Let’s talk about how to enjoy the goodies, without totally throwing our wellness out of whack. Enjoy traveling without overthrowing your health.
Well folks, it is that time of year. Soon the airports will be bustling, and travelers will be venturing out to embark on journeys to destinations across the globe. So if you are one of those travelers, how do you stick to your healthy lifestyle while you are on the road, in the air, at sea, and in unfamiliar places? With a little planning and deliberation, it is possible to keep up with your healthy habits, no matter where you are headed. Whether you are traveling home for the upcoming holidays, taking an exotic vacation with friends and family, or just plain traveling for work, here are some basic ways to ensure you can keep up with your healthy lifestyle. Granted all may not fit you or your travel plans, but I guarantee at least a handful of these gems can help you to maintain your zen, your waistline, and your energy while out of your normal routine.
1. Bring a refillable water bottleI use the Hydration Vessel. I bring it to the airport empty, and fill it after I pass through the security check-point. Make sure to refill often. One thing that you for sure CAN do while traveling is guzzle the water. Women, make sure to get at least a gallon per day, men aim for at least a gallon and a half. I mean it. Keep up the water intake. This will help reduce water retention, curb hunger pains, and just plain keep those cells in your body happy. Note: If traveling abroad, nix this idea and stick to the bottled water.
2. Book an aisle seatThis will allow you to easily get up and move around, stretch, and make many trips to the bathroom without feeling like you are bothering your seat mate. Lots of water equals lots of trips to the bathroom.
3. Bring healthy travel friendly snacksSome of my favorites are: For the plane or car ride there -
- Sandwich or wrap made with high fiber, whole grain bread/wrap, nitrate free lunchmeat, low-fat mayo, mustard, sprouts, lettuce, and tomato.
- Plain Greek yogurt with mixed berries, stevia, and raw walnuts (packed in a disposable container, eat with disposable silverware).
- Whole grain, high-fiber crackers (separated into baggies of one serving portions) and a one ounce portion of cheese cut into cracker size slices.
- Bag of cut up veggies like cucumbers, green and red peppers, carrots, and celery with a small container of hummus.
- Whole grain, high-fiber crackers (again, separated into baggies of one serving portions) and individual natural peanut butter packets.
- Apples (my favorite are honeycrisp), oranges, bananas, or other hardy "to go" fruits.
- LARABARS - portable, all natural, filling, and delicious.
- Toasted pumpkin seeds.
- One ounce portions of trail mix.
- Individual portions of whey protein powder for pre-workout shakes. Bring a reusable plastic container to add the protein powder to, mix with water, shake, and drink.
- Turkey jerky or beef jerkey.
4. Use the in-room coffee pot to make your own oatmealTurn on the burner and add oats and water to the pot first thing when you wake up. By the time you are finished getting ready, your oats will be done.
5. Check out a local marketThey typically have a fantastic salad bar, great for lunch, or even pick up a few things and keep them in your in-room fridge if you can. Most hotels will empty your mini-bar fridge or will provide a second fridge upon request. No fridge? Pack your own soft cooler and fill with ice from the ice machine.
6. Get in an early morning workoutPlan for it. Set the alarm. Go to bed an hour earlier. Even if you can’t go to sleep earlier, get up and get that workout in. You will feel much better in the long run if you do. It will help you burn those extra calories all throughout the day.
7. Make an effort to be activeIn addition to the workout, keep your activity up all day long. If you are eating more, move more. Its just that simple. Depending on your location, try some of the following: Traveling for fun -
- Take a walking or bike tour of the city
- Take a hike
- Cold climate? Go skiing, sledding, ice skating
- Exotic climate? Take an after dinner stroll on the beach, go for a swim
- Do some shopping
- Rather than play cards, play charades
- Do 4 sets of 25 jumping jacks in your room before dinner
- Take the stairs
- Stand rather than sit
- Do some yoga stretches before bed
- Walk to dinner rather than take a cab
8. Choose one splurge meal per dayIf you are going to splurge for dinner, make sure that breakfast and lunch are filled with lower calorie foods. Focus on lean protein, and high fiber carbs like fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Although we all have learned that 5-6 small meals spaced evenly throughout the day is best, in this type of situation, it may be better to plan for a larger meal rather than eating your normal meals around it. For example, if dinner is your “splurge” meal, then for breakfast stick to oatmeal with fruit, an egg white omelette with lots of veggies, hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit, etc. Then for lunch have chicken or fish with steamed veggies, a salad with grilled chicken and lots of veggies, or a high fiber, protein filled turkey wrap.
9. Don't skip breakfastStart your day off right. Even if you know you will be having a big meal later in the day, it is important to get something nutritious into your stomach after a night-long fast.
10. Low calorie foods are your friendIn general, remember to fill up on a broth based soup or salad rather than bread and/or eating way too much of your main course.
11. Avoid fried foodsStick to baked, broiled, roasted, and grilled.
12. Plan your meal destinations ahead of timeMake sure to take a look at the menu in advance, so that you can ensure you have healthy options. Believe me, it's tough when you have the best intentions but you end up at a restaurant, open the menu, and realize that a) there is nothing healthy about this place, and b) nothing about this menu is worth splurging on. Plan ahead!
13. Try the one bite methodSometimes all it takes is one bite. One bite of a taste-bud tantalizing chocolate dessert that you share with others. Can’t do just one bite? How about eating only half versus the whole thing.
14. Plan your splurges carefully and stay away from the high calorie, no value added foodsIf you take a bite of something you don’t like, don’t eat it! How many times have you ordered something you didn’t like but you ate it anyway because you didn’t want to waste it or the money you spent on it? Then later on you get upset because you spent valuable calories on something that didn’t even rock your world. If the bread is bland and tasteless, don’t eat it just because its there. Skip the empty calorie rich soda and stick to water, tea, and other calorie free beverages.
15. When you do eat something that you do like, savor the momentEnjoy the flavors. Enjoy the textures. Enjoy that food for everything that it is and feel good that you are experiencing something decadent. These are the moments when its ok to splurge a little. Don’t just eat to eat. Slow down and really taste the food.
16. If you are going to splurge on alcohol or dessert, make it one or the otherBoth are typically pretty high in empty calories (i.e. sugar) so choose whichever one sounds better and skip the other, saving it for another night.
17. Don’t feel like you have to partake because others areWanna know my secret? When I used to work in the corporate world it was common on business trips to go out for dinner, have a few drinks, etc. Well, sometimes I didn’t want to drink, either for the health reasons, or even just because I wanted to keep my edge and a clear head. This is sometimes difficult to do because others feel more comfortable when everyone is drinking together, right? So I would head up to the bar and order myself either a Diet Soda with a lime or tonic with a lime, and no one was the wiser. ;-)
18. Remember to keep your fiber intake upSometimes when traveling, due to a lack of fiber, or even just a change of routine, things can get a bit...stopped up. If this happens to you, bring along some senna tea, which helps to...move things along. I recommend steeping the tea bag for just a minute or two your first time, because a little goes a long way.
19. Don't freak over a little extra puffRealize that most times when people gain “weight” while traveling, the majority of it is bloat from eating more carbs, which hold on to water and sodium than usual. Once you return from your trip, continue to drink your water, return to your normal healthy eating habits, and much of the weight gain will disappear within the following few days.
20. Above all else, moderation is the keyIt is important to enjoy life, and not feel deprived. Just don’t overdo it. Listen to your body. Make sacrifices where you can so that you can enjoy when the opportunity arises. Over the next month, we will touch further on keeping up the healthy lifestyle amidst the holidays. We are surrounded with goodies and temptation. Let’s talk about how to enjoy the goodies, without totally throwing our wellness out of whack.
Day 20: Quality Versus Quantity
We learn from many time-management teachers that a great way to start our day is with a to-do list of what we want to accomplish throughout the day. That way, we can move through our day and get the most amount accomplished in the least amount of time. A to-do list helps to keep us focused and on task. That was the whole point of creating a Live Well 360 List, right? As a society, we’ve become really good -- great in fact -- with action. We can squeeze a lot into one day. Yet what affect does this constant need for productivity have on the quality of our time? Have we come to a place where we value productivity over connection, both with others and with ourselves? Some might point out that having a to-do list allows us to get imporant things done efficiently, which frees us up for other important things like spending time with family, time for ourselves, etc. But I wonder... does it really? Or could it just continue to strengthen a way of thinking that promotes getting more and more and more things done in a day? For many people, it’s not uncommon to spend an entire day with one main thought in their minds – what’s next? I think this is both innate and programmed. It’s innate because we yearn for growth and challenge, yet it’s programmed because we inadvertently learn from others that our worth is something that should be proved through the value that we provide.