It’s so easy to get derailed when on vacation. At least for me it is. I’m a creature of habit, and as soon as my routine is disrupted in any little way, I can find it so easy to throw in the towel and abandon my healthy habits.
This past weekend marked my official entrance into spring. Spring for me – besides bringing fresh veggies and more outdoor workouts – means weekend trips. Don’t get me wrong, I love weekends away, but it’s so easy to get off track… decide to go back to workouts and good eating… on Monday.
But this year, I won’t do that.
One way I’ve resolved to make travel a bit more health-conscious, was to plan ahead with my snacks. Long road trips can lead to fast-food “meals” and HFCS-laden gas station snacks.
My snacks from this past weekend’s road trip (all purchased at Whole Foods): baby carrots w/ ranch, Pink Lady apples, green seedless grapes, Justin’s honey almond butter, a green Monster in my Blender Ball, Mary’s Gone Crackers ginger cookies, Pirate’s Booty, Annie’s cheddar bunnies, Guayaki Yerba Mate tea bags, Amazing Grass packets, Carpe Diem kombucha, lots of water
Considerations for Planning to Snack:
- How long of a ride are you taking?
- This past weekend I drove 7 hours (why didn’t we fly?) to Pittsburgh, PA for a wedding. So, long trip, obviously. I knew we’d make a stop for lunch, but other than that, I needed to snack up and make sure I’d be able to stay well-hydrated between rest stops.
- What’s the biggest diet downfall on vacations?
- I could probably write a list here of at least 7 things, but to pick one major issue I’d like to work on is the lack of produce. I rarely get even close to my 5-7 daily servings of fruits and veggies. I made the goal to just focus on this. It can be too much to completely overhaul all at once, and I thought I’d be happy eating all the hors d’oerves my heart desired as long as I knew I was getting the veggies in.
- What this meant on my vacation was that I packed some fresh fruits and veggies (baby carrots, apples, and grapes for the ride), I brought Amazing Grass packets for the mornings, and I vowed to eat salad with every meal. These were three very simple things that were easy to do, and helped me on vacation quite nicely.
- Know where you’re going (and what to expect when you get there)
- Both parts to this are very important. Knowing where you’re going deals with both the location (is there a Whole Foods across the street?) and also the region (the local fare in Napa, for example, had far more fresh veggie options than my recent stay in P-burgh). That said, plan for this. If there’s a WF across the street – congrats. In fact, play the lotto that day, because that’s pretty lucky. In most cases, though, that won’t happen. Are there places nearby where you can replenish your healthy food stock? In my most recent case, there was not. I picked up a fresh piece of fruit where I could (usually from a bowl in the lobby – you can do that, right?), and ate as much salad as I could.
- As far as knowing what to expect when you get there, I’m considering more the food culture, I guess I’d call it. For example, this past weekend I was at a wedding. Most weddings are eat, eat, eat. Recognizing this, I told myself I’d stick to my salad plan with every meal, and eat all the apps, etc. at the wedding that I wanted. It was give and take. I also know that when I visit my parents, I have lots of healthy options and making substitutions in my meals is no big deal (they’re used to this, I guess). If I travel to my in-laws, I know that there is less flexibility in dining options, and I’ll never hear the end of it if I only “order a salad.” So in this case I just add as many veggies as I can to the regular plate and go with it.
- How often will you be dining out?
- Breakfast is the easiest meal to pack on the road. A banana, a packet of oatmeal, some nuts and you’re good to go. I recommend, if there’s one meal that you do yourself, make it breakfast. Especially if you’re in a situation where you won’t be able to get healthy foods nearby. Breakfast stuff is really easy to pack and tote.
- Most restaurants post menus online, and it’s pretty easy to search healthy restaurant options in the area to suggest to your fellow travelers.
- Live a Little
- All of the above is just to offset the fact that I will be indulging quite a bit. The point is, it should be conscious to a degree. I can’t indulge at every meal. I mean, I could, but… you get the idea. Since I went to a wedding, I decided that the wedding reception would be my time to indulge (and that’s it). And I did. Every other meal was a regular, healthy meal that I would have at home.
So if you, like me, will be heading out of town quite a bit this spring… what will you do to make sure you keep on top of your healthy eating habits? Any tried and true suggestions?
I’ll be out of town this coming weekend – look for a post on working out while on vacation next week!