Last month I took an international trip to Prague (Praha), Czechoslovakia. Prior to my departure date, I was a bit anxious because I thought I might have a problem continuing to maintain healthy eating habits while away. Although I did not succeed in abstaining from sugar completely, (don’t use my trip as an example, it can be done if you want to!), I found several healthy food items that were allowed for overseas travel.
You’ll notice that two of the items on the list contain sugar. It’s taken me a long time to complete this post as I’ve rewritten it several times. I now can admit that I used my trip as an excuse to get some sugar in, which only led to my difficulties getting back on track after I returned home. Today, after being 100% free of refined sugar and sugar alcohols since I began my experiment on Friday, May 4, 2007, I wouldn’t have purchased these products. If you don’t have a problem with sugar though, you may like them and they do work for international flights (I left everything in their original packages, packed unopened in my checked bag, except for some protein and fruit bars that I carried on board).
The other reason that I took this food (besides trying to stay on a health track) was because my research of Prague all said that the food was not very good in general, and they did not have many fresh fruits and vegetables available. This turned out to be completely false. It’s possible that this may have been the case years ago, however I do not know since this was my first time there. I enjoyed one of the best chicken salads I’ve ever had in my life, and the grilled skewer of meat that I bought from a vendor in Wenceslas square was absolutely the best, these being only a couple of examples.
The trip was just great, and all of the walking that I did while there (minimum 10 miles a day) with the intense schedule of sight-seeing helped me to not obsess about sweets anyway, and only once did I overeat that week. This isn’t what my daily routine is like now though, and my progress shows that cutting out the refined sugar and sugar alcohols completely was the way to go.
I thought I would share my list with you since it is not always easy to find healthy foods that are acceptable for travel. I ended up eating most of the foods that I took with me, although I took too many canned items and brought them back with me. Below are 10 foods that I took with me, where I bought them, their ingredients, and my opinion of each.
**While I had no problem bringing these foods in through customs, please remember that I traveled in April, 2007, and the way that things change so quickly with air travel, it’s best to check all current guidelines yourself before you pack. Remember, that in order to bring anything through customs that it must be sealed, and countries may differ in what they allow through.
- Lärabar, The original Fruit and Nut Bar, No added sugar— gluten, dairy, and soy free.
Costco, box of 18, 29.4 oz.
Apple (Pie): dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon
Pecan (Pie): dates, pecans, almonds
Cherry (Pie): dates, almonds, unsweetened cherries.
These are quite sweet even though they do not contain refined sugar. They are small and rich so one bar is enough for one sitting. I am not able to eat these now that I am home since they do contain so much natural sugar, they give me cravings for more sugar.
- Mariani (Kirkland Signature) Mixed Fruit, No added sugar
Costco, 2.25 lb. bag
California pitted dried plums, dried calif. Peaches, dried apricots (product of Turkey), dried pears (product of U.S. or Argentina), dried apples (product of Chile or Argentina), and dried Calif. Apricots. Potassium Sorbate and Sulphur Dioxide added as preservatives.
This wasn’t my favorite item, although I’ve never been a huge fan of dried fruit.
- Del Monte canned No Sugar Added Sliced Peaches, Sweetened with Splenda
Meijer, 14.5 oz. pop-top can
Peaches, water, ascorbic acid, acesulfame potassium, sucralose
These are good, and quite handy for travel since you don’t need a can opener.
- Mountain Madness Premium Granola (Original Blend) No refined sugar, no dairy, wheat, GMO (genetically modified organism), trans fat, cholesterol, preservatives.
Costco, 36 oz. bag
Whole grain rolled oats, clover honey, non-gmo expeller pressed canola oil, almonds, walnuts, raisins, non-gmo soy flour, whole grain crisp rice, sesame seeds, molasses, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, sea salt.
This was good, although it contains sugar so I don’t eat it now.
- Crown Prince Natural NSA (No Salt Added) Tongol Tuna
Whole Foods, 6.125 oz. pop-top can
Tongol tuna, spring water (sodium count: 35 mg since the tuna contains natural sodium)
Good, and I eat this while at home. Another handy pop-top.
- Hormel No Salt Added 98% Fat Free Premium Chunk Breast of Chicken in Water
Meijer, 5 oz. can
Chicken breast meat with rib meat, water, modified food starch, sodium phosphates (sodium count: 70 mg)
Good NSA (no salt added) choice for protein. Need to pack a can opener although Hormel also sells a similar product in a pop-top that is not NSA. **Chicken is another food that naturally contains sodium, which is why the ingredients still show 70mg of sodium even though there isn’t any salt added to this product.
- CLIF Builders Protein bars
Whole Foods, 2.4oz bar
20g Protein, no HFCS
See their site where you can select the different flavors and view all ingredients.
I like the mint flavor the best. This is something else that I cannot eat now because they cause me to crave sweets due to their sugar alcohols.
- Del Monte No Salt Added Cut Green Beans
Many different grocery stores, 14.5 oz. can
Green Beans, Water
Here is one processed food that I love. I eat these often. 🙂
- Annie’s Naturals Organic Honey Mustard
Whole Foods, 9oz. small plastic bottle
*Mustard (*Apple Cider Vinegar, *Yellow Mustard Seed, Salt), *Sugar, *Honey, *Cinnamon. *=Organic Ingredients
Very good, although another item I’m not eating now as is does contain sugar, honey, and salt. I will be making my own homemade version of this sans salt and sugar.
- Baby food
Find in any grocery store, ingredients vary.
Surprisingly, baby food can be an excellent option for some healthy food while traveling. Read the ingredients and you will find that most do not contain sugar and are all-natural. While this likely isn’t what you would want to eat every day, it is an option and is a way to stay healthy and off the sugar while traveling.
You cannot carry these on the flight however; they must be packed in your checked bag.
Some of them are good and this truly is a great option when you are in a pinch.