One question I am often asked is how to stay healthy while on vacation. This often leads to a discussion about the challenges of figuring out how much “vacation food” to allow while traveling. There may be a part of you that wants to let loose and indulge but how do you balance that with also wanting to feel amazing – without feeling bloated, hungover or constipated? Below are some useful tips that can help you feel more in control of your health while traveling.
- Stay well hydrated. Traveling on airplanes is dehydrating, which can lead to feeling fatigued, anxious, and headachy. This is a poor start to your holiday. Also, being out of your routine can lead to less water intake. When flying, try to drink 1 glass of water for every hour you are on the plane, and be mindful of staying hydrated once you are at your your destination.
- Stick with your morning routine. Many of us have a morning routine that set us up for a more productive, present and energized day. This is no less important when you are away from home. Whether it is warm water with lemon and journaling or having your green drink and doing 20-minutes of yoga- sticking with your morning routine is the best way to start each day of your vacation
- Greens and veggies with every meal. Whatever else you choose to order, also get your greens and/or veggies on the plate – even at breakfast. For example, eggs and greens, green smoothie, oatmeal with a side order of steamed veggies with lemon juice and salt.
- Start your meal with veggies. When that bread basket is placed on your table go ahead and order some veggies for the table. Consider ordering roasted veggies, sauteed veggies with garlic and olive oil, or steamed veggies with olive oil and lemon juice for the table.
- For the entree consider ordering a double salad with protein. Most places can also accommodate requests to make the meal more simple – without cream, sauces or being fried. Order your meat baked, grilled, poached or roasted.
- Pack safety foods. These foods are easy to travel with and can be eaten when no other good food choices are available. Some examples:
- Whole avocado – pick up a knife, spoon and salt packet at an airport restaurant and enjoy.
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut butter – you can now find nut butter in little individual packets. Eat this alone or spread on some flax crackers – like Mary’s Gone Crackers.
- Carrots and hummus
- Apples and hummus
- Flax cracker and hummus
- Canned sardines. In my over 10-years of practice only a handful of patients said they would ever try this suggestion.
- Whole foods bar
- Protein powder – you can mix with water for a quick protein snack.
Listen to your body and do not deprive yourself. You are on vacation – enjoy yourself. If you want an afternoon cocktail or dessert after a meal, go for it. Just listen to your body. If you experience bloating, constipation, brain fog, fatigue or sleep disruption you will understand why and will feel more motivated to stick with the eating style that works for you. And, if you feel great indulging and notice that your cravings for sweets and tolerance for alcohol has increased, you can always plan on doing the Akasha Cleanse when you get back in town to reset your palate and get your health back on track.
Maggie Ney, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor and co-director of the Woman’s Clinic at the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. You can make an appointment with her by calling us at 310-451-8880 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org