Making Healthier Choices as a Traveler

by Jenna Willenbring

Healthier Choices as a Travel Nurse

Eating healthier as a traveler is important to keep your body well and able to fight off different illnesses. It may be tough for a traveler to keep a healthy diet and more common to make meal mistakes without a plan.

These are some common meal mistakes made:

Skipping Breakfast

One of the first healthier choices you can make is starting the day with good nutrition can boost your metabolism and stave off cravings later on. Even a quick bowl of oatmeal with fruit is enough to keep your energy going.

Not drinking enough water

Oftentimes, dehydration can cause sensations that mimic hunger, which can lead to overeating. When traveling, make sure to bring an empty water bottle to fill up before heading out to your next destination.

Eating out for every meal

Don’t eat out for every meal. Try to find a place with a kitchenette where you can cook and prep your own meals. This, in the end, will save you time and money. And if you eat out, make sure to check the menu for things that will be beneficial to your health.

After you plan for the week, head to the grocery store. Once you get different items home you can start prepping for different meals. This may entail washing and chopping produce, portioning different foods out, or making a large batch of something to later have smaller meals. Packing these meals for lunch is a much healthier choice than the food at facilities. Those meals are often rich in fat and low in protein. Even if you are feeling unsure about meal prepping and finding fast and easy recipes, check out these delicious, quick recipes. Though make sure to avoid certain food options as they may be promoted as healthy but can still be high in sodium and sugar. Staying healthier as a traveler may include bringing on-the-go snacks during your shifts and for between meals. Some of these items are good to keep in your pocket so when your shift is busy and there isn’t much downtime these snacks will be with you the moment you get a break.

Here are 5 nutritionists on-the-go recommended snacks:

  1. Fruits (apples, oranges, bananas)
  2. Chopped vegetables (celery, carrots, cucumbers)
  3. Whole-grain crackers and bread
  4. Yogurt
  5. Almonds, nuts, and seeds

Staying full and hydrated during a shift is important so you can stay alert to give the best care possible. Using large water bottles while on shift increases the chances of intaking more water. You can even try infusing your water with lemons, cucumbers, or different fruits of your choice. Eating out still can be a healthy option if it isn’t more than a couple of times a week and you look at the menu for things that a beneficial to your healthy diet. Lastly, sticking to a routine can make it easier to make healthier choices while you are traveling. Being able to have a routine of when you are going to do meal planning, grocery shopping, and prepping will help because then you know you will have the time to do those things.