It’s been just over 18 months now that I learnt all about eating clean as a digital nomad. In fact, if you read My Story, you’ll discover I didn’t actually know I was a digital nomad even at the time. The decision I did make however was to focus on my health and ‘eating clean’.
After I went to a Tony Robbins event: Unleash the Power Within (otherwise known as ‘UPW’), I changed my thinking for good. I cut out everything on the ‘Acid’ scale; such as Coffee, Alcohol, Meat, Dairy, Sugar, Gluten and any other processed foods. And I replaced it with things on the ‘Alkaline’ scale; such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, green smoothies and various supplements and extra goodies.
The result? I lost over 9.5 kilos, re-gained my energy and zest for life. I also found that my concentration levels went up and my productivity with them.
So exactly what was the downside to all this?
I found that eating out can sometimes be a challenge, unless you are mixing with fellow clean, raw, or vegan eaters. Try going to an average English restaurant and you can end up with a bland side-salad, or a plate of plain vegetables. Trust me, I’ve been there. Your friends though often have more of an issue with it than you do, which is interesting as well.
What then can you do to minimise the fuss, and stay focussed on the lifestyle you have chosen?
I would often just make sure I’d eaten first, so the small salad is all I’d need and I can focus on the company I’m with. Alternatively, you can make sure you research the restaurant ahead of time, even call them and see if the chef can make something ‘without’ the bits you are not wanting.
This is great if you are based in one place, but what about eating clean as a digital nomad? As you know I’ve been travelling, living and working out of my 20K suitcase for almost 3 years now, so how do I manage the food side of things.
Here Are My 10 Top Tips To Eating Clean As A Digital Nomad:
1. Always carry your raw/vegan/green/superfood powders with you.
Before I leave the UK on each visit, I stock up on my favourite Superfood powders to add to water, smoothies and sometimes just to sprinkle over my food. I like combinations of: Maca, Lucuma, Cacao, Chia, Hemp, Coconut, Spirulina, Wheatgrass, and many more.
If you are travelling in hot countries you will need to keep them refrigerated, and I always do this anyway. You can buy smallish sachets via Amazon and they pack down really light in your case.
Just add a teaspoon to at least one meal a day to give you an extra energy boost.
2. Keep staple dry foods in your suitcase.
It’s also pretty easy to pack some raw crackers (ideally make yourself before you leave), nut butters, raw nuts, seeds and dry fruits. You can also buy some ‘raw’ bars from a lot of western super-markets. If I’m tight for weight, and travelling out of the UK, I stock up at the Boots in the airport once I’ve gone through security. I recently did that on my way to Majorca, and had a bar a day.
I also recommend carrying your own herbal teas, as you just don’t know when they’ll come in super useful.
3. Stay hydrated with plenty of clean fresh water.
Sometimes when we are busy moving about it can be easy to forget to hydrate, so buy a large bottle and re-fill as you go. Just remember to empty it at the airport before you check-in.
You can also buy alkalysing drops to add your water, and this will up-grade what you are drinking. A lot of bottled waters just aren’t that good for you, but you’ll be limited with what you can get in certain countries.
In Asia you live on bottled water for everything, so having a way to make it the best you can is great.
4. Have lock-tight boxes with nuts, seeds and ‘emergency’ rations in.
I love my little boxes for snack foods, and just wouldn’t want to be without them. You can add a mix of nuts, seeds and berries (or raw balls…yummy) and keep in your day bag at all times.
If you have a fridge, then preparing some vegetable sticks and humous is another great stand-by.
5. Look for accommodation with a fridge and kitchen facilities.
When you are focused on eating clean as a digital nomad the chances are you’ll be looking for accommodation for a month or so at a time. This makes life a lot easier, as rental rooms, home-stays, AirBnB usually all come with at least a fridge and some basics food preparation items. Or maybe a shared kitchen.
Be prepared to find a local shop and buy some extra bits if needed. I stayed in a hotel room in Chiang Mai for a month with only a fridge. But soon converted the ‘dressing table’ into my own mini kitchen. I bought a knife, chopping board, plate, bowl and cups.
It’s amazing what you can do with just those items!
At the other end of the scale, I’m currently staying in a house that happened to have a juicer, blender and dehydrator already. These were not being used, so I dusted them off and use them everyday…bliss.
6. Do your research for healthy vegan, raw café’s ahead of time.
This is absolutely vital and can save you hours of frustration when you arrive somewhere new. Tomorrow I fly to Bali, and I’ve already looked up where is good to eat, with vegan healthy food.
I use Pinterest search to do this. Just hop over to the home feed on Pinterest and type in ‘raw, vegan, Bali’ – and look at what you find. Bloggers love writing guides to well visited places, as well as recommendations of where to eat and what do see.
Just check the date of the blog post. I always look for posts written within the last 6 months, or a year at the most. Create your own board, so you can check back later.
7. Join Facebook Groups just before arriving.
This is probably the fastest way to find out everything you want to know when arriving somewhere new. Go to Facebook and search for vegan foodies in your desired area. Join the group, let people know you are arriving and ask where to go for fresh food, meet-ups or cafes etc.
I’d do this even if I was just passing through. You can meet some great like-mined people and of course get all the very latest information. Don’t forget to also provide help and value to others in the group, even after you have left the area.
8. Find where the locals shop for fresh fruit and veg.
You can save yourself a fortune, as well as getting the very best fresh, often organic food. Again, ask around in the Facebook group, or use Pinterest to find relevant blogs.
I absolutely loved the organic market on a Sunday morning in Chiang Mai, and filled my room with amazing food. As well as going to the wholesale market and buying a huge bag of cucumbers, mangos or whatever was in season.
9. Minimise eating out to once a day, by making your own small meals.
When I recently landed back in Australia, to spend some time with my youngest daughter (who manages a traditional bakery), I was thrown straight into…”what do you mean you don’t eat…”
I was surrounded by all the things I had chosen to avoid for my own health and temptation set in. I found myself compromising my beliefs just to ‘make it easy’. It didn’t take me long, however , to get back to clean food, as I’d fund my energy levels had dropped again and I love to feel energised and on top of things.
10. Focus on 80% quality greens and you can enjoy your 20% without stress.
Lastly, eating clean as a digital nomad is also about creating balance and having fun. I believe in the 80/20 rule; focus on doing really well for most of the time, then you can have a more traditional meal out, or enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine.
Well I hope this has inspired you to know that you can travel, live the life of your dreams and not compromise your health. Eating clean as a digital nomad is vital, because if you spend a lot of time sat on your bum, typing away at your laptop you want to be feeding your body with the very best nutrients.