It’s Travel Tuesday today as I prepare for my first cross country road trip I have some concerns on my mind. I always wonder how will have a fit and healthy vacation on the road. I usually walk a lot on vacation but eating can be more of a challenge. I turn to my husband who runs FeastFit in Portland for help. Here’s what he had to say to help all of us have a healthy vacation:
Have a healthy vacation by Feast Fit
Hello traveler. If you’re reading this you’re probably a well informed individual to start with. Perhaps you’re the type of person who can’t get enough moving and shaking, stopping for dinner in one country while on your way to the next because it fit into your schedule. Fantastic. However, it’s a fair bet that you’re also wondering how you can keep up that lifestyle and stay looking like the svelte and lean individual you happen to be. That’s where I come in. I’m going to give you some quick and dirty (though not unsanitary!) tips on how you can maintain your figure. If you’re interested in diving deeper down the rabbit hole of nutrition and food therapy, I suggest checking out Evolve Nutritional Therapy to find great information on how you can entirely change your diet to fit your needs.
Eating smarter and better
Eating smarter and better on the road has a whole host of benefits, most of which are covered ad nauseam by other sites. However, three things they probably won’t cover are diabetes, jet lag and immune response.
Avoid simple sugars
In the US alone nearly ten percent of the population is afflicted by diabetes, which is responsible for over 39 million hospital visits according to the US CDC website. Sound scary? It gets worse: Most of those cases are proven to be Type 2 diabetes which is in theory completely preventable. How does this work in to traveling? Mainly because the foods that are most readily available on the road are loaded with simple sugars and extra additives that increase your chances of causing permanent harm to your bodies insulin regulation system.
Kick jet lag to the curb
In addition to long term health benefits, eating better on the road can have a more immediate impact on your health by helping you avoid jet lag. When your body is healthier it can devote more resources to stabilizing your circadian rhythms after a long flight. That means when you’re healthier you can have more fun sooner.
Stock up before you fly
Finally, most of our methods of travel that are commercially available end up cramming as many people into metal boxes with recycled air for long periods of time. Essentially a long flight is just an open invitation to any type of bacteria or disease that might be interested in taking up residence in your body. When you’re healthier your body will be more able to defend you from them.
Top three tips
With all that in mind, my top three tips for staying healthy and slim while traveling are to eat with your stomach and not your eyes, avoid processed foods and refined sugars and take in lots of fiber aka: eat your veggies!
Start by instilling the habit of only eating when you’re hungry. We have a tendency to eat when it’s lunch time, when we see others eating and when we’re bored. Not to mention the fact that we’re always told to clean our plates and ask for more. Our bodies are built to tell us when we’ve had enough, but all of our habits tell us to do otherwise. Put yourself in the habit of only eating till you feel about 80% full and you’ll start to feel less of that “heavy” full feeling that comes after a big fast-food meal or hearty dinner. Getting in touch with your internal hunger drive and eating only when you’re truly hungry will be a major step in keeping away from the fatty and sugary foods that are marketed to travelers.
Which brings me to my next point: Most of the food you’ll see while traveling is meant to be extra attractive to weary travelers because it’s fast, it’s easy and it’s cheap (sometimes). What that ends up doing to the food though is packing it full of sugar and cheap fat. This is the stuff that will push you further and further toward the diabetic condition I mentioned earlier. How can you avoid this stuff then? If you’re given the choice, opt for whole foods like fruits, nuts, greens and garden veggies. Pick steamed over fried and look for lean meats like pork and chicken.
Lastly, eat your veggies! Dietary fiber helps to delay the insulin response from taking in too many simple/refined sugars and are also more nutrient dense than any processed foods. What this means is that you can avoid “sugar highs” and the following crash by eating more greens and garden vegetables. Aim for more complete greens in your salad like kale or spinach and remember to get a side of braised or steamed vegetables to go with your next meal choice.
Bonus tip: If your accommodations have a kitchen and food storage, find a nearby grocery store and instead of paying extra to eat food that’s not good for you, make your own!
Hopefully with my tips you’ll be able to make an impact on your travel plans without impacting your waistline!
Extra healthy vacation love!
Jenna Bee also wants to have a healthy vacation with yoga!
Tap into communities of people in whatever you visit a city. Bring your regular life into a new situation rather than just doing the tourist thing. When I travel I always look for a yoga class to connect back to my life at home. How’s the culture of exercise different in this city or country. Get a new and colorful perspective on the place you are visiting with a group exercise class. They can be really fun and entertaining. If you stay exercising on the road then you don’t feel guilty about eating anything and everything you want.