The hot summer months of vacation season are upon us. As much as we all love a good vacation, it can be challenging to balance healthy eating with the "laissez faire" attitude of summer travel. It's important to not let "the rules" get in the way of enjoying your time away. Instead, make it an opportunity to practice eating mindfully, taking care of your body and feeding it right.
When you're on the road, you may think, "this is easier said than done," but it doesn't have to be. Here's the secret...
Honor your body by making a healthy eating and living game plan. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, try implementing some of these simple tips to healthy living on the road!
5 Tips for a Lean Life on the Road:
START YOUR DAY RIGHT: You're on vacation and you want to make the best of it. Don't set yourself up for being "hangry" later on.
- Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. Try filling your plate with foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates, lean protein and some fat to help stabilize blood sugar, energy and hunger levels.
- A great breakfast when living life on the road could include a hearty bowl of oatmeal. Top it with a variety of nuts, fruit and a drizzle of honey. The last thing you want is boring, plain oatmeal!
- An omelet packed with your favorite veggies is always a satisfying choice. Substitute the bacon or sausage with a side of fruit that's packed with antioxidants.
- WARNING: Simple carbohydrates will slow you down. Use caution with baked goods such as danishes, donuts or muffins. These breakfast foods will likely cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar followed by a dreadful crash, which will get in the way of your tourist game! If your travels include hitting up culinary landmarks for a maple-bacon-frosted donut or a french crueller, be sure to pair this treat with protein (glass of milk, serving of yogurt...) to help steady your blood sugar.
- It's the most important meal of the day for a reason! Think of it this way - it's fueling your body for a day full of optimal sightseeing.
GET YOUR WORKOUT ON: Regardless of your dining out or travel schedule, staying active will keep you energized and ready for the next adventure on your inventory.
- It will keep stress levels low and spirits high!
- There's a good chance you're getting enough of a workout in with all of that sightseeing, but if you find yourself bogged down, try a simple hotel room circuit routine. This could include push-ups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, walking or running in place and crunches.
- Don't feel like trying to figure it out on your own? Try looking up a YouTube video! There are thousands the choose from.
INDULGE WITH BALANCE: Food is a major part of your vacation experience. Don't feel like you need to restrict yourself completely!
- Feel like having dessert? Have dessert! It's important to maintain a healthy balance, but it shouldn't get to the point that it takes away from your experience. Make this a treat, not an unhealthy habit.
- Don't cheat yourself! When you look back on your vacation, do you think you'll regret eating that dessert that went so perfectly with your glass of wine? Don't miss out on the good stuff, but be sure to eat slowly and savor every bite.
- Don't waste your time worrying about how may calories you just consumed. Let go and enjoy; you have all the time in the world to get back on track.
PACK YOUR SNACKS FOR ON-THE-GO FUEL: It's important that you have your own snacks handy when hunger strikes. Keep a stash of nuts, trail mix, protein and energy bars on hand so that when things at the office or on the road get too busy, you know you have a healthy and nourishing alternative to the overpriced cookie or muffin.
STAY HYDRATED: The benefits are endless when you are well hydrated, especially when you are moving from place to place. Here's why:
- It will not only help keep your metabolism working strong but it will also help to give you mental clarity and focus as you work or play.
- Being hydrated will also help to manage your overall hunger levels and keep your skin moist and fresh during those longs days in the sun.
If your traveling or dining out schedule keeps you from being able to drink enough water, then set a few self-care guidelines:
When dining out, drink a glass of water before eating or drinking anything else.
Order a glass of water with every meal - set a goal to drink at least 2 glasses.
When in the airport or stopping in a convenience store, purchase the liter bottles of water to carry around.
Keep a reusable water bottle in your traveling case or purse to save some money (and the environment!).
Have a glass of water first thing when you wake up and before you head to bed.
I hope these tips and tricks keep you feeling good wherever your summer travels may lead you!