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Nutritionist Tip: Food and Travel

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

If you’re like me, you’re constantly dreaming and scheming up ideas of places to travel to and explore. If I could live the nomad life and spend my time travelling different places on this planet, meeting new people, exploring new cultures and tasting new foods, I’d set sail tomorrow!

However, right now that’s not an option, so I will settle for one or two annual vacations that allow me to travel abroad. I see travel as a chance to see a new corner of the world and gain new perspective about different ways of life and the way I live my own. Travel is also an opportunity to explore new cultures through food!

Here’s a few tips to remember when travelling an exploring food.

1) Depending on where you’re traveling, raw fruits and veggies should be handled carefully. Because of new environments, bacteria and possible pathogens, foodborne illness is a likely risk and sure way to put a roadblock in your travels. Always make sure to wash and peel fruits and vegetables yourself when possible. This gives you control over how food is handled, cleaned and prepared. Believe me, food poisoning and diarrhea are not your friend ever, least of all when you’re supposed to be enjoying your hard-earned vacation.

2) Check your water source. Unless you’re in Iceland, I would not recommend drinking from tap for the same reason as above. You are in a new environment, and can be exposed to a variety of unfamiliar bacteria and pathogens that will lead to unpleasant results. But seriously, if you go to Iceland, drink all the tap water you want. In fact, restaurants just set out bottles of water for their dining guests. No need to pay for it or even think of buying plastic bottled water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you so that you can refill on the go. This saves you money on having to purchase water at the store and it much more environmentally friendly be reducing plastic waste.

3) Don’t count calories! You’re on vacation to relax, explore and have fun! There’s nothing fun or relaxing about counting calories. Depending on where and how you travel, you will most likely do a lot of walking and exploring in addition to other adventurous activities you’ve planned. Just enjoy your time and listen to your body. If you’re hungry eat, when you’re full stop. Definitely don’t deprive yourself of local specialties and treats because you may not get the chance to try them again. Plus, practicing restrictive behaviors only causes stress and anxiety, leading you to not enjoy your travels are carefree as you should.

4) Bring snacks. I’m a huge fan of snacking and coming prepared. Sometimes you may not have the flexibility or time to get food when you’re on the go travelling. That is why I like to stock up on snacks. I often bring snacks with me from home when I’m travelling. Small convenient foods like protein bars, nuts, or dried fruit are eat snacks to carry in small bags or even in your pocket so that you don’t find yourself starving in them idle of a journey with no immediate access to a market or restaurant. It’s all about being prepared.

Lastly, traveling is supposed to be an expanding and growing experience. You are forced outside of your comfort zone. You explore new places, cultures, traditions, architecture, celebrations and ways of living. This includes food, but it’s not the end all be all. There are many other ways to plan and structure activities that don’t solely revolve around food and eating. In fact, sometimes you might find yourself in such an exciting adventure that you don’t even realize how hungry you have become. That’s a way of truly living.

Aida Sadeghi,MS,CNS

Learn more about services FeelGoodEats Nutrition provides here.

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