You may be one of the lucky few who can travel without it having a major impact on your body. Not me. I have to work hard at staying consistent about taking care of myself. Watching what I eat while traveling but still allowing myself to splurge a little takes planning. It’s called BALANCE. All that hard work has taught me several tips for staying healthy while traveling which I am sharing with you.
Traveling is good for the body
Vacationing is one of the best self-care activities we can do for ourselves. I am an adventurer, thrill-seeker and love visiting new parts of the world. However, my body doesn’t always agree with me. Having a plan and maintaining consistency takes effort. Good news is, it can be done and it should be done to maintain your health and weight while traveling.
You know the drill, you work so hard to get your body in shape for vacation but then you, like most people, overindulge and stop exercising only to leave yourself feeling guilty or un-motivated when you return home. Not to mention, you return home feeling exhausted, bloated and a few pounds heavier. So how do you stop the bad habits?
Maintaining your healthy habits while traveling is all about planning ahead, preparation and making healthy choices. Let’s say NO MORE to “You’re on vacation so eat whatever you want” KIND OF THINKING! That type of mindset leads to negative behavior patterns and overindulgence. Behavior which leads to weight gain or the inability to lose weight. That’s not to say you can’t splurge a little and enjoy yourself; it’s about finding a healthy balance. You’re in control. You can pick and choose when and how you want to splurge without going off the deep end.
Paving the path
Before you travel, research the area you plan to visit for a health food store that carries good quality water and organic or natural foods. Obviously, not every place you visit will have that option but it’s worth seeing what’s available in the area to help plan accordingly. It may be that you go grocery shopping in the city you fly into rather than the city you’re visiting; if the two are far apart.
Make a list of staple food items you will need for light meals, snacks and water consumption. Pack a small shoulder cooler or backpack in your suitcase to carry your food and water while on your trip. You can also bring small containers or reusable bags to pack your food in your cooler. If you are planning a road trip this is an even easier task to accomplish.
Remember your ultimate goal here is being good to yourself while on vacation. Keeping up the good habits and preparing will keep you from coming back sick or with a suppressed immune system. It’s important to pack the key essential nutrients to assist with the stress of traveling.
Here’s how to get started.
What to Pack:
- Always pack a good multi-vitamin & mineral to help keep you energized and feeling good. Traveling, sight-seeing and daily excursions can really deplete your body, so keeping yourself nourished is important. I like to use Intramax travel size 2 oz bottles when I go on shorter trips for 3 to 5 days. For trips the last 7 or more days, I use the Garden of Life capsules.
- Another important supplement to pack is a very good probiotic. Probiotics are VERY IMPORTANT to help keep your gut healthy and to protect against harmful parasites, viruses and bacteria. Especially important if you are traveling to Mexico or overseas. Here are 2 really good ones that don’t require refrigeration. Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic OR Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care.
- Digestive enzymes. You will be eating various styles of food that are cooked differently with different ingredients that may be difficult for your digestive system to handle so it’s important to take digestive enzymes with every meal. Here’s more information on the supplement from TransformatioEnzymes.com.
- Vitamin D. Give your immune system a boost and prevent yourself from getting sick while traveling with vitamin D. D3-K2 LipoSpray is one of my favorites. However, the best way to get vitamin D is to spend 15 minutes per day in direct sunlight since our bodies most naturally and efficiently absorb it this way.
- Increase your vitamin B complex intake. While you are preparing to travel and during your travels your body is subjected to a certain amount of stress. Because your body’s natural cycle is off, it is important to feed it essential vitamins. Your body burns 5 times the amount of B vitamins when under any stress; especially the stress of traveling. Drinking alcohol also depletes your B vitamins so increasing your intake will help in preventing hangovers. As a bonus, B vitamins also help ward off mosquitoes. All vitamins are antioxidants which fight off free radical damage from radiation, flight stress, and environmental toxins. I take B Supreme Supplement when I travel.
- For sleep, I recommend a natural sleep aid such as melatonin which helps in recovering from jet lag and/or if you have trouble falling asleep. If you are taking it for jet lag it is recommended to take it as the sun is setting to help your body get adjusted to the time difference. I also recommend taking it on the plane on an overnight flight to help ease the stress of flying and if you have trouble sleeping on a plane. Sometimes melatonin doesn’t work for some. If that’s the case then I recommend valerian to help soothe the nervous system, reduce anxiety, improve stress, and relax the muscles for issues like restless leg syndrome. My personal go-to is my high quality CBD oil (available very soon at True Healthy Living!). CBD oil is beneficial for a plethora of things such as anxiety, pain relief, reducing inflammation, sleep, and headaches/migraines. I have personally tested CBD oil for all of the above and it is legit. It’s so important to ensure you get plenty of sleep while traveling. Sleep keeps your immune system strong to fight off pathogens and help your body recover from the stress of traveling and jet lag.
- Don’t forget your all natural summer products that are paraben, chemical and preservative free. The popular sunscreens and tanning oils contain chemicals and toxins that contribute to skin cancer.
- If flying or driving within the U.S. pack healthy snacks that you can carry on the plane or the car. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit mix and protein powder that you can add to bottled water are easy travel options. Sliced veggies, sliced turkey or chicken breast are also healthy choices. See additional handout for a list of paleo snack ideas.
- If flying or driving within the U.S. make your own salad dressing with good wholesome ingredients. Be sure to pack it in an airtight container and put in a Ziploc bag so it can travel in your checked baggage. If you’re making a grocery store stop then look for paleo brand dressings at the store. Primal Kitchen, Tessemae’s and Bragg’s are great options and they travel well, you can even take them with you when you dine at restaurants. I have a horrible reaction to soy and canola oil which is what most of the dressings on the market use. The brands listed above do not have those ingredients so I always try to bring my own even when I go out to eat at home. This helps me avoid any harsh reactions.
- For breakfast, bring your own healthy prepackaged paleo hot cereal/paleo granola, collagen protein powder or plant based protein powder from home to eat along with fruit and healthy fats.
- If you have issues with your bowel movements and tend to experience constipation while traveling then try either 2 to 4 capsules of magnesium OR 3 to 4 capsules Oxy powder at night to help get things moving.
- Bring resistance bands or a jump rope with you for daily exercise. Or, bring a couple of body weight routines with you that you can do in your hotel room if the hotel doesn’t have a gym. You can also bring a workout routine with you to do outside; weather permitting. DO YOUR BEST TO TRY AND NOT SKIP YOUR WORKOUTS! The more you stick to your workouts the more you can afford to splurge a little.
Tips before you leave town:
- Make sure to eat a healthy well-balanced meal at home prior to your flight or leaving town rather than at the airport, on the plane or on the road. Airplane food is especially high in sodium and other chemicals that can completely derail you from your weight loss goals and interrupt sleep during your trip.
- Bring a large bottle of water on the plane or in the car with you to keep you hydrated while you’re traveling to your destination.
- Staying hydrated is important because the low humidity on airplanes causes moisture to evaporate from the body quickly which can lead to dehydration.
Tips once you arrive at your destination:
- Once you’ve arrived at your destination, make your first stop the local health food store. Here you can pick up healthy food and water for the duration of your stay.
- Choose healthy snacks such as pre-cooked chicken/turkey breast, organic cheese, organic fruit, LARA bars, hummus and sliced veggies, apples/celery with nut butters, nuts, seeds and dried fruit/nut mixes – see Paleo snack ideas.
- Buy a good quality, high alkaline water – most quality waters will have a label on the back to show the pH levels. You are looking for at least 7.0 or higher.
- It is important to drink at least 80 ounces of water per day– preferably more than that since flying dehydrates the body.
- If you have trouble drinking that much water during the day then add some Ultima electrolyte powder to your water to add some flavor.
- Use a calorie counter to keep track of your daily food intake such as www.myfitnesspal.com which is an app that can be downloaded on your iPhone or Android.
- Every day pack up your light meals/snacks and water to take with you instead of being tempted by unhealthy options.
- Make sure you always have more protein than carbohydrates in your meals to keep your blood sugar stabilized throughout the day.
- Always choose vegetables and fruits as your carbohydrates over processed, refined, starchy carbohydrates.
- For breakfast, always choose whole eggs, avocado, or an omelette with fresh veggies along with fresh fruit instead of pancakes/waffles and syrup.
- It’s important to make sure you have protein and healthy fats first thing in the morning to help with brain function and to prevent spiking your blood sugar.
- Avoid sugary prepackaged foods and yogurts at the breakfast bars along with processed or refined carbs such as muffins.
- ALWAYS AVOID FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS AT ALL TIMES FOR ALL MEALS.
- If you have to eat a late dinner for any reason, remember to forego the starchy carbs and sugary desserts AFTER 5 PM. Choose only meats, vegetables and healthy fats.
- Starchy carbs turn into sugar and store as fat in the body if not burned in a certain amount of time so they are not good to eat late at night; especially when trying to lose weight.
- In addition, eating these foods closer to bedtime can spike your blood sugar and disturb your sleep.
- Drink clear liquors with water or soda over beer and wine for low calorie options. Stay away from high sugar drinks!
It’s all about the choices you make and how much effort you put into it that will make all the difference in helping you maintain your healthy habits!!