healthy travelingWelcome to Part 3 of “Save the (Food) Environment.” (In case you missed them, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.) If you are making a commitment to eat healthier, that commitment shouldn’t get tossed out the window the minute you experience a change in your daily routine. It’s pretty easy to get in the habit of eating healthy at home and bringing healthy brown bag meals and snacks to work. What’s a bit trickier is extending those good habits to what you eat when traveling upends your normal day-to-day habits.

The more you travel, the more important it is to have a plan for how to eat healthfully. That’s true whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile.

Traveling by car is easiest: Train yourself to pack a small cooler or insulated tote bag with healthy, portable meals and snacks. Then, when hunger hits, you have tasty, nutritious food at your fingertips. Yes, many fast food restaurants have salads and other “healthier” options, but you can do better. Another option people don’t always think of are grocery stores. A single serving of yogurt or cottage cheese, a piece or two of fruit, packages of ready-to-eat raw veggies…plenty of healthy options in a pinch.

Flying the friendly skies? Let’s face it, airplane food is no treat. How do they get a piece of chicken to look like that? Seriously! Heck, most airlines make you pay for your meal now. Forget that…pack some hearty snacks! Baggies of nuts and trail mix travel well. So do cut up raw veggies and fruits like apples and oranges. If you don’t have to worry about your food getting squashed, the sky’s the limit: sandwiches, salads, more delicate fruits, whole grain crackers with low-fat string cheese. Just beware of anything that could break the liquid-or-gel prohibition. Vow right now to never fall prey to bad airport or airplane food again!

For more staying healthy on the go, enjoy “How to eat healthfully when you’re traveling,” which I wrote for The Seattle Times last year.

Next time: When fun and food collide