Hands up: Who needs a real vacation? I don't mean a working vacation or even one where you're juggling calls and coworker texts while attempting to leisurely sample wine flights in Paris. No, I mean a check-your-email-once-a-day, turn-off-electronics and completely escape type of vacation.
I'm often on the road, though rarely chilling out on a deserted beach. More likely, I'm meeting with book editors and like-minded entrepreneurs in frigid cities like Toronto. When I'm on the go, I often find myself stranded in less-than-optimal spots for real, whole foods, so planning ahead becomes crucial to remove time, guesswork, and frustration out of travel eating.
I always scout out a healthy grocery store in whatever city I'll be visiting, but I also plan for a worst-case scenario. That's why I never leave home without these perfect seven healthy essentials:
1. Green drink powder
If you've ever looked for broccoli at airport restaurants but the only greenery they offered was iceberg lettuce, you know how hard getting fresh vegetables can become on the road. That's why I always carry a low-sugar impact powdered greens supplement. While it doesn't fast-pass me from foregoing broccoli, green powder provides a little leeway if I can't meet my veggie quota when I'm traveling.
2. Dark chocolate
Curb your sweet tooth without the guilt. Find a high-cacao (85 or 90%), low-sugar impact, preferably organic bar. Among its benefits, dark chocolate can help curb on-the-road jitters. "A randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology revealed that people who drank a dark chocolate drink, equal to about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day, felt calmer than those who did not," says Dr. William Cole. Break off a serving and step away from the chocolate. Otherwise, you might eat the whole bar waiting for takeoff.
3. Green tea
Among the zillion reasons to regularly drink green tea are improved detoxification, immunity, digestive health, and fat loss. All things you especially want while traveling, right? The primary compound in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), boosts metabolism while the amino acid theanine provides calm for frazzled nerves as you're going through security. I usually hit up a coffee shop for green tea, but packing my own tea bags saves me time and money.
4. Coconut milk
I always travel with little cartons of unsweetened coconut milk. They don't require refrigeration and provide a great way to get fat-burning medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and immune-boosting lauric acid that coconut milk is rich in.
5. Protein powder
Protein shakes become my number one needle mover for fast, lasting fat loss that save time, money and trying to figure out whether a scone fits into your low-sugar impact diet. (Sorry, but no.) Protein shakes are convenient, portable, take seconds to whip up, yet curb hunger and cravings for hours. I put non-soy, non-dairy plant- or animal-based protein powder in little plastic baggies for the road. I second Ella Woodward's suggestion to carry a travel blender, which makes whipping up protein shakes a breeze.
6. Nitrate-free jerky
A fabulous way to get hunger-curbing protein and healthy fats without cooking or refrigeration (check out this fabulous Primal Jerky. Nitrate-free, gluten-free, grass-fed beef jerky isn't your thing? Look for a wild-caught salmon or turkey jerky.
7. Dehydrated or low-roasted nuts and seeds
According to Dr. Ronald Hoffman, nuts are portable, versatile, nutrient-rich and promote satiety, all of which makes them a no-brainer travel snack. Like dark chocolate, watch your portion sizes or a handful of almonds can become the whole bag.
What travel essential do you always pack to curb hunger and cravings when you're on the road?