As any health nut will know, travelling can be a tricky situation. When you pride yourself on filling your body with fresh, organic nutrients and have felt the benefits of eating this way, the prospect of time away where you can’t maintain the same eating routine can be a little daunting. I recently came back from a wonderful month long trip travelling through France - home of butter, cream and white bread – and was weary of the food prospects of restaurants which serve foie gras as the house specialty. However, I did manage to successfully eat my way through France, and had some of the best meals I have ever eaten, and would like to share some lessons I learnt along the way…
BE ORGANISED: The internet is your best friend. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the local area: the restaurants, cafes, juice bars grocery stores, health food shops – knowing what is around can be a great help and you can plan outings exploring new restaurants which have a menu that appeals to you. If you are travelling with people who will eat anything, look for menus which have a great appreciation for vegetables and a respect for simple food: that way you can fill your body with vegetable nutrients and share a meal with those who are desperate to try local delicacies – everybody wins!
BE PREPARED: really stock up; find your local organic health food store (every city has at least one) and/or farmer’s market and arm yourself with a great repertoire of food choices. I bought a reusable cooler bag and kept it with me at all times, filled with vegetables, berries, apples, chia seeds, almond milk, raw nuts and nut butters, sprouts, kale chips, seaweeds, green nutrition powders, goji berries, apple cider vinegar and avocadoes. That way, I always had something to eat and could add my own foods to a plain restaurant salad if I was desperate.
BE HABITUAL: I still started every morning with meditation and a glass of warm water with apple cider vinegar. I still practiced yoga. I still made sure I was drinking at least 2 litres of water each day – keeping the main parts of your daily routine is a great way to stay on track and keep in contact with your regular self while away. Doing this also ensures that you stay well and don’t ‘shock your system’ with new foods and feel sick and tired, or unable to enjoy your holiday.
BE ADVENTUROUS: I love to cook and experiment with new, fun food combinations. Use your time away as a chance to get fresh ideas – I visited some incredible Michelin starred restaurants as well as quaint family run cafes and was so inspired by the dishes that they would come up with – I always had my notepad and pen with me to record amazing ideas that I wanted to replicate at home. Use your time away as a chance to refresh your love for cooking!
BE FLEXIBLE: A meal may not be exactly what you intend, however you can always work around what you have been given. A few times I had to make my own dish using the restaurant menu – and that’s ok! Ultimately, a good chef just wants you to be happy and enjoy the meal! If you cannot find a dish on the menu that you like the sound of, create your own – look at the sides, the appetizers, the garnishes; all of these are being made in the kitchen, and can easily be plated up for you! I remember one menu offered beef tenderloin with sautéed spinach and roasted potato, duck breast with baked carrot and lamb with baked sweet potato, so I simply asked for the baked sweet potato, carrot and sautéed spinach – knowing that the chef already prepared all these sides. Another time at a noodle hut that the people I was with wanted to have dinner at I avoided the gluten based products and instead made a meal of appetizers, ordering steamed edamame, raw salad and miso soup! There is always a way to make it work!
BE ACCEPTING: Self-care is of paramount importance, and it is essential when you are away to be loving and caring of yourself. It is ok that every meal isn’t perfect. It is ok to slip up. It is ok if it is not exactly what you would have at home, or would have chosen had you been given the chance to design your ideal meal. Enjoy the time away, the experience and the company and know that it is a
special occasion that should be filled with joy!!
AFFIRMATION: I appreciate and value the unique experiences that the universe offers me.
How do you stay healthy when travelling? I would love to know!
Lauren Rose Burke is a writer, yogini and passionate health foodie from Sydney who spends her days drinking tea and dreaming of living in a house made of almonds and goji berries with a stream of coconut water outside…