It's summertime, which often means more summer vacations. Whether we are traveling for vacation or work, it can be challenging to stay on track with our healthy habits. Although it often causes a disruption to our routine, there are some things that are in our control that can support us with staying on track while still enjoying our trips. Below you will find a few tips to hopefully support you with having healthier and happier travels.
Pack Healthy Snacks: Having healthy snacks on hand is helpful if you want to make healthier choices while traveling, because there might not be nutritious options available when you start getting hungry. If you are flying, consider packing snacks such as: nuts, dried fruit, Larabars, RXbars, nut butter packets, kale chips, air popped popcorn, granola, roasted chickpeas, oatmeal packets, soup cups, etc. If you will be in the car, consider packing a cooler with healthy items such as: veggies, hummus, fruit, healthy sandwiches, prepared salad, Greek yogurt, etc. When you arrive to your destination, whether you are planning a day at the beach, out exploring, or going to work meetings, it's also important to be prepared and have healthy snacks on hand if you are unsure of the options that will be available.
Look for Healthier Options Ahead of Time: Luckily, airports, gas stations, restaurants, and even some fast food restaurants are offering some more nutritious options these days. Consider planning ahead and looking for healthier options around you. Here are some examples:
Subway: Choose whole grain bread and leaner protein, load up on lots of veggies, and use a lighter sauce like mustard or vinegar.
Chick-Fil-A: Grilled chicken nuggets, grilled chicken sandwich, kale salad, and fruit salad are more nutritious options that are available now.
Panera: They have a variety of healthy foods such as salads, soups, healthy sandwiches, smoothies, fruit, etc.
Qdoba or Chipotle: Choose a salad or bowl instead of a burrito, opt for brown rice, order leaner protein, add veggies and salsa, top with some guacamole for some heart healthy fats.
Starbucks: Choose a latte or cappuccino with almond, soy, or low-fat milk instead of a sugary drink, and opt for healthier food items such as: egg white bites, oatmeal, spinach egg white feta wrap, reduced-fat turkey bacon egg white sandwich, etc.
General Restaurants: Look for places that offer nutritious options such as: veggies, fruit, lean protein, baked or steamed foods rather than fried, whole grains, etc.
Eat Fresh and Local: Depending on where you are traveling to, there could be healthy options such as: exotic fruits, delicious veggies, fresh seafood, etc. This is a wonderful way to experience the culture while consuming more nutritious foods.
Stay Hydrated: Consider packing a reusable water bottle you can have on hand. This will save you money, encourage you to have more water over sugary drinks, and it's better for the environment. Also, it if you are consuming alcohol on your trip, drinking water in between your drinks can support with practicing more moderation and maybe even prevent a potential hangover.
Don't Skip Meals: Since traveling can disrupt our routine, often it can cause us to skip meals. This can leave us feeling lethargic, sick, irritated, and overly hungry, and cause us to overeat at our next meal. Since we typically don't feel our best when we are undereating or overeating, this can also cause us to not enjoy our vacation as much.
Everything in Moderation: When we restrict ourselves, often it causes us to crave whatever we are restricting more, which in return can lead to overindulging, and have negative effects on our physical and emotional health. If you really want something, consider allowing yourself to have it without judgement and just be mindful of the portion. For example: Say you really want that dessert. Then order it and enjoy it, maybe share it with someone else, box up half of it to go, or just stick to the one dessert versus two.
Practice Balance: Balance is key when it comes to enjoying the foods you want while staying on track with your health goals. Consider allowing yourself the less nutrient dense option, but balance it out with something more nutritious. Some examples include: pairing pizza with a side salad, ordering your favorite pasta dish but adding some veggies to it, having the hamburger but opting for a side vegetable instead of French fries, having the cocktail with a glass of water on the side, etc.
Cook In: If you have a kitchen or grill available, consider cooking in some while traveling. This will give you the opportunity to cook some healthier options, and it can save you some money from dining out every night.
Get Moving: Consider getting some activity in while traveling. This will provide you with endorphins and more energy so that you can fully enjoy your trip. It also can add some fun and enjoyment to your travels depending on what you do. Here are some examples: walk around and explore, go on a hike or bike ride to see nature, walk the beach, swim, jump the waves in the ocean, take a group fitness class offered at your resort, hit the hotel gym, play an active game with the family, go dancing, do sunrise or sunset yoga, walk around at the airport, get out of the car and walk around or stretch when you stop for gas on your road trip, etc.
De-stress: Consider practicing some self-care and unwinding while you are traveling. If you are on vacation you will hopefully have plenty of time for this. Here are some ideas: reading, laying on the beach, sitting by a fire, getting a massage, sipping and enjoying your coffee in the morning, doing a sunrise yoga, going on a beach walk, etc. If you are traveling for work, it can be more challenging to find time to de-stress, however carving out even a little time can be beneficial. Here are some examples: Do a 5 minute meditation, practice deep breathing in between meetings, exercise after work to decompress, read before bed, do some stretches, etc.
Avoid All or Nothing Thinking: If you do fall off track with your healthy habits while traveling, rather than beating yourself up over it, consider giving yourself some grace and focus on getting back on track. Self-sabotage is only going to hurt you, where as getting back on track during the next meal, the next day, or even when you return from vacation will help you to be successful with still reaching your health and wellness goals. One day or even a week is not going to make or break your goals, it's what you do most of the time that does.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you find this helpful for your upcoming trips.