I just came back from a long weekend in Mexico to witness two very dear friends get married. As a health coach, and someone who puts a lot of love and effort into eating healthy, I find traveling to always be a challenge. For me, life is about balance! And while on vacation I always give myself permission to teeter a little more than I normally would in my everyday routine because I know certain tools that can help me quickly get back on balance.
On this vacation I indulged in many margaritas, shrimp tempura, chips and gauc and desserts. So I’m no purist. Just gotta get back to basics every 2 or 3 meals to keep my body functioning properly.
That is why today’s blog is dedicated to sharing some of my strategies I deploy while traveling.
Here are a few of my tips:
- Planning is key – By nature, I am a planner. I love to look up places to visit and eat while on vacation whether I do them or not. Good to have options right? Yet this tool is a huge savior to helping you eat well while on vaca. Search for local restaurant that have versions of your favorite healthy foods, learn if there is a local market or grocery store nearby and prepare snacks for your trip. Think about planning as a fun adventure not as a diet restriction.
- Always eat breakfast – you usually can ensure a healthy quality breakfast while on vacation. If you are not at a hotel that offers a variety breakfast options such as eggs, oatmeal, toast or fruit you can bring your own. Buy a box of sprouted grain cereal or bring packets of healthy instant oatmeal (think hemp or flax nature’s choice with no added sugar) because you can always get some hot water. Remember, the way you start your day will determine the choices you make throughout the day. Skip the sweets or your balanced vacation is out the window.
- Keep Hydrated! – Why is it that on vacation it’s hard to get enough water? Is it just me? In many cases I don’t want to drink the tap water, so it’s important to stock up on bottled water. Sounds obvious but so often we’ll spend the day in the sun, have dinner with wine, and then by the next morning wake up dying of thirst and dehydrated. In my experience, restaurants outside the US don’t bring water to the table unless you ask, and even then the glasses are tiny. So, make sure to stock up on bottled water and try to drink a bottle before each meal while away. First thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night drink another glass.
- Eating Local– try a healthy food that is local to the area in which you are visiting. While in Mexico I had avocados, pineapples, cactus fruit at my fingertips and they made great healthy snacking options. When I am in Florida, visiting my family I will make sure to eat oranges and fresh fish in abundance. It is easy to want the burrito or bagel and I allow myself the leeway to enjoy that one meal but I make sure that all other meals are filled with local, fresh ingredients.
- Snacking –everyone loves to snack. Find a local grocery store and buy healthy snack items such as fruit, nuts, or healthy choices from a salad bar or deli section. If your only choice for a snack is the hotel vending machine, skip the candy and chips and look for nuts or microwave popcorn.
- Give yourself some leeway and relax- After all you are on vacation. Take some time to slow down and just be. Many of my clients actually lose weight when on vacation because they are stress free. So, take your time relax, savor and enjoy your food. Know that you have the tools to get right back on the health wagon and don’t let one meal ruin the way you eat for your entire vacation. No one wants to come back feeling bloated and crabby.
Hope these tips help for your next vacation. Since I still have a lot to learn on this front please share your favorite tips below for eating healthy while on the road. Bon Voyage!.