Have you tried to stay healthy while on the road? Ever feel confused about what foods you should or shouldn’t be eating? Tried googling best eating practices? The internet is wonderful. It connects people from all over and exposes us to an infinite amount of information! But sometimes it’s difficult to determine what pertains to us personally, especially when it comes to nutrition.
If you’re reading this from halfway across the country, let alone across the globe, chances are, our food options are different. It would be impossible to offer a list of the 5 best foods to eat and expect that you would have access to even 1 of them. Which got me thinking; what are some ways to eat healthy regardless of where you live or travel?
Here are 5 ways to eat healthy anywhere in the world.
Our bodies consist of 55-60% water, which is used for many of the body’s functions, namely digestion. The fluids produced through hydration such as saliva and stomach acid help our body absorb nutrients, kill harmful bacteria, and breakdown food. Much of our energy also comes from water and a lack of it can lead to cravings for caffeine and sugar when we feel sluggish. Often we reach for that cup of coffee because our body is signaling to us that it’s thirsty. Do it a favor and try to drink more water!
2) Limit fried foods and sugary treats.
I am not saying to avoid these all together, but there is a difference between eating a bucket of chicken wings and trying one to see what it tastes like. I encourage you to enjoy satiating foods, but a diet filled with them can wreak more havoc on your health and waistline than you’d care to know. Try a bite here and there, allow your taste buds to enjoy it fully… but then slowly back away.
3) Eat nutrient dense whole food.
This could mean any number of things, but mainly- cut the processed crap. I live in the United States. Everywhere I turn there’s “food” that doesn’t quite look like food. Bars, bags, packages with ingredient lists for days, ingredients I can’t even pronounce. Unless I am cooking, I don’t eat food that has more than 5 ingredients. Reach for foods that are as close to their natural state as you can get. Plenty of companies are now manufacturing whole food options if you just look a little harder.
4) Eat local and seasonal. You’re in a beautiful part of the world full of indigenous plants and tubers. Eating food that is in season and local offers you the chance to taste something at its peak freshness, which means optimizing its nutritional content. Indulge with fish that was caught just a few hours before, or fruits fresh off the branch. Whatever type of eater you are- herbivore or omnivore, dig into the foods that this land harvests for you. Give your senses a chance to explore your current corner of the planet, while giving your body a chance to absorb the abundant vitamins and minerals found in fresh, local food.
5) It’s not just WHAT you eat, it’s HOW you eat it. We live in a time where we’re completely removed from the ritual of eating. Pausing before meals to express gratitude for our food is not just some spiritual practice. Gratitude puts us into a relaxed state, which also prepares our bodies to eat. When we do eat, it’s important to take small bites and chew them fully. The simple act of making your meal time a mindful and relaxed practice could be the difference in using your food as nourishment or just using it as a pacifier to a craving.
Food is nourishment and fuel for our bodies so that we can go out and jump, play, sing, laugh, have sex, surf, write, ski, or well, just get off the couch. Food is not meant to be obsessed over and scrutinized. So, take the pressure off yourself. “Health” isn’t worth having if you’re miserable trying to attain it. Eat well and then go out there and chase some joy. Cause, hey, happiness is pretty good for you too- no matter where you are in the world.
Kristen Hubbard is a writer, wellness coach and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Her diverse background as a former CrossFit coach and correctional officer offer her a unique perspective on the world she sees, enabling her to reach individuals through her writing and coaching in a straight forward and approachable way