Eating clean is challenging enough in our own country, eating out can be costly, opting for organic is borderline unreasonable on a tight budget, and so on. Even if you get yourself into a diet groove here, once you go overseas, that might all go out the window and you're left wondering how to fuel up without throwing all your hard work away.
Eating abroad is tricky, especially if you're going to countries that are polar opposites from where you're based. Here are some tips to help you navigate clean eating while on a holiday.
Do some research into the food hygiene and culture of where you're going. What is the main body of their local cuisine? Are there options that can accommodate your diet? Is local produce available, and will you have the capacity to cook? These are just some questions to ask. That way, you can mitigate some of the issues that might crop up, and decide what food you should pack over, if any. Always think of healthy snacks, and more portable, lasting foods like nuts, oatmeal, cheeses, nut butters and such.
BOOK A PLACE WITH KITCHEN EQUIPMENT
Regardless of whether it is a hotel, hostel or Airbnb, book accommodation that will give you the liberty of prepping basic meals. Even if it is just a pot and an electric stove, or a microwave, having kitchen equipment on hand is very useful if you're in a pinch with local cuisine. This also allows you to do your meal prep abroad.
REMEMBER WHAT EATING CLEAN IS ABOUT
Many take the notion of eating clean to far extremes, when it is really about embracing fresh produce, while cutting out processed foods. Follow this as a guideline and try to find local haunts where they prepare food with wholesome ingredients, instead of relying on the food you brought over to sustain you. If you're headed to an area with a well-stocked supermarket, or a farmer's market, that's all the better.
IF YOU EAT OUT, MAKE THINGS CLEAR
Opt for things on the menu that have as little sauces or fluff as possible. If you need to, speak to the waiter or the chef himself and ask them to ease on the sugar, salt and oil content for what they're making. If they're willing to prepare you a wholly clean meal, all's the better. Try to make veggies, complex carbs and lean meats the focus of your meal as that will also keep you full for longer.
PACK CONVENIENT FOODS TO TIDE YOU THROUGH
Many countries have restrictions on fresh food or meat you can bring in you with, but healthy packaged snacks almost always are allowed in so opt for something small and convenient like protein bars, protein cookies or a protein powder that take up little space but pack a nutritional punch. You never know when they will come in handy but you'll always be glad you had it ready for when you need it most. If you don't want to bring a whole tub, check out BlenderBottle's ProStaks that let you pack extra servings away from the main compartment.
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