How to Eat Healthy While Backpacking
Eating healthy while traveling can be a challenging task. But well worth the effort of trying to eat healthy- at the least! The one main advantage of sleeping in hostels is the convenience of having a common kitchen where you can cook your own meals. Not only is it healthy, but also cost-efficient. And as we all know… backpackers are poor! Or should I say, they try to maximize the number of places they can see with the money they have. So no, we won’t be eating in restaurants every night!
One of my favorite places to explore is the supermarket. I think I’ve been to a supermarket in every country I’ve visited. It’s fun to see what products they have or how weird their food looks. Since my cooking knowledge is limited to North American/European recipes, let’s just say I won’t experiment any recipes while traveling. But I’ll definitely buy a few ingredients and cook at the hostel some nights. Ok, not always, but sometimes! It normally happens when a bunch of people from the hostel plan cook and eat together.
Otherwise, eating healthy snacks throughout the day is important. When traveling in tropical countries, you cannot go wrong with eating tasty fruits. In Brazil, I ate fruits I never knew existed and let me tell you that the first thing I’ll do when I go back (yes, I’ll be going back!) is stop at a corner juice store in Rio and buy myself a fresh fruit juice! They were delicious. Otherwise, stop at a local market and pick up some fruit and veggies. It’s healthy and it will fill you up!
Other healthy snacks that are easy to carry around with you are nuts. Either hard shell nuts (pistacchio, walnut, peanuts) or almonds are a real treat. Put them in a ziplock bag and it’ll come in handy wherever you are in the world. If you don’t find the nuts you normally eat at home, be bold and try something new.
If you’re hostel doesn’t include breakfast, you can buy yogourt at the grocery store and keep it in the fridge. In the morning, you could opt for a yogourt and oat. High in fiber and calcium, it’ll give you a great boost to start your day!
Finally, this is my favorite snack! Although it’s a little high in fat and calories, dark chocolate is also high in antidioxide. And obviously always a better treat than milk chocolate. So when visiting places such as Oaxaca, don’t feel guilty when indulging chocolate.
PS: Always stay hydrated!