Traveling is always exciting and overwhelming, but finding my favorite healthy staple foods abroad is next to impossible. With all the new sites to see and explore, our everyday diets and healthy lifestyle practices can take a back seat to our adventures. It isn’t realistic or practical to plan meals and bring a 21-Day Clean Program while traveling (although our Cleanse Shake packets travel ideally with our Shaker Bottle).
Sure, we can go back to our regular staple foods when we return home, but what do we do about our eating habits when we cannot access the food we are accustomed to eating back home?
Staple foods abroad to stay healthy and balanced
When I was traveling, there was so much to explore and eat, and the possibilities were endless — I was overjoyed and took full advantage of all that was available to me. However, it started to take its toll on me after a while. My staple foods back home of quinoa and kale salads were distant memories, and I knew I needed to bring some structure back into my life during my next adventure,
When I travel, the first thing I do is head straight to the grocery store and stock up my fridge with some familiar staple foods to help me get through my travels. The options might not be the most delicious or exciting, but frequently in other countries, we have to improvise to stay on track.
Lemons and Limes
When we drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning, it sets our bodies up to receive nutrients in the best possible way. Citrus is acidic, but it converts to alkaline in our bodies. When the pH balance in our bodies is leaning towards acidic, it can mean that our immunity levels are down, and we are more prone to getting sick. The antioxidant and alkalizing benefits of citrus (or apple cider vinegar, if citrus fruits aren’t available) counteract acidity levels in our bodies. Drinking lemon water every morning is a great practice to incorporate into the morning routines to keep us balanced and refreshed all day.
Exploring and trying fresh local fruit wherever we are staying is a great way to try new produce and find new favorite food. Eating fruit in season is always a great way to ensure that we get the freshest produce that the markets have to offer.
If I find myself in New York in the fall or winter, I know apples are a great staple food to carry on the go. When in Vietnam, I try to find pineapple, and in Mexico, eating fresh mangoes with chili and lime is great. Locally grown fruits and vegetables contain the vitamins and minerals we need to feel good (not to mention antioxidant beauty foods). By making the first meal of my day something I feel terrific about, like fresh fruit, instead of settling for whatever they can crank out for us at the nearest cafe, I’m more likely to make wiser food choices the rest of the day.
Nuts are high in sustaining protein and energizing healthy fats, making them a great snack to have on hand at all times. Almonds and walnuts are my favorites, but any nut or seed can keep me satisfied between meals and bump up my protein intake for the day. For added crunch and nutrition, I’ve jazzed up my fair share of salads and other restaurant dishes with a handful of nuts that I carry around with me.
If kale, chard, or collard greens are available, by all means, grab those, but I’ve found that most of the time, broccoli is the greenest thing I can find while traveling. There will be a lot of places in my travels that have no semblance of a kitchen whatsoever, which can make cooking vegetables more difficult. I have blanched broccoli in hot water, steamed it in the microwave, and even eaten it raw when there weren’t cooking options.
There are not a ton of other vegetables that can pack a nutritional punch like broccoli does that can also be enjoyed in any state. Broccoli is loaded with dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, making it a great vegetable to stock up on. Because broccoli travels so well, I’ve been able to pack it as my lunch (with some nuts, of course) on many long rides or plane trips, ensuring I was satisfied. Don’t forget to pack a good quality powdered greens to make sure you get them in.
I know it might seem like health-nut overkill, but I always carry coconut oil with me in my purse. Coconut oil is a fantastic staple food because it is so versatile. Healthy fats satiate us, meaning that they fill us up and keep us satisfied for a long time. Other staple foods like avocados, eggs, and fatty fish are all great sources of healthy fats, but those options can be hard to find and tend to be expensive when you’re budgeting for travel.
A spoonful of coconut oil whisked furiously into my morning coffee is an excellent alternative to creamer and a great way to start the day. Coconut oil also possesses natural beauty benefits – it’s great to use as a hair mask or deep conditioning treatment instead of a conditioner. I toss coconut oil on broccoli, wash my face with it and use it as lotion. You can put it on everything. It’s always worth the money, and I’ve never wasted an ounce so far!
Written by the Clean Team
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