The topic of this article is travel!
Of course, if you are going on vacation, it should be enjoyable, relaxing, and the time to indulge if you would like to indulge. However, sometimes if you are gone for more than a few days, it can start to feel like you need a vacation from all the indulging. Further, if you drastically change your diet when you travel, it may make you feel sluggish or sick, which is not great when you are trying to have a good time or see the world!
In the long run, it really doesn’t make a big difference whether you stick to your healthy habits or take a little break when you travel, as long as you return to those habits when the trip is over. If you choose to take a bit of a break, or if you choose to stick to your nutrition plan, that should be a conscious decision. If you do want to maintain consistency with your food you are away, here are some tips:
1. On your day of travel, eat an awesome meal before you leave. Some good protein, vegetables, complex carbs, get all the good stuff in before you go. This is like insurance for the day.
2. If you are staying at a hotel or AirBnB, find out if they have a fridge. This is KEY. It makes it a lot easier to eat well if you do not have to eat out at every meal. It can also help you save money, and ensure that all the meals you decide to eat out are ones you really want, not just to sustain you.
3. Before you arrive, research what grocery stores or markets are in the area. Put that fridge to use! Try to buy whole-food things that are already minimally prepared or easy to eat. Some fruit, baby carrots, pre-cooked meat, etc. It can also be fun to see foreign grocery stores (at least I find it really fun).
4. Bring snacks for the road/plane/train/bus. This can be tricky when flying internationally, but if there are no restrictions on food, try snacks like fruit, nuts and seeds, chopped vegetables, jerky (low sugar would be best), a good quality protein bar or a protein shake.
5. Hunger is not the end of the world. If you do not like any of your food options in some sort of in-between place (like a gas station, airport, bus depot, etc.), but know you will have other food options in a few hours, you can probably wait!
6. Give yourself a “no-matter-what” rule. One of my (Posy’s) no-matter-what rules is I eat at least one serving of dark leafy greens everyday (like kale, spinach, chard, etc). This rule doesn’t have to be food-related, and is mostly for your own peace-of-mind. It could be walking at least 10 minutes everyday, drinking 2L of water, whatever you usually do at home but may forget to do when you are travelling.
7. It’s ok if things are just “good enough,” not perfect. Sometimes we can get too attached to the idea of a perfect meal or diet, and if we can’t replicate that, just give up on the whole thing. It’s ok to try your best, get a bit creative, and if it doesn’t all go according to plan, make the best with what you have.