Traveling is no excuse to stop eating nutritiously. If anything, your body needs a more balanced and stable diet when you are traveling than any other time, because it is adjusting to so many other differences in your daily routine. Traveling can be hard on your body, but you can make it easier through maintaining a proper diet and exercise routine no matter where you are. Keep your healthy diet a constant whether you are going away for the weekend or for an extended vacation with these convenient tips on how to meal prep when you travel.
How To Meal Prep For Short Weekend Getaways
1. Plan Ahead
Treat meal prepping for a short weekend getaway the same as you would meal prepping for an average everyday week. That means planning ahead so that you have an idea of what meals you’re going to make and the ingredients you’ll need to make them. You may also want to take this time to make sure that you will be able to warm up meals wherever your weekend trip takes you, because if you can’t that will likely change your planned menu.
2. Mix & Match Foods
Variety is always important to meal prep but it is especially important if you are going to be away from home. You see, when you’re home you can whip up something different if you decide that you’re bored of your meal prep and want a new flavor. When you are traveling you don’t have that luxury. Unfortunately traveling also means that you have to carry your food with you, which means that you will need to pack lightly. That’s why it’s such a good idea to pack foods that you can easily mix and match to create different flavors and meals. It’s also smart to pack additional sauces and spices so that you can alter dishes on the go.
3. Keep Perishables Cold
Pack your perishables in a fully insulated ISOBag with a few ISOBricks for your immediate travel needs. It will keep everything at a safe cold temperature to ensure your food stays healthy and fresh. Make sure that wherever you will be spending your weekend has a refrigerator that you can use to keep your perishable food cold once you get there. The ISOBag is able to keep your food cold for 12 hours at a time using ISOBricks, but trying to keep your cold food in one all weekend is not a good plan.
4. Pack Simple Meals
Aside from having a variety of foods, having simple foods is next on the list of weekend travel meal prep necessities. You should pack foods that do not need an oven or stove to be warmed up and can instead be can be reheated in a hotel microwave. Try packing a few meals and snacks that are so simple that they don’t even need to be reheated to be tasty. Packing simple foods will ensure that even if plans go awry, you can keep your balanced and nutritional diet in check while you are away from home.
5. Don’t Forget Protein
Don’t forget about the importance of protein while you’re away. Your body needs this macronutrient to regulate your hormones, repair your muscles after a workout and keep you feeling full. You don’t need to pack a wide variety of proteins, as long as you remember to pack enough of them. Remember that you can always alter your dishes later with spices and sauces if you get bored with what you’ve packed. We suggest packing some chicken, some precooked ISOPASTA and some protein powder to get you through a long weekend away from home. That way you don’t get bored with the same options every day, but you also don’t miss out on your daily dose of high protein meals.
6. Remember To Hydrate
Staying hydrated is always important, but can be overlooked when you’re traveling, especially if your travels have you hitting the bar at all. Remember that for every alcoholic beverage you consume you should match it with a glass of water to even out your hydration levels. Also keep in mind during happy hour that many cocktails contain an overabundance of unnecessary sugars. Your best bet is to stick to simple mixed drinks like a gin and tonic or skip the mixer all together and have your liquor on the rocks. Even if you aren’t a drinker, you can easily become dehydrated during your travels by simply forgetting to drink enough water when enroute to your destination or exploring once you’ve gotten there. So bring a water bottle, and keep it close.
How To Meal Prep For Long Extended Vacations
1. Plan Ahead
When you go on an extended vacations there is very little chance that you will be able to meal prep your meals before you go and pack them to take with you. They would simply take up too much space. That’s why so many people end up eating out on vacation and gaining vacation weight. But there is a simple way to avoid this. Plan ahead and make sure that there is a kitchen available to you wherever you’re staying. Many hotels offer kitchenettes in basic rooms or if you want to go all out you can even get a suite with a full kitchen or rent a house for your vacation stay. If you have a kitchen available to you while you’re on vacation you will be less likely to eat meals out, and will have better control over your macronutrient and calorie counts.
2. Pack Your ISOBag
You should still bring your insulated ISOBag so that while you are on vacation you can transport your meal preps around with you and limit the amount of trips you have to take back to your room throughout the day. To maximize space, you can even go ahead and pack your ISOBag with meals for the first day or two, so that you don’t have to worry about getting groceries and starting to cook right away if you would rather get the lay of the land first. Be sure to also pack plenty of ISOBricks. If the temperature of your vacation spot is higher than back home, you may want to add an extra brick or two to your bag to make sure the interior stays as cold as you are generally used to.
3. Buy Some Groceries
Once you have arrived at your destination, it’s time to put that meal prep menu to good use. Head out to the grocery store and pick up everything you need to start meal prepping for the week ahead of you. Avoiding the grocery stores and opting for restaurant meals while on vacation is the number one mistake people make on vacation. Even if you commit to only ordering the healthiest options on the menu, you cannot beat the balanced nutrition you get from preparing your own meals. By buying and cooking your own food for the week you will even save a little extra money that you can spend on upgrading your room, or going on fun excursions.
4. Meal Prep Your Vacation Food
This is why you planned ahead and got that room with a kitchenette or that suite with a kitchen. Now that you have all of your groceries it’s time to start cooking your meal prep for the week. It shouldn’t take more than two or three hours out of your vacation time to cook a full week’s worth of meals, and once you are finished you can just store them in your refrigerator until you are ready for them. Remember that you won’t want any leftovers by the end of your stay, so only make what you are going to eat. It’s a good idea to leave the spices and the sauces out of the cooking process and save using those until you are ready to eat, that way you don’t become bored with your food choices halfway through the week.
5. Minimize Your Meals Out
Vacations are best when you are able to escape real life for a while, let loose and have fun. But that doesn’t mean that you should turn your back on your healthy lifestyle. You should still make time for your workouts and you should still eat a balanced and nutritional diet. Meal prepping when you travel is a great way to avoid wasting money and taking in unnecessary calories while you’re traveling. Since you probably won’t want to eat all of your meals back in your room though, we highly suggest bringing your ISOBag and packing your meals to go everyday. That way you can have picnics and eat out, without actually having to eat out. It truly is the best of both worlds.
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