Monday, May 12, 2014

Eating Healthy While Traveling...or trying to

@KendraThornton reached out to me last month in preparation for her upcoming vacation. She came up with some suggestions for staying healthy while traveling and I thought I’d share some of my own.
Fit Vacation Tips for Anyone Who Struggles with Weight
Getting away from it all is an expression that typically means you can do whatever you want on vacation. I know that I have definitely gotten into this mode while on vacation especially on road trips. I find myself gorging at times, and then I realize there's a better way to stop myself. With some tricks, I have been able to keep my family and I fit even while we go on vacations. These are some of the simple ways that I do it.
Bring Water With You
If you're going on a road trip, one thing you have to pack is your own water. Buying a case of water and bringing it with you will save you time and money in the long run, but it will also mean that you're less tempted to stop for soda and sugary drinks along the way. It's important to stay hydrated, so keeping a bottle of water around works wonders when you're thirsty or when kids just need a pick me up in the car.
Stay at Health-Savvy Hotels
Many hotels are doing all they can to help their guests eat better and stay fit while on vacation. They are offering organic food, lighter fare menus and fitness centers. I find that hotels are also offering better options like fruit for breakfast rather than sugary cereals. Getting in a workout is pretty easy when it's just a floor down from you. I tend to go to the hotel gym in the morning or in between activities if I am feeling restless. For our upcoming trip to Orlando I was able to get a great hotel with a great gym. With so many hotels in Orlando, sites like Gogobot can be a great tool to sort through and read user reviews.
Buy Local Food
I love tasting different cuisine, and going to local restaurants offers great experiences. Typically these restaurants have a greater amount of organic, all natural food than chain restaurants, and they take time preparing wonderful dishes. I love the healthy options that I find at local restaurants.
Stay Sane at the Buffet
The word buffet in itself is exciting. It means you get to eat whatever you want, right? I found that's the best way to get a stomachache on vacation. Instead of gorging, I limit myself to one plate. On that plate, I can have a few treats, but I always make sure to follow up with lighter meals the next day. This is key to keeping weight off if you eat out a lot on vacation.
If you're heading out with your family this summer, remember to stay healthy and active no matter where you go. You'll feel better while you're on the beach and when you get home.
I’m getting just getting back from Boston after traveling this weekend to support my husband and his team for the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay. I brought Tarala along, which involves even more careful planning when it comes to food and timing. Along with Kendra’s suggestions, I have some go-to plans I always make when traveling that I thought I’d share.
Check with the hotel to see if they have a refrigerator and microwave. If they don’t have a fridge, ask if you can rent one. It usually costs around $10 and helps you get in a quick breakfast before a race or before a day of sightseeing. This also allows you to stock leftovers.
Pack some items for snacks and breakfast. I always bring instant oatmeal, bars (like Larabars and KIND bars, and protein powder. I’ll rely on the hot water from the coffee pot in the hotel to make the oatmeal and throw in some peanut butter if I’ve brought it along.
One of my go-tos while I was pregnant was jerky. While not normally in my repeteur, jerky is one of the few non-perishable protein sources out there (nuts work too), so it works great on the go. I keep a wheat-free diet, so I’ll throw in some gluten free crackers and/or bread to make sure I get in some starch at meals even if the menu doesn’t allow. I’ll pack in some yogurt pouches for the baby and whole wheat fig bars. My husband will probably snag a few of those for his racing snacks this weekend. I’ve also brought along small raisin packs and Annie’s bunnies in the past. I kept
reusable baggies with us to keep full of snacks. I definitely recommend renting a locker at an amusement park and keeping a cooler full of lunches and drinks to avoid high prices and heavy foods.

Check out local restaurants and grocery stores before hand, especially if following a special diet. As soon as I know the tentative schedule, I will scope out local trendy, healthy, special-diet-supporting dining spots and peruse the menus. I’ve found some delicious spots this way and it helps save time when it comes to mealtime. If possible, make a reservation ahead of time, especially with a big group. I’ve made a few reservations for our July Disney trip already and always rely on a reservation the night before a race. This also helps us stay within nap constraints.
Fitting in exercise on vacation has never been very challenging for me. Running around Rome on our honeymoon allowed us to see more than we could have! Even when it hasn’t been convenient, I’ve gotten the run out of the way before the day starts. When we were in Punta Cana, we did 16 miles around the 1 mile resort. I don’t think I’ve ever run in such humid weather in my life. In most cases, I will adjust the long run to be before or after the trip instead, but you gotta do what you gotta do. For my readers that are not as avid exercisers, take a walk to see where you’re staying or take advantage of the hotel gym. You’re paying for it anyway, so you might as well use it! The time in the gym will help balance the eating out and help you resume your exercise routine when you come back from vacation.

My number one tip for traveling is to order groceries before you go. Then when you come home after eating out every day to a full refrigerator. My favorite is Harris Teeter Express Lane but you can also look into Safeway delivery or Peapod. This was especially helpful today so we could have lunches and a homemade dinner before we head out of town again on Thursday.
So with all my planning, I have to admit Tarala still ate pretzels, raisins, and peanuts for dinner on Thursday when our plane was delayed. I still didn't get nearly as many vegetables as I would have liked, so today I made two different veggies at dinner and had a bunch of raw veggies at lunch to make up for it.


  1. Just got this tip for a vegetarian-friendly jerkey from my traveling/living abroad cousin:

    TAETEA Golden Monkey 20g*10pcs Munching Monkey Hand Tore Dried Tofu



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