What Does a Dietitian Eat in a Hotel Room
Throughout this article, you will discover what does a dietitian eat in a hotel room. As some of you already know, I will be abroad for the next few months. During my stay, I will be alternating between sleeping in a van, at hostels and at hotels. While the van and hostels are equipped with a kitchen, the hotels rooms usually only have a small fridge, limiting the amount of cooking that can be done.
As a registered dietitian, eating healthy remains one of my priorities, even when travelling. With a bit of creativity, I have managed to prepare varied and nutritious meals to maintain a great level of energy and a healthy gut.
Here are my go-tos when grocery shopping away from home. If you don’t already have one, get yourself a Tupperware so you can use it as a bowl or to store your leftovers.
Please note that I am not recommending nor am I affiliated with any of the brands presented. These were simply the best options available near me.
- Fruits and vegetables: Have your daily loads of fruits and vegetables by choosing ready to eat options that have been pre-cut and washed for your convenience. Aim for options that have a long shelf life in the fridge or on the counter such as apples, bananas, oranges, clementines, grapefruit, grapes, cantaloupe, kiwi, cherries, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, and bell peppers. Add fruits into your oatmeal, on a peanut butter toast or eat them as a snack. Use the vegetables to create salads, dip them into some hummus, add them into wraps or simply serve them with a bit of salt next to your meal.
- Nuts and seeds: Whether raw, roasted or made as butters, nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense foods and a source of plant-based protein. They don’t provide enough protein to constitute a meal by themselves, but they are perfect as snacks or additions to meals. Try adding some pumpkin seeds into your salads, some peanut butter on your toast, some cashews in your snacks, etc.
- Whole grain breads, pitas, cereals, and crackers: Breads, pitas and crackers are great ways to introduce whole grains into your diet when cooking rice, quinoa or pasta is not possible. Look for the words “whole” or “integral” on the nutritional label of products to ensure that they haven’t been refined and they contain all the fiber and nutrients they naturally grew with. Oats are another great way to upgrade your breakfast. Try making some overnight oats if you don’t have access to a stove or microwave. You can also buy some commercial cereals made from whole grains or granolas containing ground flax seeds, chia seeds and/or hemp seeds.
- Dairy products and soy alternatives: Dairy and soy products contain important nutrients such as protein, calcium and B12 vitamin. Add them to your breakfast and snacks to meet your daily needs. Avoid plant-based beverages such almond, oat, cashew, or coconut milks which do not contain any protein. Prepare yourself a Greek yogurt parfait for breakfast, have a cup of milk with your peanut butter toast or have some crackers and cheese as a snack.
- Legumes: Canned chickpeas, beans and lentils are great sources of plant-based protein and fiber to add to your meals. They are already cooked and only need to be drained and rinsed. Add them to your salads or burritos. Hummus is also one of my go-tos. Enjoy it as a dip for your vegetables or spread it over your wraps.
- Canned fish: Canned salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are affordable ways to consume fish during your stay. They are also great sources of protein to add to your meals. On top of that, fatty fish are great sources of omega-3s. Add them to your wraps, salads, sandwiches or get yourself some tuna with crackers as a snack.
- Spices and salad dressings: All-purpose spices are a game changer when traveling. They are very versatile and will help you add some flavors to your meals. Salads are easy to assemble from pre-cut and washed vegetables and a great salad dressing always makes them more interesting.
- Sweets and goods: Just like everyone else, dietitians also enjoy eating some less nutritious snacks from time to time. While fruits are my go-to for breakfast and snacks, I enjoy having a few squares of chocolate for dessert. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with eating a few chips or popcorn while watching a moving after a long day. Listen to your body and your personal preferences.
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