It must be a curse. 75% of the time I get sick after traveling. I went to Palm Beach, Florida this past weekend to watch R play in a golf tournament at the Guy Harvey Invitational at the PGA National course and to visit his East Coast family. Low and behold, I’ve been couch-ridden the past three days with a terrible head cold, sore through, and cough. I have been itching to hit the gym hard to get ready for my Zumba® certification tomorrow. However, a sweat sesh has been nowhere in sight! Thankfully, I stayed on track while on vacation so I am not too worried about losing any fitness progress I’ve made.
People think I’m crazy when I tell them I usually LOSE weight while traveling and come home even more motivated to get back into a routine. It’s all about making the right choices and creating a balance when indulging on vacation. You can still try new food, enjoy a couple drinks, and even savor delicious treats we all look forward to while away from our responsibilities. How? May you ask. Well, lucky you, I am about to share my top 5 tips for staying on track while traveling!
1. Keep breakfast and lunch clean and green!
Who can resist a glass of wine, a buttery main dish, or dessert after a long day of travel adventures? Well, you most definitely can, but dinner is usually the hardest meal to ignore temptations. This is why I always make sure I keep my breakfast and lunch clean and green while traveling. These are also usually the two meals where finding healthy options is the easiest. How about an egg white omlette with veggies or oatmeal with fruit for breakfast and a big, green salad with grilled chicken or fish for lunch? These are usually all viable options on breakfast and lunch menus. Notice, however, I did not tell you to eat “lightly” at these meals. If you don’t eat enough at your first two and healthiest meals, you will find yourself starving at the dinner table, making it even harder to resist the bread basket and all those high-fat, high-carb entrees. Instead, fill up on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables in your first two meals. This will also keep your energy levels high for all your fun adventures.
2. Be active everyday!
Yes, you heard me correctly! I can hear the moans and groans now. Am I telling you to hit the gym every day and get your prescribed cardio and resistance training in? No! But, if you’re so inclined, then hell yes go to that gym! I do it. Some hotel gyms even offer group fitness classes, so you may want to take advantage! If this is not you, then all I want you to do is make sure you do something that gets your heart rate up, builds muscle, and/or breaks a sweat each day. This can be done in so many fun ways! Lounging on a tropical beach? Rent some snorkel gear, get swimming in the water, and see all the beautiful marine life the island has to offer. Away on a mountain resort? Grab a pair of skis and head out for a day on the slopes. Summertime? Rent a boat and go water skiing or wake boarding or rent a bike and hit the mountain trails! A hike is also a great, inexpensive way to explore in nature and get exercise. At a golf resort? Avoid cart fees and walk the course. A golf course is usually around 5 miles long and if there’s hills, it’s a double-wammy for your glutes! This is what I did in Florida. One day, I even walked it twice since R played two rounds in a row! You can also challenge yourself to 10 squats, lunges, or knee lifts at ever stoppage in play. It adds up!
3. Choose your battles!
Need that glass of wine or cocktail to unwind? Go for it! Just keep it to a maximum of two drinks, skip any sugary mixers, drink a glass of water for every drink, and skip the desserts that day or keep it to a bite. Need that plate of fresh pasta in Italy? Keep it to a maximum of one drink and skip the dessert (or have one bite to feel included). Visiting a restaurant known for its scrumptious bread pudding or homemade pies? Make sure you order a light option from the menu, like the fish with veggies (one of my favorites), skip the drinks, and enjoy a quarter or even a half a slice of decadent dessert. It’s all about balance. Remember, the buttery entrees, desserts, and drinks will be there again, so you can choose something different the next night. If you are away for over two nights, I recommend rotating 2 days of treats with 1 day of clean, healthy eating where you nix any alcoholic beverages, high-carb or high-fat entrees, or sweets.
4. Pack healthy snacks!
It is so important that when hunger strikes in between meals you are not stranded at the airport or out and about exploring new places without a healthy, quick option while on the go. I actually made this mistake on my trip this weekend and luckily I found healthy options for the most part. However, I did get stuck eating cheese and crackers on the plane ride home for dinner (which was so not worth it). I planned to get dinner during my layover. However, a two-hour flight delay left me with 15 minutes to get to my second flight and without a proper meal. Luckily, I had found a Quest Bar in the Houston, TX airport on my way to Florida and ended up saving it. This low-carb, high-protein, zero-sugar protein bar saved me from ordering a greasy pizza while waiting for my first delayed flight!
Learn from my mistakes and don’t chance it. Pack some healthy snacks like veggies with hummus, half a turkey or peanut butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel bread, nuts, fruit, or a low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt. Need something that you can hold onto for the whole trip? A a Quest Bar, one of my Everything Energy Bars, or VegaOne to-go shake are perfect non-perishable and still all-natural options.
5. Get sleep and keep taking your supplements!
So, yes, this is like two tips in one, but think of it this way. Don’t let a trip become and excuse to stop all of your healthy regimens. I always pack my supplements and vitamins for my trips. Remember, consistency is the most important part of a supplement or vitamin regimen! I also always try to make sure I get enough sleep. If you are exhausted, it will be even harder to resist those margaritas or french fries and have the energy to stay active and really enjoy all the treasures your vacation has to offer. It will also keep you from getting sick, like me!
Most importantly, enjoy your trip! Time away doesn’t always come often so instead of focusing on what you may be “missing out” on, be present in the moment and enjoy the beauty around you. I mean, isn’t a trip more about seeing new places, relaxing, and enjoying time with friends and family? Just remember, a healthy lifestyle is not a restrictive lifestyle. It is just consistently making good choices everyday to help you look and feel your best!
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