Eat healthy while you travel

One of the things I find most difficult when exploring is to eat healthy while you travel. A balanced nutritional diet is fairly important to keep your energy levels up and brain active.

A farmers market in Santa Monica

The problem wasn’t always the cost of buying the food, other things like storing fresh food and sourcing it in some places could prevent me from making better food choices.

Luckily for me I hooked up with some friends who lived in the countries I visited and got access to healthy food options when I spent time with them. I even picked up a few tips.

In New Zealand my friend Robin Bridger introduced me to juices made using a masticating juicer. Something I’d never heard of until he showed me how it was different from a standard centrifugal juicer. It’s a slow speed juicer that destroys a lot less of the nutrients in the fruit and veges because it doesn’t produce high temperatures. You also get more of the fibre out of what you put in there. I had a few different mixes including a kale, carrot, orange and fresh ginger drink which was lovely. The downside was the price of this type of juicer. About 2 or 3 times more expensive than a normal one. He had managed to get a second hand one in very good condition.

This got me thinking about some of the healthy foods I’d only discovered because of my travels. In Brazil the amazing acia berry in Rio. It was delicious, but has a massive number of calories so a jog along the seafront at Ipanema was essential to burn off some of those. Many businesses have jumped on the acia berry bandwagon so now there are plenty of products claiming to be the real thing when they are not.

Last year I met a pharmacist in Auckland who told me that those effervescent vitamin C tablets that you add to water were a waste of time and money. High temperatures destroy vitamin C. These are normally produced using high levels of heat, so really are of little use. These days I only take natural vitamin C from fruit and vegetables.

Recently in Melbourne I stayed with my friend Siobhan who is a bit of a nutrition expert. She introduced me to Spirulina. Something I had never known about. It was stinking. I don’t recommend taking it directly. We mixed it into a fruit and veg juice. It still had a strong smell but it was fine.

Water was one of the things I think that I didn’t really drink enough of, both because of the alcohol and heat dehydration – although I have to say that bars, pubs and restaurants in Australia and New Zealand had a very good policy of offering water to all customers in many places I visited.

I only got thinking about the whole nutrition while travelling after watching a few food documentaries looking at the lack of nutrition in normal diets. I think when you’re travelling there’s so much to think about that it’s so easy to neglect healthy eating.

Thinking back, in the places where I was exposed to these healthy choices, I felt better for it. Way more energy to get out and explore more and do more.

I’d love to hear tips from other travellers on the best ways to maintain a healthy diet while you’re on the road. Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

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