I know many of you out there are thinking “Yay! Friday!” right about now. Normally, I would be cheering right alongside you but this week it comes as a bit of a bummer. Only a couple vacation days left and then we travel back home. Since I plan to soak up the sun and fun for my last couple of days I made sure to have an applicable Friday Five post all ready to go for you today. Maybe my plan of attack for vacation/travel eating will help you when your vacation time comes. Travel season is coming up fast, after all!
Allow me to preface something before we get started. I’m no master at healthy travel eating when it comes to food prep and founding out the healthiest options around. My girl Laura reigns supreme there and has quite a few excellent posts with travel meal ideas and tips. What I plan to share here are just the general guidelines I try to follow while traveling so I can hopefully find a balance between enjoying myself and not going overboard (my “oh so clever” pun intended).
So, here we go. My Friday Five:
Five Guidelines for Balanced
Eating While Traveling
1. Hydration!!! Now, I’m not huge on drinking my calories and sipping alcoholic beverages or sugary sodas. On this cruise I did plan to enjoy a few drinks but also anticipated water as my drink of choice for the majority of the time. I planned to sip and enjoy one drink a day – such as a margarita pool side OR a glass of red with dinner. There were a few days I didn’t have anything and a couple times I had a couple drinks in a day. Either way, I think it helps to target beverage consumption because those can add up faster than we realize.
2. Healthy breakfast and lunch. The next big focus I had was to go lighter on meals where I could. Whether a hotel breakfast, buffet at a resort/cruise ship, or in a condo kitchen I can usually scrounge up healthier things for these two meals. Here on the cruise most of my breakfasts have been egg white and veggie omelets with oatmeal or muesli and some fruit on the side. Lunches have often been what the excursions served but when eating lunch on the ship I try to choose things like sandwiches with salad and/or fruit.
3. Don’t need to snack. I don’t know about you but I personally find myself consuming larger meals and needing less snacks in between when I carefully consider my hunger level. I could easily reach for a snack out of habit and not out of hunger. Big difference. When I remain mindful of my hunger and consider the full meals I have through the day I realize I often don’t need that extra in a snack. Haven’t even touched the trail mix we brought along with us yet.
4. Get distracted. How often do you hear the opposite with eating? Well, I’m telling you to get distracted. There’s so much going on around you on vacations typically, so pay attention and enjoy those things! Soak up the laughs and conversation with the family or friends traveling with you. Check out the new scenery. Don’t get so caught up in food. Savor and enjoy the meals you eat that you don’t normally have, but don’t worry and fret about food that you miss out on the other aspects of the experience. Sometimes you can avoid mindless eating by keeping busy with the endless fun and beautiful sights all around.
5. Sometimes just go for it. Generally vacations last a few days to a week. Maybe two. In all honesty how much “damage” can you do to your healthy eating in that time? I’m not suggesting go hog wild and disregard any semblance of health or balance…but also don’t overanalyze it all. If you find that the only lunch at your beach stop excursion is pizza, so be it.
Really craving another glass of wine or an afternoon pit stop for some ice cream? Live it up! Vacations should be enjoyed. Do what you can but please live life. I had some of the above intentions going into my cruise, but did I follow them perfectly? Heck no! Is it possible that I gain a pound or two over the course of the week? Sure. But I know it can come back off when I return to my healthy ways…and I loved every second and every memory of the cruise along the way. No regrets.
How do you approach eating while vacationing? No worries? Plan it all ahead? General guidelines? Any situations easier or harder for you to find balance?