So, you have the amazing opportunity to travel the Land Down Under and see all its beautiful sights. But before you pack up and take off, a little planning will be necessary if you want to maintain healthy eating habits. This is a bit difficult wherever you travel, because of changing time zones and climate, poor cooking facilities at the place you’re staying, an overall change in your routine, etc. In the case of Australia, eating healthy is even more of a task for travelers, considering that local produce is not available in the usual supermarkets, which carry mostly processed food.
Also, food is expensive , making it tempting to opt for cheaper, less healthy choices, such as pizza for dinner every night, which was my initial reaction the first time I travelled there and didn’t know anyone. That’s why I have come up with some simple tips and advice that will come in handy when you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet on your Australian trip.
Never skip breakfast
Sure, you’ve heard this before, but it cannot be stressed enough, especially when travelling. By eating a wholesome, nutritious breakfast before heading out to explore, you will ensure that you are energized and that there will be no sudden hunger pangs that can just lead you to the nearest fast food restaurant.
Lunch packets are a traveller’s best friend. When you’re in an unknown place, you want to try the local cuisine, but it’s never a good idea to be eating in restaurants or at street vendors’ for every single meal – your diet could very easily spiral out of control that way. Plus, you will find it to be fairly expensive anyway. So, get some containers, a lunch bag and plastic utensils, and pack a healthy, protein-rich meal to carry and eat somewhere with a beautiful sight. Some things you can pack: protein and energy bars, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread with cottage cheese and hard boiled eggs, chicken salad, sandwiches, or cooked leftovers from the previous day.
Look out for processed foods
Unfortunately, most Australian supermarket foods have higher percentages of additives and chemicals than in other countries. That’s why it is important to read the labels when you’re at a supermarket, and put back on the shelf anything that has a long list of additives. Or better yet, to save yourself time and energy, you can find a reliable online supermarket (I was very relieved when my Australian friends recommended Pantry Earth to me), one that sells only certified organic food and other natural products.
Ask the locals
See what the locals are up to – which restaurants they recommend, which street vendors are safe, what to avoid, etc. Make some friends and go with them to the local farmer’s market one morning to see which stands have the best reputation. If you’re shy, you can just observe where the line is longest, but don’t be – Australians are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people I’ve ever met.
This is one of those very obvious and seemingly redundant tips, but people usually forget they need to drink water all the time, especially when they’re immersed in a new environment. That’s right, water, not juice or energy drinks. The rule is – no matter what time of the year it is, don’t wait to get thirsty, but rather sip on water all the time, to have the recommended minimum of 2 litres daily. Thankfully, tap water in Australian cities is safe for drinking, so you can just get a reusable bottle and fill it up anywhere.
With just a little effort and planning ahead, you don’t have to stray away from your healthy eating habits, even if you’re going somewhere completely new. The key is to always be choosy with the food you’re consuming, and to establish an eating routine no matter how long or short your stay is. Try some healthy local dishes and exotic fruits, make friends, and enjoy your stay!