We all love to travel although staying healthy can be challenging at times, but you can do it!
Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Whether it’s visiting family, taking vacations, on a business trip, or just a quick get away, travel is a part of most peoples lives. Knowing how to stay healthy, picking the right food options, and knowing what and how to prepare ahead is important to keep a healthy body and mind going strong. No matter what the occasion, being away from home disrupts your routine, eating patterns, and at times even your health. Planning ahead and making the right choices with what’s available is an important factor in staying healthy while you’re on route and when you reach your destination. If it’s in the car, camper van, plane, boat, whatever your mode of transport, and wherever your destination is, there is usually a way you (and your family) can be prepared for a healthy and happy trip.I have traveled many places around the world, and as a Vegan, or no matter what your lifestyle choice is, there are many challenges you may encounter. Depending on where you are, the town, the region, the state, or country, the food and lifestyles can change dramatically. Keeping an open mind (and palate) always helps when traveling, but be aware of falling into the ‘vacation mode’ of unhealthy food and drink 24/7. Pre planning is key and may mean the difference between abandoning your healthy lifestyle or keeping on track. Here are a few tips to consider when you are planning your next trip.
Unless you know there are healthy options, pack your own food and snacks. Nut butters and hummus are good options as long as they are already prepared in a wrap or sandwich. In containers, they may be considered liquid and be taken at security. You can buy small packaged nut butters (www.justins.com) and if you are able to travel with fruit (cut up helps like apples, bananas), this is a great snack to combine. Also baby carrot, nuts, dried fruits, healthy protein or energy bars, your own packed salads, rice crackers, etc. Buy your big bottle of water (or fill up your empty one) after security, to make sure you are fully hydrated while flying. Skip the alcohol, it is dehydrating and adds to health related travel issues as well as the jet lag.Restaurants:
If dining out, use the web ahead of time. There are some great apps and information to search ahead of time for healthy dining options; Urbanspoon.com, Happycow.com. to name a few. Once you find a restaurant, scan the menu and see what they have to offer. Stay away from the fast food outlets, as they usually are high in fat & calories and are not real food but “food-like” products.Being prepared and having an idea of what food lies ahead of you will help you stick to your goals and healthful way of eating.
Hotels:When staying in a hotel (or before booking) see what they have to offer. It is always a bonus if they have a mini-fridge in the room so you are able to keep a few healthy snacks and drinks on hand. This helps remove the temptation to raid the dreaded mini bar.Bringing a small powered blender (Magic bullet/Nutra bullet) is great to have on hand when your body is craving something fresh, quick and healthy. Kids also love smoothies, so save time, money and make your own.
Creating the occasional meal yourself (even while in a hotel) can be healthier at times than always dining out. No kitchen necessary. Go to your local supermarket or farmers market and pick up some healthy supplies like mixed salads, vegetables, bagged carrots, fruits and even some canned beans, fish or chickpeas. A quick picnic in your room or at a park is always a fun option.
Keep that body Active as well by using the exercise facilities your hotel may offer. A pool, gym or even some morning yoga classes can keep you moving and motivated.
Skip the continental breakfast (yes, you heard me) Just because its free and staring at you doesn’t mean you need to eat it all. Take some fruit, an egg, but skip the piles of carb heavy muffins, bagels, breads and other sugary options.
A road trip is always the easiest way to stay on track when it comes to food in my opinion. I always have multiple coolers and water bottles, even if it’s only a few hours, especially with kids who are hungry from the get go! By bringing your own healthy snack, dips, fruits, cut vegetables, water and healthy juices, you are more likely to keep your body healthy and happy and also less likely to make that fast food pit stop while filing the gas tank. I use an App called Vegman or Vegout (2.99), which gives me healthy vegetarian or vegan restaurant options no matter where I am in the world. My advice is even if you are not a 100% plant based, while traveling, it is usually a safer option when your not so sure about the freshness or safety of the food.
Another tip is make sure and stop every few hours if possible and stretch your legs, take an impromptu hike, or even a quick nap if needed. When you arrive at your destination, I guarantee, you and your passengers will arrive in a much better state of mind and body.
Cruise ships have a well-deserved reputation of a 24hr feast-a-thon. Amongst the gluttony of food and drinks (those cute umbrella drinks, wine, and sodas can add 150-450 calories / drink) some ships have taken on a healthier approach with no trans fats aboard (Royal Caribbean, Holland America, & Carnival). Many also offer vegetarian/ Vegan low salt, low carb, and diabetic options.
Don’t think about sitting around, there are loads of action packed activities such as running tracks, indoor rock climbing, gyms, pools, fitness and yoga classes as to keep those calories burning.
So if you want that fun, healthy and active cruise that has you coming home feeling awesome and ready for more, then plan ahead and see which ship fits the bill.
The 80/20 rule:
We all can’t live up to 100% healthy all the time, nor do we want to. It’s fun to indulge once and a while and experience new things but the aim is not to use it as your excuse to go crazy. As long as you can try and stay healthy 80% of the time, then you are sure to stay on track and find a balance while traveling.
If your traveling for business or pleasure, feeling good about yourself and your choices will have you coming home feeling re-energized and just maybe even better than when you left.
There are many benefits of traveling, like trying new cuisines, cultures, experiencing fun and interesting places, new traditions, lifestyles, meeting new people, experiences you may not get by being home. A vacation from our “norm” and breaking away form our daily routine is what I love about traveling. It energizes, re-focuses and gives us a different perspective on life, as we know it.
So remember to Plan ahead, choose real whole foods, stay active, and have fun. This will guarantee a happy, healthy and fitful trip for all.