By - Nadia Chapman
Summer is quickly approaching, and most of us are already planning what we will do for our vacation this year. So much to look forward to! BBQs with friends, happy hours with the girls, camping trips, traveling abroad with time in airports and hotels, and the good old American road trips sound exhilarating and exciting, especially after being mostly sedentary for the past couple of years.
Although you should ABSOLUTELY indulge in local delicacies and explore new horizons, staying healthy and making healthy choices while on the go is important and much easier than you think. If you stop at any gas stations or keep an eye on the common restaurant chains found around freeway exits, you quickly realize that most of our options are unhealthy processed food and fast food. So, how can you stick to your good healthy habits when you leave your kitchen for days? Here are a few tips to help you make healthy choices while on the go!
Drink Plenty Of Water
A lot of people believe they are hungry when they are actually thirsty! Don’t forget to hydrate when you leave the house, especially when you fly, since flying leaves you more susceptible to dehydration. Also, try balancing your water intake with the amount of sugary or alcoholic drinks you have in a day. Try to stay hydrated to avoid constipation and overheating, especially after spending hours in the sun and hot summer heat.
Convenience Store Options
Ok, you're in the car driving to your destination, and you're starving. That quick stop at the next gas station might have some healthy options for you to grab on the go. Look for high-protein snacks such as nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and energy bars containing over 10 grams of whey protein, hemp, or pea protein. Fruits, sliced veggies with hummus, and dairy products such as yogurts and cheese are great options. Look for non-GMO chips that contain no hydrogenated oils and artificial ingredients. Roasted seeds, healthy crackers, and seaweed snacks are also healthy options if you crave salty and crispy snacks!
The first few meals out are a nice break from cooking and cleaning, but your stomach might not be too happy after a few days! Keeping healthy habits when on vacation is easier than you think. Look for steamed options for your protein and vegetables, and ask for brown rice over white rice to get more fibers in. Sauces can be rich in calories, so always opt for lighter options and ask for the sauce to be on the side. Avoid temptation by refusing the bread basket or tortilla chips when you sit down and ask for a side of salad instead of fries to add extra veggies to your meal.
Portions sizes at restaurants are often far too large, so think about asking for a to-go container to take the leftover food with you for later. You can also share your meal with someone or simply order appetizers as meals to better control portion sizes.
While on the go, use your hand to visually find the correct amount of food to incorporate into a meal. Your palm represents the right amount for fish, meat, chicken, and eggs portions, a cupped hand is about a half-cup (carbs), your fist represents about a cup which is the amount of vegetable you should include in your meal. You can use your thumb to indicate the amount of oil to use.
Stay Fit And Keep Moving
Try to walk as much as possible when on vacation. Exploring new horizons is an enjoyable thing to experience, and it will also offset the extra calories you might consume on your trip. Staying active will help with elimination, blood circulation, and much more, so hit the hotel gym or pool in the morning to get extra movement into your days.
Our day-to-day routines can be tiring and stressful, so enjoy your time away from home and remind yourself that slowing down is a vital self-care hack that goes a long way. Make sure you get enough sleep, but also make sure your vacation schedule isn’t too busy that you don’t find time to simply unwind and relax. Allow yourself some flexibility with your time schedule and what you eat while on holiday. Putting the pressure on yourself to keep up with your healthy eating regimens might have the opposite effect and sabotage your desire to stay on track. Go ahead, and enjoy the treats here and there without the guilt! Everything in moderation is better than feeling deprived.