After a grueling winter, it is time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride! Traveling is on many agendas, yet so is attempting to stay healthy and stray away from the unwanted holiday pounds.Whether you’re relaxing on the beach or exploring a new city, a time out from the normal routine can be wonderful thing. But it can also make it tough to stay fit between eating out, drinking by the pool side, or simply enjoying the local culture of where you are staying! All that fun means you might return home feeling less than refreshed. The good news is being healthy during your travels is possible. So how do you stay on a healthy diet while traveling to see family and friends? It’s very simple!
1.) Before you leave.
Eat a healthy meal full of protein, veggies and even some fiber. Don’t skimp with only a banana or protein drink and think you will be set. Although protein drinks are good, they wont fill you up before traveling. Also, if you tend to get carsick and right now you are thinking “no way am I going to eat before I leave!” Think again. Eating a healthy meal that have some sort of complex carb in it (Ezekiel bread, whole wheat bread/English muffin, quinoa, brown rice, etc.) will actually help settle any queasy stomach for safe travels!
2.) Pack snacks.
Pack healthy to-go snacks for a long car ride. Remember that you can always pack a cooler to keep your items cold! Some portable healthy snacks are:
- Apples and Peanut butter
- String Cheese
- Unsalted/plain peanuts and Almonds
- Protein Shake
- DIY Trail Mix! Add some plain almonds, plain peanuts, raisins, yogurt covered raisins or yogurt covered pretzels, seeds, etc. Just remember that 1/4 of a cup is the serving for all nuts and trail mixes!
- Fruit and Raw Veggies with ranch dip, hummus, peanut butter, etc.
- Lots of water! Although you do not want to stop every other mile to use the restroom, staying hydrated will keep the hunger away. Make sure to start hydrating a few days before and you will notice that the hunger is not as prominent. (this means less soda, coffee, beer, wine, etc.)
3.) Flying? No worries!
Make sure to have a few extra bucks with you while you are waiting for your flight. Some easy items to find in any airport that are healthy are:
- Fruit (typically an apple or banana)
- Unsalted nuts
- Salads (go for the ones with chicken or some type of protein in it to keep you full, and make sure dressing is not already added)
- Larger size waters because you tend to bloat more when on a plane and staying hydrated will actually take away some of the hunger. As said above, start hydrating a few days before!
4.) Pit stops.
When making a pit stop to a gas station or restaurant make sure to keep it simple. Choose grilled, broiled, steamed, roasted, baked or poached for your proteins and ask for vegetables to be steamed. Choose an appetizer for a main course with a side salad. Appetizers are typically smaller and better sized portions than the main dishes.
5.) Brighten it up.
Anything you eat or pick up along the way from an airport, gas station, hotel, or restraint should be very colorful. If you focus more on how many types of colors you can get onto your plate vs. how many calories and fat everything contains you will be less stressed and will end up enjoying the holidays a bit more! Eat more greens and fruits versus a sandwich and pretzels.
While out to dinner at your destination, the same applies! Opt for a red or white wine at dinner vs. the margaritas, champagne, etc. Keep it light and simple, drink water, and enjoy the company you’re with!
6.) Dont Stress!
You’re on vacation. A few indulgences will not kill you. Enjoy the local eatery, take pictures, and simply live in the moment.
7.) Visit food markets.
When you go to these type of markets, try out new things you haven’t had before! Sometimes if you tell the vendor that you’re just visiting and wanting to try something new, they will give you a discount, or give it to you for free. Also, you get to choose what you eat all while soaking up the culture! Whether you go to Florida or Greece, there is always new culture to absorb!
No.. do not find the local gym. Unless you really need to, of course. Personally, I would much rather be active around my vacation area than stare at a treadmill or rack of weights for an hour. When I visit Florida, I paddle board, canoe, swim, walk along the beach (5-8 miles), visit local fish restraints (protein!), etc. Go out and be adventurous! Chances are, you will get more exercise in by hiking, touring, etc. than you would by going to the gym.
9.) Pack snacks.
Wherever you go- boating, touring around the city, canoeing, or simply hanging out by the beach… pack snacks! If you have snacks that are healthy and energizing, then you will be less likely to binge on greasy fast food and cocktails. cheese and grapes are amazing snacks for those hanging out by water and catching some rays. Apples, trail mix, and water are a better choice for those hiking and touring!