In our previous post, we were describing the most common preventive measures for travelling, focusing on vaccines and prophylaxis. We continue our tips for staying healthy when you are travelling with a list of other things to take into account.
Keeping a healthy diet on the road
It’s hard to count calories when you’re travelling. For most of us, the holidays are a time to relax and indulge, and that includes giving up on food and drink restrictions. Depending on how you travel, circumstances may also lead you to eating in a less thoughtful way. You may need to eat on the run or, sometimes, you might have very few options available. However, if you can, keep the following rules in mind.
Try to eat fresh local foods, with local ingredients
Some people feel more comfortable going to fast food franchises they are already familiar with, like McDonalds or Burger King. One week on such a fast food regime can have devastating effects on your health. Go with the local foods instead. It will not only help you keep a more balanced diet, but also help you discover local cuisine, which is one of the most important cultural aspects you should try to learn.
Prepare your own food, if possible
If you’re renting a house or an apartment, with an equipped kitchen, try to use it from time to time. Of course, you don’t want to spend your entire holiday cooking, but there are simple, quick recipes you can make yourself. This way, you know what you are eating and you can better control your diet.
Eat where the locals eat
Food poisoning is a real concern when you are travelling, especially in developing countries. Being too cautious when choosing your meals could lead you to choosing “safer” pre-packed foods, which are usually full of carbohydrates. If you want to keep a healthy diet and stay safe at the same time, just go to the restaurants and street food stalls where locals are lining up to eat. For one thing, if there is a lot of people, the food is guaranteed to be fresh all the time.
Eat a lot of fruit and vegetable and stay hydrated
Try to have a bottle of water with you all the time, in case you end up in an area where stores aren’t available. Dehydration can be a serious problem when you travel, and is actually a common cause for diarrhoea and other digestive problems. Try to include a lot of fruit and vegetable in your diet, and keep carbs down by avoiding sweets, bread and pastry, French fries and pasta (except in Italy, where you should allow yourself the occasional pasta and gelato 😊 ). Start lunch with a salad.
Be careful with alcohol consumption
Who doesn’t enjoy a drink or two during the holidays? It’s only normal to relax a little bit. But try not to overdo it when it comes to drinking. For one thing, a lot of alcohol and sun exposure is a dangerous combination, which can dehydrate you severely or increase the risk of a stroke. Drink a lot of water with your alcoholic beverage. Also, two or three glasses of wine per day or a similar amount of beer should be enough if you want to keep your blood sugar levels low.