Obviously you’re going to want to have endless cones of gelato and plates of pasta in Italy, some of that delicious deep fried bread covered in sour cream in Hungary, and don’t get me started on the portion sizes in the USA. But that doesn’t mean every meal has to be a deep fried, carb-filled heaven.
Eating healthy while you’re travelling isn’t impossible, below are a few suggestions of meals to help keep the balance.
What you need: Primarily, eggs and milk - anything else is just a bonus. You can jazz up your omelette as much as you (and your budget) pleases. Cheese, capsicum, shallots, onion, olives, ham, bacon… The world (and the hostel free food shelf) is your oyster.
Why it’s great: You’re bound to get sick of bread sooner or later, and so many carbs aren’t the best when you’re sitting on your ass all day on an 8 hour bus.
Porridge, Oatmeal, Muesli
What you need: Porridge, oats, muesli... any flavour that takes your fancy. Most only need hot water added, but milk is always nice to add some creaminess. Throw in some fruit too for extra taste!
Why it’s great: Porridge is filling, versatile, easy and warm and comforting on a cold day, and best of all, cheap. Individual cup servings are great when you’ve got an early morning long bus ride and can cost as little as 50p in Edinburgh, or invest in a large packet if you’ve got a long stay.
What you need: Keep a look out of sushi stalls or restaurants in main cities – hand rolls are as cheap as $2.50 in Brisbane, and there are many all-you-can-eat deals in Milan for as cheap as €8.
Why it’s great: If you’re out and about exploring a city, its often hard to find something for lunch that fits in your budget but isn’t filled with sugar and fats.
What you need: Fresh bread plus whatever toppings take your fancy: tuna, salami, cream cheese, salad…
Why it’s great: Many European countries have a great selection of cold meats, cheeses and pickled condiments – check out the deli section at the local grocery store and try some local produce. Sandwiches are also perfect for days on the go.
Vegetable Stir Fry What you need: Most vegetables work well – carrot, broccoli, capsicum, beans etc – with a cup or two of rice, and a simple honey soy sauce can be made from exactly that; honey and soy sauce.
Why it’s great: Healthy, fresh, and easy to make with only a few ingredients - most you will probably find on the free food shelf at the hostel!
Roast Sweet Potato What you need: Sweet potato, butter, salt, pepper, plus a saucepan or nice deep bowl to microwave it in!
Why it’s great: Sweet Potato is filled with XX
Muesli Bars What you need: Look for fruit and oat type bars, low in sugar and saturated fats.
Why it’s great: Oats and muesli give you plenty of slow-burning energy to keep you going all day. Also, they usually come in packs of 6 meaning you’re set for the week.
Hummus & Carrot What you need: You can find hummus in the dairy / dips section of almost all grocery stores.
Why it’s great: Hummus is super healthy and filling and carrots are easy to transport!
What you need: Most supplement stores and even some grocery stores sell your run of the mill whey protein. You can mix it with water or milk – just shake until the powder has mixed well.
Why it’s great: Protein powder is a great refuel after a workout, and can also be used as a meal replacement or snack on the go. Plenty of protein for muscle restoration after a long day hiking or running for trains, the best part of all most of the flavours taste like dessert.
Fruit, fruit and more fruit What you need: Choose fruits that are easily transportable – apple, pear, berries etc. Dried fruits are also great.
Why it’s great: It’s fruit – duh.