Healthy Travel Guide
Tips for healthy eating on vacation
Traveling can be a great experience for your mind, but if you're not careful, it can wreak havoc on your body. The last thing you want is to return from vacation feeling lethargic and bloated. Keep these tips in mind to stay healthy and refreshed while you're away.
- When flying, it is important to get up and move every few hours to prevent blood clots.
- When driving, use every stop at a gas station to take 10 minutes to do a couple of exercises such as squats, lunges and shoulder circles.
- Carry your own luggage and take the stairs when travelling—it helps to give you a bit more cardio and strength training along the way.
- If your trip is more active and adventurous, you can include more interesting ways to get to know your destination. Activities such as biking, hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling, paddle boarding, surfing and more can be added to your itinerary for active ways to sightsee.
- If your vacation is more relaxation based, call ahead to see if your hotel has it’s own fitness center or pool. If not, prepare a workout that you can do in a hotel room ahead of time. A few simple yoga poses and stretches in the morning could make all the difference.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Preparation is key when it comes to on-the-go eating. Taking your own snacks on the road will keep you from stopping at convenience stores or vending machines for packaged and processed foods. (If you’re travelling internationally, just make sure you eat fresh produce prior to reaching any international destination to adhere to customs regulations).
If you have the ability to pack a cooler or reusable grocery bag of snacks, fill it with healthy items:
- Chopped fresh and raw veggies (salads work too—just don’t add dressing and keep them in a mason jar or BPA free container for freshness)
- Fresh fruits
- Bottled water (try to use a Klean Kanteen or other reusable water bottle to stay eco-friendly!)
- Dehydrated Veggie Chips
- Granola Bars
Try to avoid eating full meals in your car or on the plane; take the time to stop, sit and relax while you enjoy your meal—it also helps you to pay closer attention to your hunger signals, letting you know when you’re satisfied.
- Remember that you don’t have to completely deprive yourself of indulgences to stay healthy; eating in moderation along with participating in the activities will keep you smooth sailing.
- Try to be extra careful at buffets. Only fill your plate once and load it with veggies or fruit first, then protein, then carbohydrates.
Are We There Yet?
Once you arrive at your destination, be sure to find a supermarket or farmer’s market that’s close to where you’re staying. Pick up some fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other healthy foods during your stay. Throughout your trip, remember the following Get Fit with Britt Guidelines for eating while traveling. These are the same tips I share with my clients who are traveling outside the Fairfield County area:
- Fruit Platter or Fruit based Smoothie (stay away from anything that has dairy or soy in it to prevent bloat first thing in the morning)
- Steel Cut Oatmeal or Rolled Oats
- Protein such as Hard Boiled Eggs, Nuts or Trail Mix
Stay Away From:
- Bready Treats such as Muffins, Bagels, Pancakes, Croissants
- Fried Meats such as Bacon and Sausage
- In between meals have a light snack that includes a bit of protein and fiber to help you feel full for longer. Try one of the following combinations:
- Veggie Crudités with Hummus or Almond Butter
- Trail Mix, or handful of Nuts with a piece of Fresh Fruit (ex. Almonds and an Apple)
- Cup of Green Tea, or Hot Water with Lemon and ½ a Grapefruit; this combination actually is for detoxifying the system, promoting healthy digestion and providing a dose of Vitamin C when traveling
- Focus on a hearty salad or meal with lots of veggies from all different colors.
- Incorporate lean protein that comes from nuts, beans, legumes and seeds, or grilled / steamed animal protein.
- Skip the bread basket, crackers and cheese
- Considering sharing a dish with a friend
- Go vegetarian to prevent your digestive track from working too hard overnight
- Stay away from anything fried, stuffed, or breaded
- Enjoy a sweet indulgence once a day
- Only order dessert if you are still hungry
- Share desserts with your dining partners
- Try to not go more than 4 or 5 hours without eating. Doing this may hinder your ability to make healthy choices and triggers overeating at your next meal.
- Try to drink approximately 80-90 ounces of water daily. Since travelling can dehydrate you, be prepared with travel containers of water everywhere you go!
- Eat only when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re comfortable. Think, “Am I satisfied?” not “Am I stuffed?”
- Fill up on healthy foods at breakfast and lunch, that way if you find yourself not making the best choices as the day progresses, you will have at least eaten plenty of produce and fiber at one or two meals.
- Choose splurges wisely, but do allow for some splurges—it is a vacation. Pass on the treats you can easily get at home and instead opt for something that may be harder to come by, or is a local delicacy.
- While paradise may not feel complete without an alcoholic beverage, just remember that consuming too many will significantly increase your daily calorie intake. For example, a frozen margarita contains hundreds of calories. Limit yourself to one cocktail every other day, but if you really want to indulge, try to alternate cocktails with drinking water.
Serving sizes should follow my quick and easy guide:
- Greens are about the size of two open hands
- Other veggies and fruits should fit into one open hand
- Grains should be able to fit within the palm of an open hand
- Protein is approximately the size of the back of your closed fist