Travelling & Eating Healthily with PCOS
Posted by Allie on 10th February 2017
My love of travel was cemented at a young age when I spent my childhood living in different countries around the world. Now my own young family and I are frequently on the move, exploring as many places as we can. When I first started managing my PCOS through diet in my early 20s, one of the major questions in my mind before I set off on my travels was definitely, “What on earth am I going to eat there?!” The good news is that, with some planning and organisation, it can be much easier than you’d think to maintain a healthy way of eating when travelling. Here are some of the tips I’ve learned along the way.
Bring your own: After sitting on a long haul flight, starving and unwilling to succumb to the unhealthy snacks on offer, I realised that bringing your own food is essential to eating healthily when you’re away. Now I always take enough healthy snacks to last my entire trip like nuts, oatcakes (great for putting pretty much any food on to create a small meal) and homemade oat bars. It means that you always have something to eat and aren’t caught out when you’re hungry as, unfortunately, healthy food just isn’t available everywhere yet. You can also take food with you on the plane if you want to skip the food served – just make sure it’s appropriate to get through security.
It also depends on what type of trip you’re planning. Would you prefer to go self-catering so you can control what you’re eating? Or perhaps you like all inclusive hotels with a range of foods on offer to help meet your dietary needs. I always take my own muesli away with me just in case the food options aren’t great as it means I know I can have a healthy and filling breakfast, which is especially useful for your first morning somewhere new.
Water, water, water: It’s essential for blood, bone and skin health, removing toxins, increasing alertness and many more. Water’s a basic necessity, not just for travelling, but when you’ve been on the go a lot it can make such a difference. Keep a bottle in the car, your bag, the plane, wherever you are!
I always take enough healthy snacks to last my entire trip like nuts, oatcakes, and homemade oat bars.
Look up some healthy places to eat before you go: I have spent many an hour dragging my husband or friends around countless restaurants until I find one I can eat a meal in. It’s not much fun for anyone.
I personally follow a low glycemic index diet and have written a blog article on it sharing tips, which you can read here. Now I look up healthy or organic restaurants before I go away and have discovered the most wonderful eateries this way. Even my husband, who eats everything and anything, loves how we find such unique places with a bit of research beforehand. I once found a truly local restaurant in Florence after much detective work on the internet – I got the feeling it was perhaps meant to be a bit of a guarded secret from tourists! They didn’t speak a word of English in there and I couldn’t understand the menu but what came out was phenomenal, homemade and nutritious. A bit of planning and organisation before your trip really can lead to finding wonderful healthy places to eat out.
Take your own tea bags: I swear by decaffeinated green tea. It’s been shown to help facilitate the burning of body fat, improve insulin sensitivity and increase energy levels. You can’t guarantee that herbal tea will be available everywhere so taking your own means you can always have a cup of healthy tea.
Go to a local food market: As I mentioned, I always seem to go to food markets, or supermarkets if I need to, wherever I am in the world and it's a great opportunity to exlore a place. Whether it’s a fruit stall on the side of the road in Tanzania, a Farmer’s Market in New York or a supermarket in Tokyo, I can always find something and it means I’m not eating out all the time.
Get in touch if you have any other tips to share #whatsyourtip? Most importantly of all, enjoy your trip and enjoy your healthy food!