With the summer here, many of us are taking vacations and that means that you need to be prepped and planned when traveling with meals. For many of you, vacations tend to be just that... a vacation from EVERYTHING ! Well in order to be consistent you need to have some type of plan and structure. Vacations do not mean that you have to just forget about everything and blow off your healthy lifestyle! It's easy if you take a few simple steps in that direction to just plan accordingly!
Having a structured diet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy yourself and your vacation, BUT that does not mean that when you take a summer vacation mean you should put your fitness and nutrition goals on hold. It’s all about maintaining balance, being flexible, and having a plan.
On the "BIG" travel day whether you are driving or flying, having healthy pre-packaged meals is KEY to you staying on track. It's so easy when you are busy in an airport to just grab and go or when driving to have mindless eating. Make a point to grab healthy snacks and have meals prepared in a cooler. It's helpful to also carry last-minute options in my carry-on like protein powder, individual servings of tuna, almonds, and protein bars. This ensures that no matter what happens you won’t be stuck without something healthy to eat.
If you are on the road and stop at a restaurant you DO have the choice on a healthy meal. You can often purchase fresh salads or vegetables and add your own prepared protein source and top it with your own healthy dressing such as individual servings of mustard, Walden Farms salad dressings and syrups, nut butter, and stevia. That way you can customize any meals for enjoyment and feel satisfied despite being on the go.
If you’re doing restaurant meals, you can always order a plain grilled piece of chicken, fish, or shrimp and add it to tossed salad or steamed/grilled veggies. Trust me, no one will notice if you add your own dressing. Plus if you "customize" an order you will ensure that your getting a FRESH piece of food ! Double Score !
If you are staying at a hotel, be sure to see if it has a microwave and mini fridge. If your lucky you might be able to find a place that has a mini kitchen !! Another lifesaver on the road is packing your own electric grill. I have a small George Foreman that fits about three chicken breasts and easily packs in my checked luggage. Once I arrive at my destination, I scope out the nearest grocery stores and farmers markets to get fresh protein to replenish my frozen supply, as well as fat sources, fruits, and veggies.
If your hotel has a breakfast you can usually find hard boiled eggs and just scoop out the yolk. BUT the oats they make are made with heavy cream and butter ( thats why they taste so good). Try to stick to yogurts that have a label and fresh fruit !!
Driving long hours and going to convenient store you still have healthy choices ! You can always find something to make your program work if you ran out of pre-cooked and cooler-ready meals. In terms of protein, hardboiled eggs, canned tuna, protein bars, protein shakes, cottage cheese, and yogurt are some great options. You can always find a protein shake that has essentially zero fat, zero sugar, and 25-30 grams of protein.
This might seem extreme to some, but I follow the motto “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” My fitness goals require extreme dedication and awareness of my food choices. So it’s worth it for me to plan ahead.That being said, I’m a true believer in finding balance and making room for indulgences, especially when on vacation. By planning ahead so you can avoid any unexpected or extra deviations that will take you further away from reaching your goals, you can truly enjoy your indulgences.