By Karrie Billets, Functional Nutrition Health Coach
Traveling can make everything so unpredictable, sometimes stressful, and definitely full of temptation. But there’s no need to arrive home from your trip with a junk food hangover & your body in distress. Here are some strategies to help you stick to your healthy eating habits while traveling.
Pack your own foods: Always bring your own store bought “healthy” snacks or create your own. Bake some gluten free muffins, make some granola, trail mix, hard boiled eggs, toast some coconut chips, and cut up fruits and veggies. Brew some fresh ice tea & put into glass jars. I keep a list of my favorite healthy store bought foods to take a long time as well.
Restaurant surfing: Use Yelp or scope out menus from restaurants that say “farm to table”. Check out Food Tripping, Healthy Out, Find me Gluten Free, and Dine Gluten Free. Menu surf ways to customize your meal to fit your nutritional needs. Some options to choose; bun-less burgers, lettuce wraps, protein bowls, salads topped with protein, sushi, baked sweet potatoes, or fajitas. Avoid sauces, which usually contain sugar, gluten, inflammatory oils or soy.
Hit the grocery stores: Visit grocery stores or natural food stores upon your arrival. Browse the healthy aisle for snacks & prepared items like rotisserie chicken, cut up veggies, fresh fruits, nitrate-free deli meat, or grab something at a salad bar.
Aim for 80/20 rule: If you’re traveling, you probably won’t be 100% perfect. 80% of the time adhere to your home diet, but leave 20% for the unexpected foods. A poor food choice here and there is not the end of the world. After all, you’re on vacation to relax, not stress over the perfect food. Don’t use your 80% on a hotel danish or gas station Skittles. Just keep it to quality “worth it” choices. Having a snack arsenal is a must!
Raid the farmers market: When you arrive at your destination or along the way, seek out local fresh food. You may even find foods you’ve never had.
Stay active: Try yoga on the beach, hiking or kayaking, hop on a bike, or go for long walks. These can be great ways to stay active in an enjoyable way.
The extras: You can pack a shaker bottle to easily add water or nut milk to your protein powder, super greens, or supplement powders. Don’t forget your vitamin organizer. I love food huggers to keep foods fresh & sealed. Pack your favorite supplements to help with sleep and ones to help keep you regular like magnesium citrate. Include essential oils, like peppermint for the unexpected headaches, or lavender for a good night’s rest.
A vacation is meant to be just that—a break, a retreat, an exciting escape; a time not to worry, but to relax, enjoy your surroundings, the people you are with and the great food. Our bodies crave rest and play, and these activities can certainly be a great addition to a healthy, well-balanced happy lifestyle. Happy excursions….Karrie