Good Measure Meals Healthy ConnectionsThe Best Ways to Eat Healthy While Traveling - Good Measure Meals Healthy Connections

The Best Ways to Eat Healthy While Traveling

So you are off for yet another work trip. By the time you get to your hotel room, you realize that you are starving and everything is already closed…but there is that one vending machine down the hall. 

What do you do? How do you eat healthy while away from home? We’ve all been there.









Instead of being stuck with what the vending machine offers, plan your meals and snacks before you leave. Think of your light meal prep just like you would think about packing the suit you need for your meeting or booking your flight and hotel room.

Start by learning your hotel’s amenities. Do they have fridges and microwaves available for your room and is there a grilling area on-site? In addition, consider purchasing and carrying a small portable electric grill or small blender to make smoothie recipes.

Next, decide if you’d rather do your light grocery shopping before you leave or wait until you’ve arrived at your destination. If you opt to wait, no problem, just, research the grocery options in the area you are staying. Use Google or Yelp, or even the Happy Cow app, which is great for vegetarian-friendly grocery stores.

When you pack, bring items that will make food prep in your hotel room easier. Bring mason jars or BPA-free plastic food storage containers. Instead of disposable, invest in a set of camping utensils and food storage containers that you can wash and reuse. Pack a knife for easy cutting in your checked luggage.

If all else fails, choose one of your non-perishable snacks that you travel with. 

Go-to On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas

Overnight Oats

Quick Grocery List

  • -Old fashioned oats
  • -Low fat milk
  • -2% plain Greek yogurt
  • -Honey
  • -Nuts (bring from home)
  • -Fruit of any kind – berries are simple and often do not require slicing; or try dried fruit if you don’t want to keep fresh on hand
  • -Add chia for extra fiber, calcium, and omega 3s
  • 1. Add ½ cup oats, ½ cup milk, ¼ cup yogurt, 1 tsp honey to container. Lid and fridge overnight.
  • 2. When ready to eat, take out of fridge, add nuts and fruit, and enjoy
  • 3. Meant to be eaten cold, but if you’d like to heat in microwave, make sure container is microwave safe, and heat with lid off before adding fruit and nuts 
  • Coffee Cup Scramble with whole wheat bread and fruit
  • Fiber-rich carb paired with protein and lots of vitamins and minerals – this is a simple breakfast that will kick start your morning!
  • Grocery List
  • -Eggs (can buy as few as 6)
  • -Whole wheat bread
  • -Fruit (any kind; apples, banana, pear, and citrus hold up better without refrigeration)
  • 1. Forgot your microwave safe dish? Use the coffee mug in your room
  • 2. Crack 2 eggs, stir, and microwave for 30-45 seconds, stir, then microwave again for 30-45 seconds until almost set.
  • 3. Serve with bread (or make a sandwich!) and fruit
  • Breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional! You can eat whatever you want for breakfast. Some would rather a smoothie. You can even re-name the meal if you’d like! Just be intentional about eating some form of carb-protein balanced breakfast. You are literally breaking the “fast” of a (hopefully) good night’s rest.

    Turkey Sandwich

    • Grocery List
      • -Low sodium sliced turkey breast
      • -Whole wheat bread
      • -Salad bag (arugula is a savory favorite)
      • -Pre-sliced cheese (turkey is extremely lean, so adding one ounce of any kind of cheese is ok if it fits into your healthy eating plan!)
      • -Mustard (or bring from home in small container or single serve packets)
    • -Layer ingredients onto bread and enjoy!

    Not interested in turkey for breakfast just yet? That’s ok. If you’re already pairing bread with eggs, you can go ahead and make yourself a quick turkey sandwich for lunch. Don’t forget the salad greens. A protein-carb balanced breakfast is one of the easiest, yet neglected ways to make sure you don’t get hangry during the day.

    Rotisserie Chicken and Veggie Bowl

    • Grocery List
      • -Frozen veggie blend, lightly sauced – try Green Giant – it’s easy to find and they have multiple options in their “Lightly Sauced” line.
      • -Whole grain microwave bags/bowls (try brown rice/black rice/wild rice). If your frozen veggie blend includes a grain or starch (think potato), skip this step.
      • -Pre-cooked protein (rotisserie chicken/chicken/turkey sausage)
    • -Bring container. Heat ingredients according to package directions. Add to container and enjoy!

      When serving, make sure that at least ½ of your bowl is full of vegetables; protein and grains should each take up ¼ of the bowl. This is called the plate method.

     Grown-Up PB&J with a side of veggies and hummus

    • Grocery List
      • -Whole wheat bread
      • -Natural peanut butter (no hydrogenated or palm oils) – can also bring the individual packets from home.
      • -100% fruit preserves (Strawberry and grape are childhood favorites, but don’t be afraid to venture out into some of the lesser known berries such as mulberry or blackberry, just make sure it says 100% fruit.)
      • -Pre-cut raw veggies
      • -Small hummus cups
      • Layer, plate, and enjoy! 

    Get creative – these options are just a simple framework to get you started and away from the vending machines. By following these suggested, Registered Dietitian tips, your body will thank you–and--you should feel fueled with more energy for those important meetings and conferences!  Figuring out what to eat and when to eat amongst all of the info available online can be tricky and flat out overwhelming–especially when we add travel to the equation. Good Measure Meals Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are available to make sense of the madness–and to help simplify the steps you should take to being your healthiest self! If you are ready to take the next step and start the conversation of more personalized support, one of our dietitians would love to chat with you.

  • So just as you would make time for a work meeting, pencil in a 10-minute complimentary chat with a dietitian to talk about your health goals today. 

This blog was written by Sarah Shanahan, MS, RDN, LD of Good Measure Meals.

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