3 Questions to Prompt Mindful Eating While Traveling
When traveling it can be challenging to understand our bodies and assess what we need. The transportation alone can lead to bloating/ upset digestion, and being in a foreign country with bacterias our bodies aren't familiar with, can add to feeling off balance. Here are five simple ways we can become more intuitive eaters and offer ourselves a more enjoyable food experience while traveling.
L E T ' S A S K O U R S E L V E S
1. Will this give me energy?
Number 1, hands down. You don’t have to be a food expert or certified to answer this question. Raw and fresh—two of the best ways to know if you’re getting the energy from the foods you eat. I seek out vibrant, colorful foods that are vitamin and protein rich to the best of my ability. Whenever I’m traveling to a new place, I always do some research on local delicacies, what’s popular and accessible. Food sourcing becomes parts of the adventure of experiencing a new place! Side note: if I don’t have access to fresh food (on a bus/plane), I always go for the simple/bland food option to keep my stomach free of stress and bloat from excess salt, sugars, additives, etc.
2. Am I going to be hungry in 5 minutes?
To be honest, I find eating to be a bit of a chore to and from my destination. With crazy, wonky travel times, I accept that full meals aren’t always an option, so I focus on really satisfying snack meals. I commit to eating with efficiency—meaning, I eat foods that work for my body (we’re all different) that I know will keep me full. What works for me is a mix of protein, fat, and complex carbs. Some of my favorite grab and go snacks are: yogurt, Perfect bars, rice cakes with peanut butter, avocado toast with hard boiled egg.
3. Am I enjoying this?
I believe joy is so important—not just traveling, but everyday—when we’re considering what to eat because when we experience joy, we are not experiencing guilt. I see guilt as the catalyst feeling that leads to social eating anxiety, hyper body awareness/dysmorphia, and food fear. Traveling to a new place is often quite a social endeavor. Whether you go alone or with a group, you see how food brings people together. Simply put, eating foods that we enjoy keep our mind content and our nervous system at ease, whereas guilt or shame send depressive signals from our brain to our gut that drop our energy levels. This goes back to the first question of energy sustainability.
The point of all of this is, you have the power to shift your thinking around food if you find managing food is a trigger while you travel. It takes practice, and time, but with a few simple questions, I bet you will realize you already have the answers you need right there with you.