6 tips for eating healthy when you’re travelling

Expert tips on plane snacks, cocktail choices and ways to sneak in exercise.

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Photo, Erik Putz.
Photo, Erik Putz.

 

Fly with your own food

Skip pricey, ho-hum airplane food and try these healthy, easy-to-pack meals and snacks instead*

1. Pack your own bento-style entrée:

Grain Salads
Full of hearty whole grains and nutrient-rich veggies, these salads make great all-in-one meals. One cup of quinoa has 6 g of protein and 4 g of fibre. Add your favourite veggies and a light vinaigrette.

Edamame
It’s easy to prepare and loaded with protein to keep you full during a long flight. Half a cup contains 9 g of protein and 4 g of fibre.

Fruit
An airport fruit cup might set you back $7, so save money for souvenirs by bringing your own. Fibre-filled berries will satisfy your dessert craving too.

2. Bring satisfying snacks:

Popcorn
This whole-grain snack may look like junk food, but it’s low in calories and high in fibre. Three cups has fewer than 100 calories.

Trail mix
Combine your favourite heart-healthy nuts and seeds for a mid-flight pick-me-up. Protein-packed nuts, antioxidant-rich dried cranberries and dark chocolate make a great combo.

Smart chips
Avoid the vending machine trap and stash satisfyingly crunchy snacks, like kale or veggie chips. A serving of kale chips has 2 g of fibre plus your daily recommended intake of vitamins A and C.

*Check the rules and regulations for your flight before bringing food on board.

 

Choose your cocktail wisely

“Liquid calories add up fast,” says Toronto-based registered dietitian Carol Harrison. Here’s how some popular vacation drinks rank when it comes to calories:

Pina Colada, 9 oz = 492 calories

Margarita, 4 oz = 232 calories

Cosmopolitan, 3 oz = 146 calories

Mojito, 6 oz = 143 calories

White Wine Spritzer, 6 oz (3 oz wine) = 73 calories

 

Pick one indulgence

When you’re on vacation, you want to relax, not count calories — and that’s totally fine, says Harrison. She recommends being choosy and picking one indulgence a day. “If you’re dying for your favourite flavour of ice cream or a slushy drink, go for it, but then take a pass on the dessert table later that evening.”

 

Plan in advance

A little forward thinking can make it easier to eat healthfully away from home. Find a grocery store close to your hotel and stock up on fruit, as well as yogurt and milk if you have a mini-bar. Stowing instant oatmeal or cereal in resealable bags in your suitcase also helps make breakfasts easy, healthy and cheap.

 

Make exercise an event

Whether you’re frolicking in the sea or strolling 5th Avenue, it’s not hard to sneak in some extra exercise on vacation. Take it a little further by scheduling activities specific to your destination, like paddleboarding (which burns 430 calories an hour), snorkelling (340 calories), hiking (405 calories) or a cycling tour (270 calories).

 

Listen to your body

All-inclusive resort buffets and large restaurant portions are the biggest pitfalls in holiday eating. Being mindful is key, Harrison says. “The difference between feeling satisfied and feeling full is huge, and stopping when you feel satisfied could save you 100 to 200 calories per meal. Over the course of a week, that can really add up.”

 

Photo, Sian Richards.
Instant Tropical Sorbet. Photo, Sian Richards.

Fake a holiday at home

Planning a staycation? Transport yourself to an island paradise with our low-fat Instant Tropical Sorbet. Made with frozen mango and bananas, it’s ready in just five minutes, so you’ll feel miles away in no time.