When you’re travelling, you hear a lot of people say they put on weight because they eat a lot of fast food and drink a lot. Most people believe they have no other option because they haven’t got the utensils or facilities to cook healthy meals, or even they say ‘it’s cheaper to eat bad food than healthy’. However this couldn’t be further from the truth. With a little bit of research you can find plenty of healthy meals that will fuel you for the day, and they are very budget friendly too.
When I travel I do like to sample the local cuisine, but I also try to balance this with being financially conservative and I am also very aware of my food intake recently. While I am far from a fitness fanatic or a dietitian, I have managed to curve my expenses and lose some weight by preparing some simple dishes and becoming knowledgeable of my diet. With your body, you only get out what you put in.
I will show you three basic meals I intake on average. I also try to only eat for 12 hours a day (e.g. 7a.m. to 7p.m.). These might seem difficult but your body adjusts to these diets and you will in turn be put off by fast food.
Daily breakfast, I ritually eat a fruit salad. This is an excellent way of starting your adventure, getting your 5-a-day first thing. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized. While you might say it doesn’t sound very appetising, add a small splash of greek yoghurt and some porridge oats to get the most out of this meal. Or have a small portion with some avocado on toast, but eventually cut out the bread.
Cost: €15 for 5 Servings (€3 per serving)
I usually eat an avocado orientated meal for lunch. A chicken salad with avocado is my go to lunch. However I do not mean a caesar. The worst part of a salad is the dressing, croutons and cheese. You can easily throw a salad together with some spinach, mixed leafs, red cabbage, kale, carrots, tomatoes and if you can’t find somewhere to cook a chicken buy canned tuna or cooked chicken. Although this isn’t as good as grilling it yourself, it’s still better than getting the munchies for snacks like a burger and fries. If you plan on hiking or long drives and find yourself needing extra fuel in your gut, eat dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa). This type of chocolate is a healthy chocolate that contains the most powerful antioxidants and the least amount of sugar.
Cost: €25 for 4 servings (€6.25 per serving)
Go oriental Asian all day long. These dishes are easily prepped and require limited ingredients but the pay off is huge. It doesn’t leave you feeling bloated and the flavours and tastes are incredible for the time and expense that involves preparing these dishes. No wonder Thai and Vietnamese food is so popular everywhere. Do a little research into these dishes and you can save yourself some serious coin in the process. Also, if you’re trying to seduce someone on a date, what’s more impressive than being able to provide an excellent healthy meal for him/her? Do your research and you will become the fan favourite of every social gathering.
Cost: €30 for 4 servings (€7.50 per serving)
Hopefully from this you can see it is actually cheaper, easy and better for you to cook healthy meals for yourself rather than eating out at fast food joints. These three meals along with a snack is enough food for most people in a day and costs just €70 for four days (that’s €17.50 for a days worth of good tasty food!). Most burger joints would charge that for a burger and fries, and leaving you feeling bloated and sickly. Who wants to do a road trip/swim/hike/cycle or even chill out with that greasy feeling? All these expenses add up and when you are away from work after a while, this could be the deciding factor on whether or not you can afford that extra week away or not.
Be open to trying vegetarian dishes and new fruits/vegetables, you never know what you might like.