I’m sure for most people, this summer has felt different when it comes to travel. As we enter later stages of reopening, you might find yourself packing your bags, even if that means taking a (road)trip to some place more local. Wherever you go whether in the near future or farther down the line, here are some tips to staying healthy when you are away from the comfort of your home (and routine!).
A lot of it has to do with mindset, and can be applied to any vacation or even weekend outing. The main thing is to get out of any “cycle” mentality you have with travel (should you feel that way), and preventing that feeling of coming home and feeling like you need to “get back on track.” Make the healthy habits you have established generally consistent, so that you do have some wiggle room in your lifestyle to indulge every once in a while and you know that it isn’t going to derail your efforts.
First and foremost, listen to your body. This should be your primary focus no matter where you are, but especially when we travel as we are outside of our own kitchens and normal routine. Your body is a smart piece of equipment and the greatest compass you have. It is important to always make that mind/body connection, yet sometimes our mind tells us to eat the less nutritious food when in reality that is not what your body needs or wants. Tune in.
Do you. Everyone around you eating the fried food? That’s their prerogative. Our food choices are our business and while unfortunately it can be something we are scrutinized for, learn to say “sorry not sorry.” It’s how you take care of yourself and nothing you should feel weird or awkward about. Make those healthier choices with pride!
Play the whole tape. This can be applied not only for each meal/snack, but also for your whole trip. Forgo the instant gratification of less healthy choices and imagine how a food or behavior will make you feel on a longer-term basis. Also, envision how you want the whole trip to go and how you want to feel when you come out the other end. Do you want to feel tired/bloated/heavy or energized/nourished/lighter/refreshed?? Put pen to paper if you have to and literally write it all out before you leave!
Eat to satiety with digestion in mind. When presented with less nutritious options and there is nothing else to eat, just be mindful and practice portion control. Eat until satisfied (not overly stuffed) and until you feel your stomach is about 2/3 the way full so it can do it’s job efficiently. When we eat until we are stuffed to the gills, our bodies can’t digest properly.
Eat for blood sugar balance. Healthy fats, fiber and protein! If possible, try to have the presence of all three macronutrients at every meal.
Move. In some way shape or form every day. Start the morning with a long walk (best way to explore a new place), research fitness studios and take a class, bring your yoga mat. I love this Manduka light weight travel mat!
Eat real food as much as possible and read ingredients with those that come in a package. If you can’t read or understand an ingredient, neither can your body. Those foods that only have 1 ingredient (spinach, apple, almond) are your best choices.
Plan and prepare. Locate your nearest market to pick up fruits, veggies, nuts etc during your stay. If possible, bring healthy snacks with you for emergencies.
If you are staying at someone’s house, offer to cook or bring a healthier option. If possible, offer to contribute and fix healthier fare! Or think making guacamole or bringing hummus with veggies or crackers for appetizers and snacks.
While traveling, we are often eating out a lot more. Don’t be afraid to ask for tweaks or substitutions to items on the menu. 99% of the time a restaurant will be happy to accommodate your requests.
Go easy on the alcohol. Empty calories which will wreak havoc on blood sugar and may encourage less nutritious choices. Limit if possible not to overload system.
Prioritize self-care. Nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves! It’s possible even when we travel.
Do the best you can where you are with what you have. When in doubt, do your best to make healthy choices. You will know what that means when the time comes.