chinese eggplant, Galangal root, Leek, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Olives, Onions, Parsnips, Pearl Onions, Potatoes, Rutabagas, Salad Savoy, Snow peas, Wasabi root, Yucca Root
Vegetables in Spring (March – April – May)
Artichokes, Asparagus, Belgian endive, Broccoli, Butter lettuce, Chayote squash, Chives, Collard greens, Corn, Fava beans, Fennel, Fiddlehead ferns, Green beans, Manoa Lettuce, Morel mushrooms, Mustard greens, Pea pods, Peas, Purple Asparagus, Radicchio, Ramps, Read leaf lettuce, Rhubarb, Snow peas, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring baby lettuce, Swiss chard, Vidalia onions, Watercress
Vegetables in Summer (June – July – August)
Beets, Bell peppers, Butter lettuce, Chayote squash, Chinese long beans, Corn, Crookneck squash, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Endive, Garlic, Green beans, Green soybeans, Jalapeno peppers, Lima beans, Manoa lettuce, Okra, Peas, Radishes, Shallots, Sugar snap peas, Summer squash, Tomatillo,Tomatoes, Winged beans, Zukon gold potatoes, Zucchini
Vegetables in Fall (September – October – November)
Acorn squash, Belgian endive, Black salsify, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Butter lettuce, Buttercup squash, Butternut squash, Cauliflower, Chayote squash, Chinese long beans, Delicata squash, Diakon radish, Endive, Garlic, Ginger, Jalapeno peppers, Jerusalem artichoke, Kohlrabi, Pumpkin,Radicchio, Sweet dumpling squash, Sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, Turnips, Winter squash
Vegetables in Winter (December – January – February)
Belgian endive, Brussels sprouts, Buttercup squash, Collard greens, Delicata squash, Kale, Leeks, Sweet dumpling squash, Sweet potatoes, Turnips, Winter squash
Year-round fruits (January – December)
Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Cranberries, Coconut, Kiwano, Lemons, Papayas
Fruits in Spring (March – April – May)
Apricot, Barbados cherries, Bitter melon, Cherimoya, Honeydew, Jackfruit, Lime, Lychee, Mango, Orange, Pineapple, Strawberries
Fruits in Summer (June – July – August)
Apricot, Asian pear, Barbados cherries, Black currants, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Breadfruit, Cantaloupe, Casaba melon, Champagne grapes, Cherries, Cherries (sour), Crenshaw melon, Durian, Elderberries, Figs, Grapefruit, Grapes, Honeydew melons, Jackfruit, Key lime, Lime, Loganberries, Longan, Loquat , Lychee, Mulberries, Nectarines, Olallieberries, Passion fruit, Peach, Persian melon, Plum, Raspberries, Sapodilla, Sapote, Strawberries, Sugar apple, Watermelon
Fruits in Fall (September – October – November)
Asian pear, Barbados cherries, Cactus pear, Cape gooseberries, Crab apple, Cranberries, Feijoa, Grapes, Guava, Huckleberries, Jujube, Key limes, Kumquats, Muscadine grapes, Passion fruit, Pear, Persimmons, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Quince, Sapote, Sharon fruit, Sugar apple
Fruits in Winter (December – January – February)
Cactus pear, Cherimoya, Clementines, Dates, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Orange, Passion fruit, Pear, Persimmons, Pummelo, Red banana, Red currants, Sharon fruit, Tangerines
And if you don’t care to remember this list, at least remember that potatoes and bananas are always in-season and full of nutrition.
How do you manage to eat healthy on a budget while traveling?
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