With the skills of a trained nutritionist and the moniker The Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter knows a thing or two about eating well. The personal trainer and keen traveller knows it’s hard to make good choices when you’re far from your own kitchen, but says it’s definitely do-able. Here are her top tips for eating well when travelling.
It’s not that hard
“Really, it’s all about making smart choices,” says Cutter. “Good choices include light vegetarian options such as leafy salads or fresh fruit.” She also stresses the importance of maintaining proper hydration during a flight by sipping on water or herbal tea.
Carry the right kinds of snacks
Cutter recommends snacking on a mix of tamari almonds, raw almonds, macadamias and raw cashews. “It’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet, it tastes purely delicious, it’s high in protein and it keeps you satiated.” She says cashews in particular are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps to make serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone responsible for feelings of wellbeing.
Another option is a handful of macadamia nuts. “Enjoying macadamias can slow the ageing process as they naturally contain antioxidants like manganese, vitamin E and zinc that neutralise or scavenge the free radicals that would otherwise damage cells.”
Top up your vegetable intake with a green juice
Leafy greens such as kale or baby spinach “are particularly alkalising and make you feel energised.” If you’re going for a smoothie, make sure it contains a good-quality protein powder. “This will keep you satiated and avoid unhealthy cravings for the rest of your journey.
Keep lunch light
“Stick with plant-based lunches where possible when you’re in transit,” Cutter advises. “A vegetarian salad with lots of leafy greens, nuts, seeds and herbs, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a little balsamic is perfect. A good Caprese salad is also great as it’s light, but keeps you satisfied.” Other options include an omelette or eggs on wholegrain or sourdough toast.
Make sure dinner is the smallest meal
Since you’re unlikely to be expending much energy on the plane, Cutter advises choosing a small dinner. “Just like lunch, it’s great to stick to fresh salads and vegetable-based meals and to limit starchy carbs.” She recommends choosing a variety of fresh vegetables such as leafy greens, capsicum, tomatoes and broccoli. “Vegetables fill you up without making you feel like you’re going to bed on a full stomach.”
Choose your drinks carefully
Alcohol can be dehydrating, and Cutter suggests you swap out coffee for herbal tea: “You won’t need the caffeine hit when you’re sitting down for a few hours. It’ll be kinder on your digestion, too.”
Being organised can save you from making unhealthy choices on the road. “Ensure you pack your herbal teas and snacks in accessible containers, as well as a water or blender bottle, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing one on the day you actually travel,” she says.
Cutter recommends packing a small container of protein powder to mix with water on the plane or in the hotel room. “It’s simple, quick and nourishing for the body and it’s a lifesaver if there are no healthy options available.”