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Healthy eating habits on the road.

Travel Forums General Talk Healthy eating habits on the road.

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1. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

This one is pretty close to my heart as I am very careful what I eat at home - mostly vegetables, soups, stir-fries, a little meat, even less bread - but find it difficult to keep it balanced away from home (especially Europe) as I'm always on a strict budget.

I get very bad headaches if I eat 'takeaway' foods more than one day in a row, as most seem to contain lots of bread and meat. I drink lots of water at home, but perhaps should make myself drink even more when I'm on the move. I always carry fresh fruit (apples keep well in the bag). My ideal would be to cut bread and meat right out, but I don't know how and still have the energy and stamina to keep well.

Any veggies, vegans, or veteran travelers out there? How do you cope and still keep it interesting? Thanks.

2. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

I travel abroad quite a bit - sometimes working, sometimes playing.
As much as I like fish and meat in my home country, I tend to steer towards vegetarian diets when away. No problems - no tummy upsets (well nearly never!!)

3. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

One reply. Cheers though.

I suppose it's not much of a question really - at least not for here.
I'll post it up to a 'foodie' forum and see what happens.

4. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

I have to say it's sometimes unbelievably tough to get healthy food. I have to be quite careful what I eat with intolerances to various things, but every now and again I just have to eat what's available and suffer...not very pleasant at times either! I can't really eat bread, cheese, eggs and milk they make me really sick, so sometimes it's really hard to find something to eat...in Asia where we are it's so much easier than Europe or the UK!

In some places in the world vegetables are almost non-existent in meals and I really struggle as I don't eat that much meat anymore either (my boyfriend is the complete opposite and has to eat 2 meals a day of meat!), so where we can we order 'compromise meals' where I have all the veg and he has all the meat! But travelling alone would be a lot harder to do this. We look for markets and shops to buy fruit and veg to carry with us and try and limit unhealthy snacks.

We were both shocked at a recent trip back to the UK as the vegetarian options on the menu mostly had cheese in them which meant I couldn't eat them and I ended up eating baked potatoes and grilled veggies where there was that option (or sometimes just buying fruit to make do). Some waitresses were looking at me really strangely when I was questioning them about the menu - if there was cheese or eggs in the meal!

The alternative we try and do is to stay in places where we can cook for ourselves, I'd say a lot of places in Europe would have this so it will be much, much easier for you to 'control' what you are eating. You can just go and buy what you need in the markets/supermarkets and it will probably be cheaper than eating out too.

You say about cutting bread and meat out completely, this can be done but you will have to balance the lost protein of meat with nuts and other foods like tofu...maybe the foodie forums can give you tips on that?

[ Edit: Edited on 14-Jul-2009, at 09:11 by loubylou ]

5. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

I was an economic vegetarian, but I kept the habbit even after I manage to have funds again.

It gets tough, especially since meat is cheap and its in every dish... How to kill the craving? Uhm, I guess its all in the mind. Eating alone helps and just savoring the flavour. Protein- peanuts in my pockets, almonds and milk chocolates. Then I learned how to eat tofu and river fish, which I use to despise. Meeting Vegatarian travellers help a lot! As for water, take it from the hostel, and I dont mean the tap.

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by Derestanne (Budding Member 36 posts) 7y

I agree, eating on the road is definitely a special challenge. The name of the game to me is cleanliness. If the patio is messy and the dining room and restrooms are yucky looking, it's a real good bet that the kitchen and food preparation areas are dirty as well. My wife has an eagle eye for this - she has to - she is a Registered Nurse and she knows what happens when sanitation is neglected and employees don't wash their hands. So aside from inviting looking menu's - LOOK FOR THE CLEANEST PLACES THAT YOU CAN FIND!

The wife and I keep trail mix and some fruit in the car at all times. It's a real necessity for us because she is a diabetic.

We also never leave home without these:

1) Digestive Enzymes (such as chewable papaya tablets).

2) Acidophilus Capsules. If you are lactose intolerant these can help digest dairy products. They're also helpful if you should drink water somewhere with too much of the wrong kind of bacteria. Look for Capsules that are "multi-strain" acidophilus and with at least one million organisms. Less than this is a waste of money.

3) If someone should become ill on the road or otherwise, Activated Charcoal Capsules absorb toxins in the digestive tract until you can get checked out by a physician or the emergency room. Activated Charcoal also relieves gas and bloating.

Fabyomama mentioned headaches. I try to be very careful with alcohol, caffeine and MSG (monosodium glutimate). If I go to a Chinese Restaurant I always tell them "no MSG please".

8. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

I learned from a so called expert once, that blended grape wines will cause more of a headache than single grape varieties. It means, in practice - that a bottle of champagne costing maybe £35, can give you a headache (blended grape - more often than not), whereas an Australian sparkling chardonnay costing perhaps £8, with grapes from just one vineyard will leave you feeling OK the following morning.
Comments??

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Quoting fabyomama

I am very careful what I eat at home - mostly vegetables, soups, stir-fries, a little meat, even less bread...

I get very bad headaches if I eat 'takeaway' foods more than one day in a row, as most seem to contain lots of bread and meat.

I am very curious about why you avoid bread. Do you have a problem with Gluten? Or do you mean the white, tasteless illegitimate lovechild between perverted sugar-free cake and cardboard that you get at a certain US fastfood chains when you say bread?

For myself I cannot imagine a healthy lifestyle without the wholegrain sourdough rye-sunflower seed bread from the organic bakery down the road from my house. I always try to get German bread even when I am abroad, because it is much higher in fibre and thus better for your health than white bread. To me that is the ticket to healthy low budget travelling - it is cheap and relatively easy to find in most of Europe. Combined with tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce and meat cuts, cheese or veggie spreads it makes excellent take-away meals. All you have to do is prepare your sandwiches yourself at the hostel and then pack them into your daypack.

10. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

I am very curious about why you avoid bread. Do you have a problem with Gluten? Or do you mean the white, tasteless illegitimate lovechild between perverted sugar-free cake and cardboard that you get at a certain US fastfood chains when you say bread? - t_maia

I have a problem with the 'illegitimate lovechild'. ;) And thanks for the tip about rye bread. It should keep better too.

As far as I know, I'm not allergic to any kind of foods. I used to eat a lot of flour-based product, meat, eggs and lots of other dairy, but over the years I opted to change my diet as I started to have less energy, crippling headaches and was prone to any bug that was around. I did a fast of about 5 days and replaced most of what I ate with fruit, vegetables and much more water than I used to drink. I felt amazing very quickly and the coughs, colds and headaches that used to plague me completely disappeared. I just couldn't believe how well it worked.

That was all a few years back now. I still include small amounts meat (about a third of what I used to eat) but haven't bought bread or milk for many months. I'll eat and enjoy what ever is offered if I'm visiting friends and family, but it's only for the day so it's ok. Any longer and I start to feel sick. Hence the original post.

I hope I don't come across as a fanatic, though I'm always checking my family's fridges for 'poison'

They just ignore me now.

edit: btw - thanks for all the replies!

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jul-2009, at 04:28 by fabyomama ]