Well, folks, it's almost that time of year: holiday travel time! Some of you might be like me and travel a lot year round, or you might travel only during the summer or holidays.
Either way, learning how to make healthy choices even whilst traveling is a useful skill to have.
In the span of 2 months, I’ve traveled from my home in Brooklyn to Boston to the UK (back and forth between London and Brighton) back to Brooklyn and then to Rivers Head in Long Island back to Brooklyn to Los Angeles to Palm Springs to Las Vegas and back to Los Angeles. WHEW. It’s a lot.
It also means that it’s difficult to maintain any kind of regular routine when it comes to food. Though I love cooking and prefer well-balanced meals, I can’t always do that. I can’t do any strict kind of diet, no matter how trendy keto or the whole 30 or intermittent fasting might be. When you’re traveling as much as I do, your schedule is constantly changing, you’re restricted to airport food or fast food or a meal someone has very kindly provided for you but isn’t necessarily to your liking. And it’s a sacrifice you have to make.
However, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways around this. I travel because I’m a performer, and as a performer, it’s important to me to feel good when I’m onstage. I need to be confident in order to project confidence, and in order to do both, I need to treat my body with kindness. Here are some tricks I’ve learned:
- Find a grocery store. If you’re on a long road trip or in one city for a little bit, getting a small amount of groceries (that won’t spoil) is almost always healthier and cheaper than going to a restaurant for every meal. You might not have a kitchen or even a microwave in your hotel room or wherever you’re staying, so you may be restricted to raw snacks, fruit, and vegetables. Hey, one trip, I feel like I lived off tangerines! But it was better than the alternative: fast food.
- Do your research. These days, there are a lot of other options, even in regions that aren’t known for having the healthiest of options. Do a quick google maps search for “healthy food.” Sometimes more specific searches (“vegetarian,” “vegan,” “organic,” or “farm-to-table”) may lead even more specific results.
- Ditch the bun on that burger and wrap it with lettuce. Substitute that side of fries for a salad. Only drink water. There are plenty of ways for you to find slightly more healthy alternatives when you don’t have a lot of options.
- Don’t beat yourself up! It’s okay to splurge on something less healthy. It’s okay to let loose. It’s okay to save money to just get a loaf of bread and live off that for a while (I’ve definitely been there). I travel a lot for work and for passion, but it’s okay to embrace that you’re seeing the world and dig into the local cuisine or the local fast food chain because that’s the only thing that’s open. Traveling teaches you to be flexible, and that’s a good thing.
- Balance it all with exercise! A lot of airports have yoga or fitness rooms now. Most hotels do. I usually do a half hour workout Youtube video or yoga in the mornings and then go on a long walk. If you’re keeping your body moving or re-focusing yourself on your health, it’ll help reinforce whatever work you’re doing with nutrition.
It’s a big beautiful world, and yeah, sometimes it’s filled with crowded airports and hot busses and nothing familiar, but you can take charge of your body and travels. Enjoy it!