"Eat well, travel often." It became one of my mantras while living in Thailand back in 2012, and it has stayed with me since.
Throughout my time in the Land of Smiles, I was able to explore countless cities, visit neighboring countries, and even ring in the new year watching fireworks at the Sydney Opera House.
After returning to the states, I continued to travel frequently—road tripping around the Eastern U.S., going on domestic and international business trips, and spending long weekends visiting family and friends.
Now that it’s summer, I’ve interacted with many Daily Juice customers looking for healthy snacks, nutrient-dense meals, and detoxifying juice cleanses to help them get back to feeling good post-vacay.
My love for wellness and wanderlust makes self-care intuitive when I’m on the road. It’s not about sticking to a regimented routine; it’s about providing your body with what it needs to function well while exploring new surroundings and eating new foods. My experiences have taught me that I don’t want to wake up feeling bloated, knowing I have a full day of jungle trekking, kayaking, or lounging at the beach ahead of me. I don’t want to spend the flight home thinking about how I wish I was more energized during the trip.
When traveling, you don’t have time to feel anything but your best, and that’s exactly why it’s important to give your body as much love as you can. Here are a few of my top tips for living well while traveling.
Have a plan
Before you pack your bags, research local restaurants to find some spots that will jive with your food preferences. I typically use Happy Cow and Yelp, and I’m also a fan of asking friends for recommendations. Using #nycvegan on an Instagram post lead to a recommendation for by Chloe, one of my favorite NYC treats.
Quinoa Taco Salad from by Chloe in NYC
You don’t have to worry about missing out on the local cuisine in order to accommodate your food preferences. Tons of restaurants are creating dishes for people with dietary restrictions. While in New Orleans, I tried vegan gumbo at Seed, and in Thailand I found some restaurants completely dedicated to vegan/vegetarian Thai food.
For international travel, I recommend getting a translation card for food allergies and restrictions (I use Select Wisely).
If you have access to a kitchen while traveling, set aside time to explore a local farmer’s market and make your own meal. When visiting family and friends, offer to cook for/with people who may have a different diet from you. This can be a fun way to teach others about your lifestyle.
Pack emergency staples
Avoiding processed snacks while traveling can be a challenge. There’s nothing like the stress of a delayed flight that makes me want to tear open a bag of veggie chips, so I like to be prepared by stashing a few items in my carry on. I usually carry a few pieces of fruit and several of my favorite energy bars. Go Raw Sprouted Bars and Austin-based Bearded Bros Bars are my go-tos. Having an emergency stash allows you to stay energized while you’re buzzing around a distant city. Nuts and seeds are easy to store and reliable sources of protein. Almonds, specifically, help curb your appetite when you get those mid-flight munchies or need an afternoon pick me up when adventuring.
Snacks for a trip to Dublin
Exercising while on the road doesn’t have to mean waking up early and spending an hour in the hotel “gym.” (let’s be honest, it’s usually a few ancient treadmills and some worn out dumbbells). Being in an unfamiliar city gives you an opportunity to try something new.
I initially started practicing yoga in a Thai-speaking class because that was all that was available in the city I lived in. Since then, everywhere I go, I challenge myself to get creative with my workouts.
In Dublin, I walked to work every day (umbrella in hand). While in NYC, I tried New York-based SoulCycle for the first time (Fun fact: Lucy Liu was in my first class). One of my proudest accomplishments was running 6.2 miles to Tokyo Tower when staying in Tokyo, and it turned out to be the farthest I’ve ever run. When I’m visiting my family in Florida, we always go for walks on the beach or in our neighborhood. While spending time with my fitness-loving family and friends, I ask them if I can come along on their regular workouts. I’ve gone hiking in LA with my college roommate, attended a yoga class in Golden Gate Park with an old colleague, and worked out at a community boot camp with my aunt.
After my run to Tokyo Tower
Your wellness plan doesn’t have to be put on hold for you to enjoy your next trip. I enjoy my trips most when I treat my body well and still feel good when I get home.
If you need help brainstorming how you can be good to yourself while on your next trip, reach out to me at email@example.com.
Melinda Nelson is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Program Manager at Daily Juice Cafe. She is passionate about real food and authentic living. You can visit Melinda at our Far West location and follow her journey at MelindaCNelson.com, on Instagram @melindacnelson, or on Facebook.
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