We love to travel as much as the next person, and we know how difficult it can be to eat well when you’re away from home. Even if you’ve scoped out the healthiest restaurants or found accommodations with a kitchen to prepare your own meals, snacking can wreak havoc on the best laid plans. From convenience markets to vending machines, hotels cater to the impulse snacker. But if you plan ahead, you can have your junk and eat it too—without the guilt trip.
In our book, Unjunk Your Junk Food (Gallery Books), we teach readers how to read labels and make healthier choices when it comes to their favorite snacks. It’s as simple as looking for healthier, yet equally delicious and satisfying “junk.”
At times, resisting the candy bar vending machine is practically worthy of a medal. When you have that craving, almost nothing can stop it. The solution, however, is simple: Become your own vending machine. Pick up healthier versions of your favorite snacks so you can satisfy your cravings without any guilt. If you simply pick up a few Jokerz bars, for example, you can avoid those late-night forays to the vending machine for a Snickers.
Avoiding the hotel’s vending machines will also probably save you from impulse snacking. Sure, you just wanted a Snickers, but then you thought about how thirsty you’d be, so you had to get a soda… It’s all downhill from there. Most vending machine soda products are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), so planning ahead and picking up an HFCS-free alternative is a smart idea. If you can find a local soda maker, that’s also a fantastic way to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of your soda habit.
Above all, read labels. Make yourself aware of the ingredients that you simply don’t want in your foods. In Unjunk Your Junk Food, we included a handy tear-out list of the worst offenders, as well as other ingredients everyone should be aware of, in order to help people make healthy, earth-friendly choices when they’re shopping. Whether you’re at home or away, know what to look for and what to avoid is key to snacking healthier and greener.