If you think it’s expensive to eat out, and even more difficult to find something healthy, just try doing it when you’re traveling! Nowadays, airports are filled with more fresh foods than ever, but you’ll also pay for the convenience of organic fruit, carrot sticks with hummus, and vegetarian sandwiches.
So what are you to do when you’re hoping to find healthy and affordable food while you’re seeing new sights and doing new things? Don’t worry, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
One of the key things to keep in mind about eating healthy on a budget while traveling is to keep it simple. Forget the stuff they sell at the airport, and just bring your own. First, buy yourself some travel-friendly containers: BPA-free to reduce toxin exposure and non-glass to get through security.
The day before you leave, prepare your food and pack it into your travel containers. The following are a few simple ideas:
Brown rice and steamed veggies
During travel, you don’t want to be eating heavy meals. They can make you constipated and nauseous, and mid-flight is no time to expect your stomach to be ironclad. You’re going to need plenty of energy, so fix some simple brown rice. This gluten-free grain is rich in magnesium, a mineral to help your nervous, digestive, and cardiovascular systems. It can also help you relax and rest later on when you arrive.
Brown rice is easy to digest, and can be eaten plain, or with the spices of your choice. Add some steamed veggies, and top it with some flax, chia, or pumpkin seeds if you like, and you’re set!
This one is cheap, delicious and oh-so-filling! You can’t take liquids on the plane, so here’s how to get around making overnight oats without liquid: coconut yogurt! As long as it’s sealed, you can get through security just fine. Mix coconut yogurt, oats, chia, flax, and any dried or fresh fruits you want together. Add some spices, raw stevia, or whatever else you like.
Oats are great for relaxation and digestion, and they also help the body produce melatonin to offset jet lag you might get later on. Chia will help regulate your system, energize you, and provide omega-3 fats to help keep your heart healthy. Their high potassium levels will help prevent bloating, while their hydrophilic abilities will also help keep you hydrated.
An orange and a few Brazil nuts
If you aren’t usually hungry while traveling but need an energizing snack, pack this great combo. Oranges are high in folate, potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin C to help keep your mood, immune system, and muscles working at their best. Brazil nuts are high in selenium, a mineral that promotes daily detoxification, helps reduce sugar cravings, and keeps your bones healthy. They’re also high in healthy fats to boost your mood and keep your cravings at bay.
Tip: Slice your orange before you pack it in your container, since those plastic airline knives aren’t so great.
Quinoa, sweet potato and kale bowl
Before you go, make a batch of quinoa. Then, bake a sweet potato and chop it up. Mix the two ingredients together in a bowl and add fresh kale on the top. Keep it in the fridge until you leave.
You can eat this on the plane, or as a healthy meal before you board the plane; it’s a great meal to tide you over in case you get delayed. One of the best features about this meal is that it’s easy to digest, high in protein, and rich in alkalizing minerals.
Apple slices and almond butter
It doesn’t get any simpler than this: apples and almond butter are a perfect duo to keep you energized and satiated. Just keep in mind, you’ll want to slice your apple before you board the plane. Fill another small container with organic almond (or cashew) butter, and enjoy!
These are just a few healthy, affordable snacks you can take on the plane with you. Others include a frozen smoothie, which will thaw out, homemade energy bars or vegan cookies, and homemade granola. Remember that if you have to buy something at the airport, choose something simple with few ingredients so you don’t get sick, and try to stick to fresh produce and water whenever possible.
While traveling, do your best to take care of your body so that you can fully enjoy your trip. Do you have a tip to share about eating healthily while traveling on a budget? Feel free to share!
—The Alternative Daily