Traveling is fun. You have freedom over your schedule. You’re not tied down to a routine. The world is your oyster! This may sound like a nightmare to a planner, but I find peace from just a little bit of pre-planning. Even though you’re off your routine (in an acceptable and exciting way of course!), you can still master your wellness on the go. I’m excited to share with you my 4 essential travel tips for healthy travel...
Because you CAN stay healthy AND enjoy “vacation food” at the same time.
As a fitness & nutritional professional, and a dancer, I know how important it is to maintain a balanced nutrient-dense diet. Eating healthy is a lifestyle and trying different diets or even adhering to strict diet trends throughout the year can actually do more damage to your health than good. Staying consistent is key, but enjoying your meals is essential for that consistency.
One of the toughest times to stick to a routine and maintain a healthy balance is while traveling. I get it...you don’t have your Nutribullet, your protein shake, frozen fruit, organic meats, veggies, steamer; maybe you’re not carrying all your supplements, your greens powder mix.
However, there are ways to solve for this without putting too much pressure on yourself. After all, you are on vacation!
Prepping ahead, whether for a short weekend trip or a 2 week vacation is essential. This starts when you get to the airport. The idea here is to give yourself grace and joy during your travel days and prep for your health before you leave.
Tip #1: Plan Snacks (airport edition)
Whether you’re the person who shows up 2 hours before you need to board the plane or you’re like me and get to the airport 20 minutes before you need to board, come prepared! Grab a protein bar, Greek yogurt cup, or my favorite oat cookies (recipe below), mixed nuts in a zip lock bag, or a banana. I love bringing my B.T.R NATION bars with me, and I’m so happy they’re now available in airports nationwide. I throw a few in my purse, and in my suitcase/carry-on so I’m covered during my round-airport trips.
Tip #2: Grab your most essential supplements
I take quite a few. There are some that are an absolute must daily, and some that can wait until you get back. For example, if it’s summertime and you know you'll be spending a lot of time in the sun, your Vitamin D supplement might not be necessary. If you take a few different supplements for gut health, bring the most crucial one (for me that’s my digestive enzymes) since you might be eating new foods out of your normal routine.
Tip #3: Always try to add something green to your meals
Ok, when you’re out, ENJOY it! Eat fries every night, eat dessert every night, eat late every night. You do you! But here’s the thing, you gotta get some nutritional value in as well. For example, when I was recently in San Francisco, at Fisherman’s Wharf’s Boudine restaurant, I got a crab sandwich and fries. But I also got the shrimp greens salad. If there’s an option for veggies as a side, get at least one. My fave is steamed asparagus. Just get them in as frequently as you can because when we travel, we’re not typically meeting our daily nutritional needs. You could be at a pizzeria and if they have grilled carrots as an appetizer, get them. You want to aim for 2 cups of veggies or greens each day. Fruits are easier to get in so play around with those. There are plenty of places you can get smoothies or juices, but be cognizant of what their liquid base is. Don’t be afraid to ask a staff member what type of yogurt or milk base they use and ask for alternatives. Opting out from flavored yogurts, dairy milk and asking for just water could be a huge nutritional bonus. Less sugar too :)
Tip #4: Drink plenty of water
Yes, Good ol, plain ol Water! Staying hydrated is everything. Extra coffee and alcohol will do the exact opposite. Drinking water will also help flush out the toxins, excess sodium and waste in your body. Staying hydrated will help you feel more energized, and it can also help prevent headaches. Or if that fails, eat a lot of cucumbers ;)
To help facilitate healthy digestion, try to avoid drinking during your meals, 30 minutes before and 45 minutes after is perfect. Instead, drink plenty of water throughout the whole day. If you’re at a restaurant...ask for a slice of lemon with your water. Lemon adds a nice little boost and aids with digestion. Coconut water is an amazing choice as well, as it holds natural electrolytes and vitamins. Just make sure it’s “not from concentrate.”
Bonus Tip: Start your day with water, right when you wake up, before you eat breakfast. We sweat while we sleep and drinking water on an empty stomach, is great for brain and gut health. Lastly, after a big day of being outside, walking, enjoying different foods, how should you end the night? Maybe you’ll reach for a few tea options to keep during your trip. You can end the night with a detoxifying tea or a natural ginger tea to ease and calm your gut. An immunity boost, a natural reset and the perfect way to wind down before bed. The Yogi brand has great options. I love peppermint, mint, and dandelion!
Happy & Healthy Traveling!
Banana Oat Cookie Recipe (makes 6 cookies)
- 1 Cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
- 1 Banana
- 1/4 Cup chocolate chips
1) Mash the banana with a fork, add the oats & chocolate chips. Mix until well combined.
2) Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees