Traveling provides a unique opportunity to explore new cultures, meet different people, and yes, indulge in a variety of cuisines. While the joy of discovering new flavors can be exhilarating, it can also derail your healthy eating habits. However, with a little preparation and mindfulness, you can maintain a healthy diet even while you’re on the move. As a food enthusiast and a cook, I like to maintain a healthy lifestyle and encourage mindful eating because health is everything and we should be considerate of what we intake. Here are my very own trusted and tried seven tips on how to eat mindfully when traveling.
You are welcome to watch my video on my channel talking more about this important topic:
1. Do Your Homework
Before you set off on your journey, take some time to research the food options available at your destination. Check out the menus of local eateries and identify the healthier dishes that align with your dietary preferences. To prepare your stomach for a day of adventure, start with a light breakfast. This approach will allow you to adjust your intake throughout the day and plan accordingly, giving you more freedom to indulge in local specialties without overeating.
2. Have Your Snacks Ready
Instead of relying on food from street vendors or airport kiosks, consider packing your own snacks. Healthy, protein-filled options like fruits, nuts, or protein bars are easy to carry, and store, and can help curb your hunger between meals. Having these nutritious munchies on hand means you won’t be tempted by unhealthy snacks when hunger strikes.
Dry fruits are my go-tos. Easy to pack and great to snack!
3. Veggies First
When it comes to main meals, consider adopting a “veggies first” approach. What I like to do is, divide my plate into two portions and aim to fill one section with lots of vegetables. The other half is for the main meal. These nutrient-dense foods will provide you with essential vitamins and minerals while leaving less room for heavier, less healthy options. This way, you will have an eye on the portion of your healthy intake.
4. Drink Water
As common as it may sound, drinking water before meals can help control your appetite and prevent overeating. Try drinking a cup or two of water 20 minutes before each meal. I like to add a dash of apple cider vinegar for a health boost once in a way. I’ve found that having some fluids in my system helps prevent me from overeating. Moreover, keeping a water bottle with you at all times is a great way to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Eat Slowly
One of my favorite tips comes from Maimonides’ book of health dos and don’ts: eat slowly. In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to eat quickly without paying attention to our food. Taking the time to chew your food thoroughly can aid digestion and enhance the enjoyment of your meal. This mindful eating practice encourages us to be present, savor our food, and listen to our bodies. It has been scientifically proven that you should chew your food at least 32 times before swallowing for healthy eating habits.
Regular physical activity aids digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight. Exploring your travel destination on foot gives you the dual benefit of seeing new sights and promoting your well-being. Whether you prefer a morning stroll, a late-night walk, or mini walks after each meal, moving your body does wonders for your digestion and overall health. My personal routine includes a 20 minutes walk after each meal. This way, you dont sweat yourself one time, and the meals are digested better.
7. Allow Yourself to Have Fun
Lastly, remember that the point of vacation is to enjoy yourself. While it’s important to make healthy choices, don’t let dietary restrictions rob you of the joy of exploring new cuisines. Embrace the experience with a fresh mindset, listen to what your body needs, and make wise choices. Our bodies are temples that need care and respect. Treating them well doesn’t mean avoiding all indulgences; it means finding a balance and avoiding things that could make us unwell.
Eating healthily while traveling doesn’t have to be a chore. With a bit of planning and mindfulness, you can enjoy your journey, savor local flavors, and maintain a balanced diet. So, pack your bags, set off on your adventure, and remember: eat mindfully, enjoy wholeheartedly, and travel healthfully! For more healthy tips and mindful eating recipes, visit Batel’s Kitchen!
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