Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on the go is never an easy feat. Many a committed eater has fallen prey to airport food courts, convenience foods, and mile-high belly bloat.
But it is possible to eat clean, healthy, and even vegan while traveling, according to author and food coach Alina Z. Her new minibook/guide, The Traveler's Guide to Couture Nutrition, offers lots of tips for the healthy eater on the go, and she served some of her tasty couture cookie bites at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. We spoke with the lifestyle guru for her suggestions on how to stay on track when away from the safety of your own fridge.
"When you travel, two things happen," Alina says. "People get stressed out, and a lot of people complain about not being able to go to the bathroom. People don't feel like they're getting their nutrition in."
Her book is designed to give people healthy ideas for on-the-go snacks, how to choose wisely at restaurants, what to eat in hot versus cold climates, and other handy suggestions.
10. Take chlorophyll.
Alina recommends chlorella pills. "With the radiation on the plane, people need to get as much as they can. I recommend taking it every day," she says. She takes a few pills before boarding a flight, a few pills en route, and a few after deplaning.
9. Magnesium supplements can help with digestion.
"It helps people who need to go to the bathroom or have digestion issues," she says. It can also aid in relaxation and cure chocolate cravings. Who knew?
8. Pack crackers.
Alina likes Mary's Gone Crackers. "When I go through the airport, they give me an energy boost and help me stay away from airport food. You can take them and portion them out in small containers and carry it in in your carry-on luggage."
7. Carry prepackaged coconut butter.
"It comes in small packets -- you can go through security with them. It's high in medium-chain fatty acids that help support your thyroid. You can put it with those crackers for example," she suggests.
6. Get a refillable water bottle.
Yes, that's a thing. Alina recommends the brand Bobble. "The TSA doesn't allow liquid, so I bring my refillable filtered bottle water. You can customize them, and you can get hydrated at any time and you don't have to buy plastic bottles," she says. And, she adds, the filtered water can come out cleaner than the stuff you get from corporate brands.
5. Coconut water is a win.
While it won't work on the plane (unless you buy it after security), coconut water is awesome for road trips. The glass bottles are best, she says, because there are no chemicals involved.
4. Eat oranges on the airplane.
Luckily, we're Floridians. "You can get dry skin and swelling due to cabin pressure and low humidity," Alina says. Oranges help.
3. You can eat healthy at fast-food joints and chains. Just choose wisely.
"P.F. Chang's, for example, if you like Chinese, that would be the healthy option. They have a nutritional chart and a gluten-free menu. They offer nice, light veggie dishes. Or I'd get a salad at Sbarro, or at 7-Eleven I might get some bananas and an apple and an orange, or a small packet of mixed unsalted nuts with pistachios and almonds," she suggests. Her book has options listed by cuisine and chain.
2. Plant proteins are just as filling.
Alina recommends Vega All-In-One Nutrition Bar, hemp seeds, mixed raw nuts and crunchy chickpeas by Saffron Road. "For your protein you can pack falafel-flavored crunchy chickpeas. With a hot soup or hot cup of water, together it will feel like you're getting a hot meal," Alina says. "And with the protein and fiber it will keep you full."
1. Don't expect perfection.
If there's nothing super-healthy available, don't stress out about it, Alina insists.
"I don't believe in 100 percent perfection," she says. "I allow myself 10 percent wiggle room so we're not stressing over healthy eating all the time.
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"The great thing about this book is that you can take it to Whole Foods and find everything there. It has pictures so you can easily find everything."
You can pick up a copy of Alina's book at alinaz.com.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.