Traveling “Healthy” Style
My Top Tips and Tricks to Staying on Track Away From Home
One of the most common questions I receive as a health coach is how to travel healthy and not get completely derailed while gone.
First of all, there is a huge leap from living a “clean healthy lifestyle” to being completely derailed! It’s not just like the flip of a switch.
That’s good news, right?
So, if you make some smart choices, wise swaps, and incorporate some sort of movement – you will find yourself being more successful with “staying on track” with your health while still enjoying your travels.
Good, bad or indifferent, my suitcase is packed and I’m gone from home a lot. I had to really develop a solid plan to stay healthy and manage my weight during these times. Truth be told, sometimes I have more self-control and success than other times, but I always have a POA – Plan of Action.
Let me tell you one thing for sure. When you are on vacation, you certainly don’t want to feel deprived.
Am I right?
But, at the same time- you don’t want to pack on extra pounds (not to mention achy joints) and end up on a sugar addiction rollercoaster. Don’t worry, there is a balance somewhere in between.
Here are the things that help me stay balanced and yet still enjoy my trip whether it’s for work or play.
Travel Packets: Pack some protein shakes, a shaker cup, your supplements and some healthy snacks! Have all these in a big Ziploc baggie in your suitcase.
- Protein Powder- I pack some protein packets to start my day off with a balanced diet and to regulate my blood sugar! Not to mention fuelling my body for all the activities ahead. My favorite protein powder is Fit 365. It is a high-quality, non-GMO, low glycemic, minimally processed powder. It also has probiotics and healthy fats, so it can be a meal replacement. You can order here.
- Low Glycemic Snacks- Pack some healthy snack options: nitrate-free beef jerky, protein bars, (fruit if you are able). This will save you from the vending machine trips and the midday snack bars.
- Workout clothes and shoes – always have at least one outfit on hand and your shoes so that you can hit the gym at your hotel/resort or get out for a walk or run with your family and friends.
Eat to Fuel Your Body – Your success while away from home will weigh heavily on the choices that you make when it comes to your meals and your snack. Here are some of my tips and tricks for making the most of your trip, but not throwing you too far off track!
- DO NOT start your day with sugar – (Hint – bread turns to sugar in the body, so bread = sugar. This includes pancakes, waffles, bagels, biscuits, cereal etc. You get the drift.) Opt for your healthy lean proteins and greens to start your day off. I am a big smoothie drinker for breakfast, so while traveling I have my protein shake instead. If the option is available… I will also grab a fresh smoothie! If possible, I will still get some greens thrown in there as well!
- Get your GREENS – Try and get your greens in somehow! I opt for a big healthy salad at lunch (dressing always on the side and no croutons). I also look for a juice bar and get a green juice- one without fruit or very little fruit.
- Preview the Menu – Try and check out the restaurant’s menu beforehand online if possible so you can be well-informed of your choices before you arrive and save yourself from any spur of the moment cravings.
- Build a Healthy Plate- This is done with lots of non-starchy veggies, a lean protein, and some healthy fats. Don’t forget – get all sauces and dressings on the side. You will be surprised to see how little you actually use out of what is brought to your table.
- Don’t Drink your Calories – Limit alcohol and drink responsibly, consuming water between each beverage. Sweet tea, sugary sodas, and beverages sabotage success… and they make you feel super bloated.
- The 80/20 Rule- Try and remember the 80/20 rule. Eat as clean as possible 80% of the time and enjoy those sweet getaway indulgences 20% – GUILT-FREE!
- Snack Smart – Beware of high-calorie convenient snacks. When possible, opt for some nuts, healthy, low sugar protein bars or a little bit of fruit if available.
- Strategic Splurge- In my programs, I teach how to have guilt-free splurges a couple of times a week. On vacay, this rule becomes a little slacker as I want you to enjoy your life! Here is a good rule of thumb is you tend to over-indulge and need a guideline to practice better self-control: no more than 1 splurge per day.
- PS – still limit sugar! In general, always limit the sugar.
Water-Water-Water – The body easily gets dehydrated especially during a flight, but also by eating processed and restaurant-prepared foods.
- Start Your Day with Water – If possible, get some fresh lemon to squeeze in your water. I usually ask my server for an extra bowl of lemons to take to my hotel room. Guess what? They always say yes =)
- Keep Drinking Your Water All Day Long – If possible bring a water bottle that you can fill and refill to save to hydrate you, save your money and save the planet =). Add lemon to your water when possible.
Schedule in your exercise – just like you would at home, make the time and make an appointment with yourself. It doesn’t have to be the gym or a 5km run, but scheduling in some sort of movement will help you feel amazing!
- 2-Day Rule- Don’t neglect the “2-Day Rule” – never go 2 days without any exercise. Your body needs this to help burn off the extra calories, regulate your blood sugar, and help in the detoxification process.
- Squats for Sitting – Sitting is just bad for your body and your booty. Whether you are stuck in a car driving, on an airplane, in a meeting, or just lounging at the beach – pop out a set of 30-50 air squats. Go to a bathroom stall if you want privacy. It is amazing how heart-pumping this can be and how good it feels.
- Check Out the Local Gym Classes and Offerings – if you are able to sneak away this is a great option. I love doing this! My husband and I actually research the gym and class offerings and have a game plan ahead of time. I have met some really cool people and connected with them over social media after my trip finished. It is a fun way to do something different and cross-train.
- Workout in Your Hotel – If you are staying in a hotel, pop into the gym there and get a quick round of exercise in. Walk or run up and down the stairs in the hotel (this is killer).
Time to Get Back on Track – the time that we all dread has finally come and we have to get back to reality. The relief is that things are always easier at home though and we now have a new set of memories to make us smile!
- The Party is Over, Get Back on Track Immediately – I jump headfirst into clean-eating like it is nobody’s business! Eating detoxifying foods, drinking my superfood smoothies and getting in a killer workout.
Here is one recipe for a delicious, detoxing salad that is a definite go-to for me :
Traveling healthy isn’t about deprivation and being on a “diet”, it is more about balance and moderation. There is still room to enjoy the dessert or favorite indulgent meal guilt-free, as long as you are consciously nourishing, hydrating and moving your body the rest of the time!
Safe and healthy travels to you wherever you may be headed! And remember… have fun!