Most of the time, I love traveling. Experiencing a new place and being able to escape from your life for just a small amount of time is great.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about traveling, I often think about food. What will I be eating and how will I make sure I have enough healthy food?
I stick to these 8 tips whenever I travel and my trip always seems to go a lot smoother.
- Keep eating your macros (protein, fat and carbs)!
- Eat a protein, fat and carbohydrate every time you eat (meal or snack). This includes with your travel snacks. I like to go to a health food store (or just Target!) and buy some easy travel snacks a few days before my trip. This assures me that I will have healthy options if theres only donuts for breakfast or McDonald’s for lunch. For protein I like to get grass fed jerky or bring canned tuna or salmon (wild caught). For fat, I like to bring individual packets of coconut oil (you can find these at Trader Joe’s), packets of almond butter (like Justin’s – at Target), or packs of raw nuts I pack individually to save money. For carbohydrates, I like to pack healthy granola bars (like Larabars or RX bars – eat 1/2 for a snack size serving), dried fruit (1/4 cup is 1 serving) or real fruit (even better!) like apples, clementines or oranges.
- I also bring out first meal in the car with us, because I know we’ll be eating out the rest of the time. For example, we went on a camping trip a few weeks ago and I toasted sweet potato slices and added 1 T. avocado mayonnaise with 4 oz. of uncured ham and a few pickles. We had a side of fresh green beans with it. If I am packing a “real food” sandwich (lettuce, sweet potato, collard greens, peppers, etc. used as “bread”) I wrap it in tin foil to make it easier to eat.
- Choose healthy food MOST of the time
- This includes eating out! Try to go to restaurants that have words like “local”, “pasture raised”, “wild caught”, “organic”, or “grass fed” on their menus. These restaurants will have healthier options for you. Stick to going “bunless/naked” with your burgers or sandwiches and choose meals that have real food carbs like veggies and fruit instead of breads and pastas. I love to check out new salads that restaurants have to offer with fresh protein (grass fed or wild caught is a bonus!) and healthy fats like avocado. Watch out for added sugars in most dressings and sauces or ask for it on the side so you control how much goes on your food.
- Pick a hotel with a refrigerator/kitchen
- This will allow you to head to a grocery store to buy some on hand snacks or meal items. You can buy some food for breakfast your hotel doesn’t offer a good one (why would they think cereal is a quality breakfast?) Stock up on cheese, meats and fresh fruits and veggies. If there’s a farmers market near you, try out some new fresh food items! After you go to a restaurant, bring the leftovers back with you and eat it for lunch the next day – still delicious and it saves money.
- Keep exercising
- You don’t have to exercise every day or do your normal routine, but try to get in some activity while you’re either on vacation or a business trip. Take a run on the beach or do a 10 minute HIIT workout outside your hotel. Check out the exercise room at your hotel and do a circuit of lunges, push ups, squats, mountain climbers and planks for 15 minutes (3 rounds, 1 minute on with 15 seconds rest in between). If you aren’t able to do this kind of exercise, incorporate activity in your day by going on walks, going hiking, swimming in the pool or doing something crazy like zip lining!
- Choose the right alcoholic drinks
- Alcohol can throw you off the deep end fairly quick. It can decrease your “food judgement” and cause you to indulge in foods you shouldn’t – or just too much of these foods! Choose alcoholic beverages that aren’t filled with sugar (no cocktails or mixed drinks). Choose dry wines (organic preferably!), hard ciders with limited sugar content or club soda/seltzer water with vodka/tequila and fresh squeezed lime! See this blog post for more on how alcohol affects your weight goals – including your sleep!
- Get good sleep!
- Sleep affects many areas of our lives. Sleep impacts inflammation levels in our bodies (which affects our weight), appetite levels, hormones, energy and our mood. You should prioritize sleep when you are traveling because change to our daily schedule does affect our body and minds. Getting adequate sleep can help decrease the stress caused by traveling on our bodies. Try to get quality sleep by decreasing your exposure to blue light at night (including form the television, computer and phone) and spending more time outdoors. Vacation (including camping!) is a great way to reset your internal clock by going to bed when the sun goes down and waking up when the sun comes up.
- Bring Melatonin and/or Magnesium
- One way to get adequate sleep is to try melatonin. This is especially true if you are traveling overseas or have a time change that will occur. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by our pineal gland in the brain. It is released when the sun goes down and darkness falls. It causes you to be less alert, relaxed and hopefully, desire to fall asleep. If you are going through a time change or traveling causes you to be stressed, taking melatonin (2-3 mg) 15-30 minutes before bed time can help you get a better nights sleep. (Learn more about melatonin here) You can also try taking magnesium (150 mg) as this is a muscle relaxant, especially if you struggle with anxiety on trips. I like the product Natural Calm or MyoCalm PM.
- Deal with motion sickness?
- One last tip is if you suffer from motion sickness. In my own experience, I get car sick easily, especially if there is bad traffic. I used to suffer from anxiety attacks and acid reflux while traveling, but this has not occurred since I’ve decreased processed foods in my diet (sugar, gluten and dairy). However, motion sickness occurs at times for me and I use Sea-Bands. These can be found at Target. They provide drug-free relief for motion sickness by applying pressure on your Nei Kuan point for nausea. I have also heard of pregnant women using these who suffer from morning sickness. It is a wonderful product that I highly recommend.