Summer is a time when many of us want to take a break from our regular routines, and go on vacation. Yet when on vacation, we are bombarded with so many unhealthy temptations. Rose in Saint Tropez? Croissants in France? Fried chicken and biscuits in Georgia? It all takes a toll on your mood, energy, and health and how well that bikini fits. Here is how to enjoy the right foods while on vacation.
Vacation begins at the airport.
Start your trip with health on your mind by packing a healthy, filling meal or snack for the airplane (airplane food is very unhealthy and expensive). Some ideas for the airplane include: a sandwich, fresh produce like berries or an apple, hummus or guacamole and cut veggies, or a handful of nuts. You can also make a trail mix, with nuts, seeds, popcorn and some dark chocolate.
Drive past the drive-thru.
If you’re driving to your getaway, before you hit the road, plan where and when you will be stopping for meals. It can actually be a fun activity and it will give you more flexibility when choosing a healthy restaurant. And of course, pack your own healthy snacks! Pre-cut apples and almond butter are a great, quick snack.
Don’t skip breakfast.
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. If you start your day with a healthy breakfast, you will ensure high energy for the day, especially with all the sight seeing you may be doing. It will also make you less likely to snack on something unhealthy later in the day. Most hotels offer great brunches; so take advantage of the spread. Skip the sweet pastries and pancakes, and opt for a filling egg omelet with lots of veggies in it, sliced avocado, and antioxidant-rich berries on the side. You can even add a piece of bacon to your breakfast for a treat.
Be sure to keep a few protein bars, veggies, and fresh pieces of fruit with you. This way when hunger strikes, you will be less likely to do a mad dash to a convenience store to grab the heat-lamp hot dog and potato chips. Some great snack ideas include, snack size nut butter packs, trail mix, travel size hummus or guacamole, protein bars (Lara bars are one of my favorites), and a PB&J sandwich.
It’s important to always carry water with you. Traveling can be dehydrating. When you don’t take in enough fluids, it’s easy to mistake dehydration for hunger. Also being 30,000 feet in the air on a plane can be very dehydrating. Buy a big bottle of water after going through security, it will help you stay hydrated, fight jet lag, and grogginess.
Enjoy one big splurge meal.
Every town has that one thing they are famous for. Be it deep dish pizza in Chicago or croissants in Paris, you should let yourself indulge in moderation. Choose two meals or one day when you’re going to enjoy yourself with the local cuisine, then be a conscious eater for the rest of the trip. You can still have lobster on the coast, but don’t get it fried. Have that burger but instead of the french fries, ask for grilled or sautéed veggies as your side.
It’s important to stay regular on vacation. It can be hard because your routine has been changed. Different sleep schedule, odd meal times, or jet lag can affect your digestion and throw off your body’s circadian rhythm. Another factor is not being able to relax enough to use the restroom in an unfamiliar bathroom. Increasing your fiber intake can help and it also fights constipation by bulking up stool. Make sure to eat vegetables and berries, or bring chia or flax seeds with you. These are all very high in fiber. If you are still having trouble, eat 2-3 prunes. Also be sure to take in more water than usual to stay regular.
See the local sights on your list on foot or bike. Make it a point to skip the bus tours and explore your new surroundings on foot. This can be more fun and it’s a great way to unknowingly burn calories while taking in the views. You can get in a great work out while seeing a new city.
For more information and to book an appointment with Helaine Schonfeld, contact Naturna Institute.
Written By: Helaine Schonfeld, Nutritionist at Naturna Institute
Member of the Kali Girl Tribe.