If you don't know me personally, you may not know that travel is my favorite hobby. I have been to 30 countries in my 30 years* of life, and I intend to keep that ratio going. I however, have not always been the perfect example of health whilst on the road. As my life has become increasingly focused on health, I have had to adapt my indulgent ways to create balance in my life. Inspired by my trip to London last week, I have assembled some tips to help you while you travel internationally (and domestic as well for many!). Remember it is all about Soulful Healthy (Eating) Decisions, every day.
Tip #1: Eat Clean before you go
My first tip actually starts before you even set foot in the airport. If you know you will be traveling, try to cook at home as much as you can the week before you leave, and obviously, keep it clean. This will help set you up for success and not feel overly indulgent once you arrive in your destination. Basically, you are prepping your body to splurge a bit. Bonus points if you are going on a beach vacay, you will feel great in that bathing suit!
Also, prepare for the flight and immediate arrival by bringing your own healthy fare. For the plane I brought almonds and dried fruit. I also had a couple RX bars on hand for mini meals upon arrival. Kick your trip off on a good note!
Tip #2: Make a trip to the local grocery
If you are staying at an AirBNB you most likely had this as a part of your plan, but for the rest of the hotel dwellers, you may think twice about this step. Going to the grocery store at your destination can be an awesome asset. If you have a fridge in your room you can pack up with all of your go-tos. You could get yogurt, almond milk, fresh fruit that needs refrigeration, etc. It really opens up a whole realm of possibilities. If a fridge is not in the cards, there are lots of shelf stable foods that can help you stay on track. On my trip last week, the minibar fridge was full so I didn't have the option. I bought GF oatmeal, bananas, and some popcorn for snacking. We had a kettle in the room, so that was all we needed for a quick and easy brekky. Starting your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast (I sound like a commercial from the 90s) allows for wiggle room later! This will also help you save some $$!
Tip #3: lean into what the locals eat
Just because you are starting the day right doesn't mean you should be eating all of your meals in your room. The fact is, you are in a new place, you should enjoy it! Try street fare, go to all the best restaurants and eat what sounds good to you. When you are experiencing a new culture, you shouldn't stress about eating too many carbs or having dessert. This is why tips 1 and 2 are so important. By starting off on the right foot, you can be more indulgent in other areas.
Tip #4: Pick your spots to indulge
So, please, you absolutely should indulge during your trip. BUT – you do not need to indulge at every meal. If you think that you will be eating an extravagant dinner, try to not have an indulgent lunch. This move should also be apart of your healthy living routine in life, so don't throw it to the wayside just cuz you're not in your every day reality!
Also, you can still make healthy decisions whilst eating out. As always, keep an eye out for lots of veggies and lean protein. Choose some meals to not have white carbs (potatoes, pasta, bread, etc).
Tip #5: Move
This may be an obvious one, but try to move your body while you are traveling. Post long plane ride you are going to want to stretch it out. Try to reconnect with nature upon arrival. Walk around and let the earth know where you've landed (yeah my woo-woo side is showing). On some vacations, activity is just built right in! Go hiking on Machu Picchu! Go swim in the ocean with some dolphins! Bike through tulip fields in Holland! Even playing golf counts (just don't use a cart ;)). But if you're traveling for work you may not have those lovely options. Here is a list of possible ways to move if you are not so lucky:
- walk everywhere
- use the hotel fitness center
- do a yoga flow in your room (or in nature if possible!)
- go to a local fitness studio
- use a fitness app on your phone
- go for a run (if the neighborhood is safe and is culturally appropriate)
Moving your body daily will make you feel good and help you stay in balance. Try to keep it up for the duration of your trip, but listen to your body. If you're tired, rest! :)
Bonus Tip #6: don't expect to be perfect
It's all about the ebbs and flows of life. You are on a trip: whether it be business or vacation, you are experiencing a part of the world you don't get to be in all of the time. Soak up every second. Be present. Enjoy yourself and don't obsess! When you get home, you can get back to your healthy routine as usual. Life is good.
Where are you off to next? Would love to hear about your next big trip and your biggest challenges when traveling! Leave me a note below or a comment on the gram. Cheers friends! Xx - AHS
*I wrote this when I was still 30. I turned 31 this week. Ratio to be updated hopefully soon!