Following a specialized diet is hard enough when you are home and in your normal daily routine, but what about when vacation time rolls around? If you’ve just mastered cutting out gluten, dairy, and sugar and want to find ways to continue your nutrition plan without wreaking havoc on your vacation, then don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to stay healthy and on track while traveling – whether it be around the globe or road tripping around the U.S.
But Whyyyy? It’s Vacation!
According to this 2016 study, an average of 60 percent of adults in the U.S. gain weight while on a 1-3 week vacation! The study showed the extra weight can even stay on for an additional six weeks after your vacation. One factor that may have contributed to the weight gain was an increased intake in calories, including from increased alcohol use. Of course, the many benefits of vacationing also showed up among the study participants. This included a significant reduction in stress levels that lasted well after the vacation ended.
So, how can you reap in the benefits of traveling without falling off track or racking up some mid-section baggage? Luckily there’s no need to compromise your health while traveling.
Traveling Snack Tips
First and foremost, it is important to plan ahead. Snacking on vacation, whether on the beach, on a bus in another country, or on a plane is going to happen. If you are on an intermittent fasting plan, then snacking will be even easier, as you can simply continue to follow your time schedule, even though you may hop over a few time zones.
If you are traveling by plane, you can pack snacks ahead of time, which will not only save your waistline but also your pocketbook. Packing snacks that you can store in your purse or carryon is vital so you won’t be rushing through the airport grabbing chips and pastries before hopping on your flight.
Organic jerky, whether it is beef or turkey jerky, is a great option to have on hand. Bags of nuts are another great option for planning ahead. You can make your own mixed bag of nuts by utilizing the bulk food stations in certain grocery stores, making it easy and affordable to include all of those delicious and nutrition-packed premium nuts. Nutrient-dense nuts include almonds, which are packed full of calcium and vitamin E and Brazil nuts, which are chock full of the mineral selenium. Selenium supports the immune system, and you only need a few Brazil nuts a day to get all the selenium you need!
When traveling by car, you have even more options as you can bring along a cooler. This allows you to pack much more. You can even make some meals ahead of time, for a road trip picnic break or even snacking on the road. You can make chicken or tuna salad ahead of time and bring it in the car with gluten-free crackers or lettuce wraps.
Meal Planning with Restaurants
Eating out while traveling can be your unhealthiest culprit but only if you let it. Mindlessly eating chips, queso cheese and downing sugary margaritas will leave you feeling bloated, full and like you’ve fallen off the wagon in just one meal. But no fret, you can even change your options at that very meal – swapping the queso dip for guacamole and those sugary margs for a simple skinny marg (ask for tequila with fresh squeezed lime and orange and a dash of agave.)
Planning ahead when eating out is of utmost importance. Here are several ways to find the right choices for you:
- Call the Restaurants. Researching food options ahead of time is a great way to cut out the stress of ending up at the wrong place that only offers fried foods! Eating out on vacation can be fun AND healthy. You can research ahead to find the right places that serve healthy options that stay within your plan without missing out on the local cuisine. Going to New Orleans? No problem, there are plenty of non-fried options you can find. Ask for the gumbo or find the right fish dish that is grilled for you with all the same spices.
- Look Online. You can also do your research online. If you are on a keto, paleo or other low-carb diet, check out the menu online and see what you can find. See if they mention gluten or dairy-free options on their menus.
- Know your Options. Varying locations may even offer exactly what you want and need without even needing to do the research ahead of time. For example, if you are traveling internationally, pick a destination that matches your diet. If you are gluten or dairy free, then going to a country with delicious and traditionally gluten and dairy-free cuisine may work best for you! Thailand is known for their delicious dishes and most are predominantly dairy-free. Vietnam is another option known for being mostly gluten-free naturally as most dishes are rice based and don’t contain soy sauce.
While finding the right nutrition-dense options that won’t leave you feeling guilty or deprived is one way to stay on track on vacation, it is also just as important to stay active along the way too. If you are on a road trip, then get your blood pumping by hopping out at all of the lookouts you can hike to or visit local parks along the way with a frisbee in tow. Keep up your normal workout routines, such as walking after meals or running in the mornings. Add in all of the fun local activities that keep you moving without even realizing it such as paddleboarding, kayaking, or snorkeling.
At Progressive Health and Wellness, we offer specialized focus on helping our clients stay on track through all aspects of life. We also offer mindset coaching with work in the subconscious focused on improving all aspects of the mind and body. Reach out to us for more information on what we can offer you.
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