This post has been a long time coming. Somehow this summer flew by at an even more accelerated speed than usual. Do you guys feel that way too? It seems like it was just Memorial Day weekend. I blinked, and it's August.
Between moving to a new state, and getting in some long awaited travel it's been a busy one. I've missed you guys on here!
I've received questions on how I handle traveling/vacation from a health perspective. So I decided to get specific, and break down my general approach.
Here's the thing - You wait all year for a break, and sometimes you just wanna really let loose right? I know I do. The last thing anyone should be doing on vacation is worrying about every thing they're eating or stressing about working out every single day.
But no one likes to come home from a vacation feeling like garbage.
I've gone through periods where I spent a lot of time traveling, and with some trial and error I've come up with ways to create that balance of enjoying yourself while still feeling good in your body.
My vacation/ travel nutrition philosophy is also transferrable to everyday life - you CAN have everything, but you probably won't feel great if you have it ALL AT ONCE.
Basically this means choosing your indulgences mindfully. (It definitely doesn't mean restricting. )
I believe you can have fun and take care of your health simultaneously. It's not about perfection. That's when people tend to feel overwhelmed - when they focus energy on food or fitness "rules."
This summer we traveled to Greece to celebrate our anniversary, and I wanted to indulge in all the delicious food. I definitely didn't hold back when it came to cheese (oh myyyy the fresh feta was so delicious!), cocktails, bread etc... when you travel part of soaking up the culture is enjoying local food and relaxing.
I enjoyed and ate more than I might at home, but I had zero guilt. And I felt fine!
One thing to note is the way you handle a vacation or trip may differ based on how often you're traveling.
If I have a lot of travel back to back (like in the old days) I won't feel great if I spend weeks and weeks indulging - so some days may be a little closer to how I eat at home.
However if you're on a once a year vacation or even celebrating a holiday weekend letting loose won't have much effect on your overall nutrition or fitness progress. It's what you do most of the time not what you do for a week or so that most significantly impacts health.
Still, I believe feeling good makes vacation that much more enjoyable. Here's 10 healthy vacation and travel tips that will help you find that want to feel-good-but-wait-you-only-live-once elusive balance.
VACATION FITNESS TIPS
- Go into the trip with your expectations in check, and a loose plan. Are you in control of most of your time, or will you have a lot of things scheduled and group activities? I try to think through how my days might look and plan accordingly. If you're traveling with family or friends you can try suggesting a group walk/hike , or if that's not an option carve out 10 -20 minutes for a workout in your room before the day's activities. Here's a quick metabolism boosting workout you can do anywhere. (Scroll down to bottom of post.)
- Workout early in the day. You don't want to plan your entire day around a workout. On vacation I typically want to be poolside sipping a spicy skinny marg by the afternoon not stressing about a workout so if I'm working out I like to do it first thing.
- Take advantage of the setting. One of the best ways to explore is on foot. Walk or run and take in your surroundings. Check out the gym if you're staying in a hotel or get in a "room workout." ( I have lots of quick workout Reels on IG that you can combine for super effective workouts!)
- Don't worry about length or intensity. Some movement is better than no movement. I never go into a vacation thinking the workouts will be my longest or toughest. I also don't strive to workout everyday of a trip. Rest is important too!
VACATION EATING TIPS
- Choose your favorites. There's usually and abundance of treats around on vacation. Pick what you really want, and don't eat something just because it's there. For example - I'm not that into breakfast pastries or sweets at breakfast so I usually eat a more balanced, savory meal like fruit and sprouted toast with smoked salmon and/or avocado. But I LOVE fresh baked bread so at dinner I'm definitely enjoying if there's a good bread basket. Pick and choose what you really enjoy and you'll feel that much more satisfied.
- Pack a Probiotic! A good probiotic can seriously be your saving grace on vacation. My girlfriends and I always talk about how digestion gets uh compromised on vacay which can lead to feeling uncomfortable and bloated. My favorite probiotic is the Sakara complete probiotic. This honestly helped me so much in Greece. It aids digestion and keeps bloat away. You can use code XOBeth to save 20% off.
- Water, water, water. I can't stress this enough. First off you'll likely have (aforementioned) digestion issues if you aren't drinking enough water. Beyond that drinking water keeps our bodies in balance , helps flush out excess sodium we may be eating from restaurant food or salty snacks, and keeps us from getting dehydrated in warmer weather.
- Have a few snacks from home on hand. I love to be prepared (and I hate to be hungry) so I always stock up on protein bars, packets of nut butter, and easily transportable snacks when traveling. You never know when you'll get stuck in traffic on a road trip , and options at most airports tend to be unhealthy and lame - so packing a few things to fall back on is always worth it.
- Try to fit in a veggie when you can. This isn't always the easiest. We kind of forget about veggies when we're out of our routine. But try ordering a salad as an app or a side of grilled veggies at least some of the time ---vegetables have so many benefits like fiber (which also aids digestion), and I know if I go too long without a vegetable my body feels off.
- Don't stress about being out of your routine. Holding onto stress actually increases the cortisol in our bodies which in turn can make our bodies hold onto fat. Relax.
WHEN YOU GET HOME
- Plan a few healthy, nutrient dense meals but resist the idea to go on a crazy cleanse. Seriously. It's not necessary (and studies show most people overeat after a cleanse.) Your body will most likely crave vegetables, and protein anyway after vacation indulgences. I like to think about my favorite healthy meals to make at home - like big tasty salads and buddha bowls with veggies, and brown rice. This is also a great time to try a plant based meal delivery service like Sakara. I did this after traveling this summer, and it felt amazing to flood my body with nutrients after a few weeks of treats.
Hope these tips help you feel your best! Stay safe, friends!
XO - Beth