When I think about what it means to ‘Eat Well’ I think about balance. As digital nomads, we travel to various parts of the globe and with that brings new sights, new tastes, new smells and a whole myriad of exciting food to enjoy. Getting the balance right between indulging in the best your current home has to offer and eating consistently and clean, can be a little bit tricky so with that in mind, a few of our hardcore WiFi Tribers have put together 5 top tips to make sure you know how to travel and eat well. Let’s get to it!
1. Limit Eating out to once a day – Pia, Dan, Kumar
“I try to eat out only once a day (doesn’t always work with the Tribe LOL), and then I cook/assemble healthy meals for the other two main meals of the day (I always eat all 3 meals or my metabolism hates me)…Pia.
“What a killjoy!” I hear you cry, but hear me out. Some places in the world it’s really easy to eat healthily and be out three times a day but the reality is that for a lot of us, the idea of eating out constantly ends up becoming a real hassle. Either it’s not economically viable, it ruins our bodily routine, or you end up with decision fatigue just trying to work out where to eat. In addition to this, it simply is not time efficient; for a lot of us the sustainability of this lifestyle is tied in to how productive we are and how much we achieve with the time we have.
Whilst it can be difficult to discipline yourself as you travel, there’s very few vices that can’t be overcome by a good old fashioned strategy. If you decide early on what you’re likely to want to eat for breakfast and lunch it’s often cheaper to go to your local market/supermarket and get what you need and it helps you get set up to have a productive day.
Dan likes to go by the following system:-
“I have a cooked breakfast at home, and if possible salads for lunch. Breakfasts tend to be pan-fried vegetables with a boiled egg and a bit of extra protein, whether it be chicken, bacon, or something. Doing that makes it a lot easier to feel better about spending some money (and calories) on going out for dinners and/or a few drinks.Dan S
Kumar has a similar idea…
“I’m a creature of habit so I like to plan breakfast and lunch. I like to have granola and fruit (or a smoothie when possible) for breakfast, and a hearty salad for lunch. I make sure to buy light snacks for between meals, and I give myself one treat every day (I’ll only have dessert with one meal, and it’s usually lunch).Kumar J.
The idea is that you plan two meals that are healthy, nutritious, and designed to fuel your body and mind. Then as a reward you have one meal a day out within the local community. I think it’s a great way to stay productive and make the most efficient use of your time as well as work towards the ultimate goal of ‘eating well’.
“I think there is a lot to be said for finding a few other people, whether from co-living or e.g. hostels, to cook and share meals with as well. Going out all the time gets a bit much, and I really enjoy eating at home with others sometimes.Dan S.
2. Sharing is caring – Dan S.
You’ve just read the first tip. Plan two meals a day. Cool. You’ve done a brief assessment on how reasonable it is.
Quite often, I’ve found that I can’t always be bothered to go to all of the perceived trouble of getting my act together and preparing meals. I know that I don’t necessarily have to cook, but then I get bored of having granola and yogurt everyday. Salads still require chopping etc etc and as it only affects me, I either talk myself into spending extra money to get something, or I skip the meal/meals altogether and then eat the mother of all dinners later in the evening which isn’t the best idea.
I am, however, more motivated to take culinary action when there are other people involved; I feel like it’s more efficient to cook for a few people rather than just cooking for myself. Generally what puts me off in the first place is the clean up afterwards, so I don’t see the point in getting the kitchen dirty just for me to have a couple eggs and some veg.
The solution to this, is to get a few folks around you to chip in a few coins for some ingredients and get people around to share a meal together. It also gives us moments in the day where we’re building relationships with others as well as enjoying some food.
3. Be Consistent – Kumar J. AND Rosie. D
“Eat meals and snacks at a set time – it can be tough, but it can help you build a healthy diet no matter where you are. Commit to eating meals within a certain set of hours each day (lunch between 12-2, dinner between 6-8) because it’ll help regulate your metabolism.Kumar J.
We saw earlier that Kumar declared himself to be a creature of habit. We are all creatures of habit. Our bodies respond to routine. Our metabolism responds to routine. Even though you are travelling, we would recommend that you try and get into a reasonably structured schedule when it comes to your eating habits. Rosie, The Tribe’s resident healthy food advocate, suggests the following when choosing your snacks…
“Remember to eat snacks that include protein AND fibre and drink plenty of water water water!!Rosie D.
This avoids the many moments of hangriness that can arise…I will say no more.
4. Do Your Research- Francesco C.
“While traveling, trying local food is really one of my fave things, and I spend hours searching (online and offline) for good places worth trying.Francesco C.
When you travel to a specific country, you tend to make plans of the iconic places you want to visit whilst you are there. You’ll then build a timetable so that you know when you are going to visit them and it gives you plenty of things to look forward to.
It’s definitely an idea to do this with restaurants, bars etc, especially if you really love food, as it reduces the risk of ‘impulse restaurant enjoyment’. Tripadvisor is a great starting point for this, or you can read up on all the Google Reviews that travelling veterans have left for you. Now don’t get me wrong, especially travelling with the Tribe, someone says “Lunch?” and it is so easy to answer “Yes! Lunch!” and find yourself in the pasta place before you’ve thought about it. But if you’ve already decided that you want to go that really swanky steak place, you’ll refrain because you’ve already picked where you’re going to splurge for the day. See? All the mind trickery…
5. Ask the Locals – Michelle W.
“Eat what the locals eat! always ask what the waiter’s favorite dish is and what their other favorite restaurants nearby are — I have had great luck doing this!Michelle W.
This is a great exercise – have a chat with local people and see what they are eating. It’s a brilliant way to get the best recommendations around what to eat and where to eat. If you can recreate it in your accommodation then that’s cool or you can support the local businesses and get it in a restaurant for a reasonable price.
If you do this, not only will you get a great value meal (i.e. they don’t have the tourist markup), you’ll also get an authentic cultural experience, which are often the moments that make your decision to travel worth it. Well maybe that’s just my thinking because my whole life revolves around the tasting of as much good food as possible. Either way, I’ve never encountered a place where there isn’t at least one person ready to tell you all about their favourite local eateries.
“Above all else…don’t obsess over it, be gentle with yourself, and find a balance of healthy eating vs. indulgence in pleasures.Dan S.
Dan sums it up so well in that sentence. No crazy, unreasonable requests needed. Look to have a good balance that works for you and is sustainable. I do hope these insights from the community will help you; massive thank you to all of our Tribe contributors as well – you guys are the bomb! If you’d like the chance to meet some of these awesome people, click here to find out about our upcoming adventures!
Until next time…