How to eat local and stay healthy on your next overseas adventure
By Lisa Pagotto
Constantly travelling is something many people dream of. Waking up in a new exotic location, exploring the undiscovered, mingling with the locals and making the most of life. Although glamourous on the outside, travel does take its toll on your body. Changes in time zones, red eye flight schedules and not to mention when things don't run to plan to your schedule is knocked out of whack.
One of the simplest things to take care of when on the go, is your nutrition. No matter how remote you may be, there is always a healthy option available if you are prepared to look. And generally, the more remote you go, the fresher the produce!
Purchasing from Local Markets or street side vendors
I don't mean taking a risk on that weird looking meat that's been sitting in the sun all day at a small city street vendor stall, but more looking for that fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables from the local markets and street side vendors. The produce is fresh, locally and organically grown and more likely than not, pesticides haven't been used (especially if you are quite remote). Fresh produce from locally sustainable areas are often extremely well priced too. A bunch of bananas for 5 kina in PNG ($1.50)? Yes please! It is also a great way to mingle with the locals and immerse yourself in the local culture- needless to say you are also helping the local economy by providing the locals with a sustainable source of income!
Eat local delicacies
Apart from the fresh produce side of things, every country has their own speciality. Quite often they are healthy and nutritious (search Virgin Boy Eggs!)Local delicacies are always fun to try, with many being strange and bizarre from what most travellers are used too! If snake soup, stinky tofu or scorpions doesn't sit well with you, it may be worthwhile trying some mainstream options. For example, when travelling to Vietnam it may be worth trying their fresh and vibrant street food such as rice paper rolls or pho whilst washing it down with some local organic tea.
Order lots of Veggies
This may seem like common sense, but when travelling it is easy to get caught up in consuming what is easiest to buy which may not always be healthy. Deep fried foods when travelling leave you feeling lethargic and don't provide the energy you need to keep exploring. Vege's are also a safer option than salads as they will have been grilled, baked or boiled reducing the risk of contamination. Quite often, vege's are seasoned with the most incredible local flavours too!
Take Vitamins Or Supplements
Sometimes it can be difficult accessing foods that you are used to in remote locations and as a result it can be difficult to eat a healthy balanced meal with all the essential vitamins when traveling. Travellers may benefit from taking daily multi-vitamins. I always find it useful travelling with hydrolyte and probiotic tablets that do not require refrigeration to assist you tummy with the introduction of foreign foods.
Its always good to have something handy and healthy tucked away in you bag. BD bars & Bites are definitely an essential part of ensuring I stay healthy when travelling. They are a great snack to consume if you are feeling a bit peckish and are full of only the good stuff. No sugar highs, followed by crashing lows and they genuinely provide you with a kick of energy. I am one of many people who suffers from food intolerances and Blue Dinosaur bars / bites are definitely a great option for those with specific dietary requirements e.g. Paleo, vegan or gluten free.
About the author: Lisa Pagotto is the owner of Crooked Compass, a boutique tour operator that uncovers the world's best kept secrets by providing culturally immersive experiences that support local communities and projects. Travellers see their destination through the eyes of a local, uncovering the side of a destination they didn't know existed.