Summer Travel- My Top Tips
Summertime often = travel time. Whether it’s a “stay-cation”, road trip, or vacation to the beach. Vacations and traveling can be tricky if you’re not prepared. We often hit September feeling exhausted, over- fed, out of integrity with our body, our goals and our schedule. The first step to take when traveling is planning, just as you would plan ahead to get a hotel, car, and think of activities, apply the same planning to your nutrition and exercise plan while you’re traveling. The more you can maintain a sense of normalcy (especially with kids) the better you'll feel when you return to your regular daily routine PLUS the better you'll feel while traveling.
1. Clarify your intentions for your "trip"- First and foremost, visualize how you want it to go down. Especially when we're on the road, there's lots that's out of our control (time change, different foods, weather, culture etc.) BUT there is SO MUCH that IS in our control. Just because we're traveling, it doesn't mean that we have to toss all our normal daily healthy habits out the window. Instead if we can make a conscious/ realistic effort to commit to certain habits that we know keep us grounded, nourished, energized and digesting we'll have a waaaay better, more aligned and balanced experience.
2. Stay active - This one is probably the least difficult to incorporate, many vacations include sightseeing, walking, shopping, or even swimming in the ocean- all of which will keep you moving. An added bonus if your hotel or resort has a gym or class schedule - hit some weights, grab a yoga class or get in some pool laps. The more you move, the better off you'll be.
3. Stay hydrated - Being out in the sun, sweating, and moving around will naturally dehydrate you a bit, it’s important to stay hydrated. It’ll also help you from mistaking hunger for thirst. Be sure you’re paying attention to your urine, that’s the best indicator of your hydration (pale-yellow/clear).
4. Pack food - I never leave the house when traveling without teas, plant-based protein powders, hemp seeds, chia seeds (great for digestion) instant oatmeal for easy an breakfast. If you're traveling with small kids- make sure to have a few of their favorites on hand. This will help you avoid reaching for surgery, processed foods in airports, on the road or in unfamiliar territory.
4b- Digestion - Traveling can often mess with our digestion and daily bowel movements. Nobody likes to feel constipated while on the road. Here's a few suggestions to support digestion and make your travels much "smoother" :) 1. drink ginger tea throughout the day and after a heavy meal 2. Take the Ayurvedic remedy "Triphala" in powder or capsule form before bed for easy digestion. 3. Eat chia seeds- add to your favorite drink, sprinkle on oatmeal or salads. They're great for energy and support bowel regularity.
5. Bring snacks - If you’re walking long distances or out and about enjoying the city you’re visiting, be sure to bring a couple snacks with you that you can munch on just in case you’re not by food or when hunger strikes (especially with kids) A couple of my favorites would be trail mix, raw nuts/seeds like almond or sunflower seeds, and of course fruit! Remember though- its always best to take in 2-3 meals a day, sit, (enjoy the surroundings and perhaps culture and foods) then running on snacks all day long.
6. Check out the local markets - The first thing I do when traveling is scope out the local markets or grocery stores to stock up on raw veggies, fruits, and other foods that require a fridge. If you can eat breakfast at home and nourish yourself before heading out, you'll make better choices for lunch and dinner. If you're lucky enough to have a blender or managed to bring a small one with you- start your day with a nutrient packed green smoothie to keep your digestion and bowel movements regular and strong.
7. Hotel kitchen - Try to get a hotel room with a mini-fridge, teapot, or microwave. This will help you keep a couple snacks on hand in your room to bring with you for the day. My tops: raw carrots, cucumbers, lemons, avocados, bag of organic spinach/ dark greens, fruits, coconut water, and any other raw produce you can pick up at a local market. Also keep on hand lots of purified water for smoothies and night time.
8. Research local dining spots - Ask the locals where they eat for healthy dining out options. Most often than not, eating the cuisine of the locals is healthier than eating at an American franchise. Do your best to eat locally, source healthy options and eat meals instead of grazing all day.
9. Start with a salad - When dining out, try to start with a salad or any other vegetable heavy dish that’s available. This will not only help keep you full, but also help with digestion and ensuring you’re getting those veggies in! We want to keep digestion and bowel movements regular.
10. When in doubt, ask - Always ask the locals, those around you, and even waiters what the healthiest options are on the menu or local spots to try. They know what they’re talking about!
11. Stick to a Routine - No matter where I'm traveling, I always prioritize my am/pm routines. My daily routines help me to feel at home wherever I am. They ground, support and nurture me more then anything else while on the road. My morning routine of waking up early, hydrating, eliminating, meditating and moving my body ( 10-20 min. of yoga/ stretching/ jump rope etc) all before breakfast sets me up for an intentional day not one that I'm flying by the seat of my pants, even if I am. In the evenings I do my best to hit the hay (most nights) before 10pm. I wind down with a book, gentle foot rub and bath/ shower and a cup of herbal tea. I'm learning more and more about the benefits of using essential oils and love to add them to my nightly massage.
Just because it's vacation time doesn't mean that you have to throw all your healthy habits out the window. We all know what it feels like to return home feeling exhausted, heavy and less then refreshed and revived from a big trip. Find the balance. Vacation is also a time to relax, loosen up a little, connect with family and friends and enjoy just being in the moments. Enjoy the local cuisine in moderation. Plan your day, so that it's not a total crap shoot and you find yourself making consistently unhealthy choices. Where can you nourish yourself, eat light and move move more? Think ahead...how do you want to return home? Do you want to feel relaxed, well rested, well nourished and energized to take on your life, and your goals? If so, then plan ahead, make choices that align with your goals and set yourself up for success before you hit the road.
I hope these tips help you create a more easeful, fun and healthy vacation.