Going on vacation is the ideal time to unwind, relax and – well – be on holiday! But is it a time to suspend your healthy eating ways?
It’s a good question. As soon as we get to the airport the odds are against us. In fact it seems that every place we end up – on the plane, hotel lobbies, at the beach/park/tourist sites – there are more and more fast-food options to sabotage our healthy ways. Additionally, since we’re not likely food shopping or cooking, we are subject to at least 3 meals/day out and about and at the discretion of others.
Feeling stressed out yet?
You’re not alone.
If you’re planning a vacation and wondering how and what you’ll eat, use the tips below for a little guidance to keep you and all your hard work on track.
- Be prepared – Before departure, prepare snack foods you can take that will last a few days. Think homemade granola bars or trail mix. Make a hearty grain or bean salad to take on the plane. Take some fresh and dried fruit.
- Make smart choices – Choose fresh foods on the menu over fried versions of food. Ask for your dressing on the side so you can determine the amount you need. Opt for fresh juices if they are on the menu.
- Get cultured – Visiting local supermarkets, wherever your vacation has taken you, is a great way to get intimate with the local culture. You’ll also have access to fresh produce that you can stock up on so you have a bit of a reserve in case you need it.
- Eat like a local – Take a look around you and see what the locals are eating. They’re likely not eating what you are. It may take a sense of adventure to veer off the tourist road, but your body will probably be grateful you did. Traditional foods are usually a safer bet. Not to mention the thrill of seeing, doing, and eating something new!
- Don’t stress – Unless you’re going on a food retreat in Thailand, you’re likely not going to be in any ideal eating situation. Don’t worry about it. Do the best you can and eat happily. Remember to make smart choices and be OK with those smart choices sometimes meaning choosing the lesser of 2 or 3 evils. If (and when it most cases) you find yourself utterly stuck with nothing but a KitKat for lunch, don’t beat yourself up about it. (Unless you’re backpacking or in truly remote areas, it hopefully won’t get to that extreme. And if you are, by all means enjoy the adventure!) Still, life happens and we can’t adhere to strict principles about anything. Flexibility is the name of the game, and you’ll feel much happier without the guilt trip.
- Listen to your body – This is the ultimate lesson to learn. Once you learn how to listen well to your body and what it needs, you’re on easy street. When you hit a food hurdle, use the opportunity to see how the food affects you. Are you grumpy or happy? Do you feel sick in any way? Do you feel great? You may find that eating with joy and gratitude will override whatever negative effects you may feel from this particular meal. You might be surprised with what you learn.
OK, so now you know there’s no need to suspend eating well while you’re away and there’s no need to worry. Now you’re ready for all that unwinding and relaxing, all that eating well and feeling good!