Are you putting off slimming down, kicking your cravings or eating healthier because your summer is filled with events that tempt you to eat or drink more? Even though we want to feel our best when we’re traveling or hanging out with friends or family, our “vacation mode” often leaves us feeling sluggish, bloated, heavy, or regretful -- and when we return, it can feel overwhelming to start from scratch (again).While it should never be about deprivation, it is helpful to have a strategy for wellness -- no matter where you are or where you go? Read my top tips below!
Preparing for a trip requires pre-planning. Start with your mode of transportation and make sure you’re prepared with healthy snacks whether you go by plane, boat or car. Below is a list of my favorite traveling companions. If I’m driving, I pack extra in a cooler to have in my hotel room; if I’m flying, I try to buy more at my destination:
- Almonds or a mix of almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds
- Roasted chickpeas (The Good Bean)
- Bottled water
- Cut-up fruit and veggies
- Individual-sized hummus, almond butter and/or guacamole
- Sliced apples (goes great with the almond butter!)
- Rice crackers
- Oatmeal ready packs
With the possible exception of fast-food restaurants, every restaurant has options or will provide substitutions that will meet your needs. At a Mexican fiesta? Skip the chips and melted cheese and order the chicken fajitas, for example. Ask your server to bring just the grilled chicken, grilled veggies, and extra guacamole -- hold the sour cream and cheese (maybe even the flour tortillas, depending on where you are on your healthy-eating journey). Salsa works as a great side, as do black beans. Skip re-fried beans! No matter where you go, you should be able to order grilled chicken or fish; steamed or grilled vegetables, and salad. You might even consider asking the server not to bring the bread basket. And what if you drank less alcohol and relaxed with some sparkling club soda with lime or berries? You may be surprised how GOOD you feel after the meal (without the bloating, sluggishness, or headache)!
Picnics, BBQs and Family Reunions
You can’t control what your hosts will serve, but you can stack the odds in your favor by BYOF (bringing your own food). Make enough to share, of course! If you arrive with one or two healthy, delicious options, you’ll be sure to have something you enjoy without having food-related symptoms or regret. Check out my website for healthy recipes, from appetizers to desserts. No time to cook? A veggie or fruit tray is always welcome!
The Wedding Crasher
You can’t bring your own meal to the wedding, but you can prepare in other ways. Eating something healthy before you go will prevent you from being ravenous by the time the reception doors open. And of course, while a sip of champagne to toast the newlyweds won’t significantly compromise your healthy eating, drinking throughout the evening might add up, interrupt your sleep cycle and could leave you feeling sorry in the morning. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water (sparkling or flat) and if available, add fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries!
Remember, folks, food determines how we feel and heal!
*Source: Crave Marketing and Nutrition, LLC June 2015