I get it. It’s hard to eat right when you travel. But is it? Or do we simply succumb  to convenience and temptation, buying something in a rush at the airport or ordering 3 courses because “work is paying for it”.  Sure, eating out healthfully, whether for business or pleasure, can be tricky.  But if you PLAN AHEAD, you don’t have to pork out when you travel.

persimmon and pistachio

First, pack something to take with you so you don’t drop $11 on a cold, hard, dry yet soggy-in-the-middle sandwich at the aeroporto.  I usually snag a meal from a health foods store the day before or day of air travel to carry on. (Air travel sounds futuristic, doesn’t it?)

I also keep nuts, seeds and dried fruit in my bag because flight delays are as common as obese TSA agents and are brutal on the feasting schedule.  Dried fruits (unsweetened), nuts and seeds (just a hand full or so) are super healthy and are a great thing to curb the appetite while you travel–so you don’t end up in the Cinnabon line, lured by the intoxicating aroma and a 3 hour layover.  Plus you can knock out a sweet AND the salty craving in one punch!  Bam!

I also always fly with green tea bags and a packet or two of miso soup.  That way, when jolted from sleep as they ram my knee with the beverage cart, I’m reminded to ask for both hot and cold water–cold to drink and hot to make tea or my miso soup. Plus, this gives me something to do once I’m done selecting my favorite items in the SkyMall Magazine.  And, since I don’t have a dog, a spacious garage, a pool or the need for a clothing steamer or a one-handed-jewelry-clasper_thingy, this task is usually completed prior to the captain’s cheery, cacophonous welcome speech.

I also find miso soup cures any nausea or hangover I may be traveling with.  Let’s just say in my 20s, there were several airport and airplane bathrooms that saw the aftermath of my raucous girls’ trips and wedding weekends.

Second, be willing to try something new, to keep your taste buds engaged, so when you don’t get the SUGAR-FILLED JAMBA JUICE or SBARRO SLICE you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself.  Deprivation usually just makes you pound dessert later on (trust me).  I don’t think I’d ever tried a persimmon, and certainly not with pistachios, but it was a welcome change from my travel staple: almonds and an apple. And didn’t leave me feeling fat and gross like the WOK & ROLL Asian-salt-and-grease-blast-stir-fry lo mien I used to inhale at LGA. Switch it up and try something new and healthful. (And recall the first tip: bring it with you!)

Third, Order Smart. That’s a whole other blog post (click there).  But in summary, don’t use traveling or dining out as an excuse to over indulge, use it as a chance to have someone else make your healthy meal!

Fourth: Move! Walk and roll your bag instead of riding the tram or the shrill beeping golf cart with all the huge people on it.  Use the hotel gym, you may meet some fabulous, sweaty somebody down there.  Or do some exercises in the car or in the hotel room. (click here for Exercises On the Go)

Oh, and fifth: DRINK WATER! On the plane, while you wait for your delayed connection and in between drinks at the bar!  Water, water, water!

These are simple yet effective ways to combat the calorie creep of travel! You’re gut and your butt will thank you!


  1. When the folks at TSA inspect my bags I always image that they think I trying to smuggle Clif Bars (I always keep a few in my carry-on bag in case of flight delays and at least one Clif Bar and one Honey Stinger Protein Bar for every day I’m away).

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Well & Balanced Health

Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center caring for children with special needs. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has treated patients with Operation Smile in remote Russia. She's had thousands of patients and clients in the US, New Zealand, Kenya and beyond . Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Dr. Madeleine Was the Medial Officer for Skincare 20/20 and has worked for over 10 years with one of the Worlds Largest Medical Groups. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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