Whenever I travel or go on vacation and post up pictures on Instagram from the trip, I’m always asked, “How do you stay healthy while traveling?”
Between all the travel time and the joy of being on vacation and in a new place, it can be difficult to keep on a healthy track. In today’s post, I’m sharing a video from our trip to Puerto Rico this past Labor Day weekend, documenting every bite and sip I took (well, mostly – you’ll see), and showing that yes, it is possible to keep it light and healthy while traveling!
I constantly hear people say, “It’s vacation! I want to enjoy it!”
But guess what… you don’t enjoy vacation when you’re bloated, tired, and feel uncomfortable on the beach, because you were “enjoying it.” Enjoying a vacation doesn’t mean that you have to eat everything in sight. Vacation is a vacation from your normal surroundings – a time to perhaps enjoy the warm weather, take in a new city, and spend time with your travel partner.
Too many times have I treated vacation like a vacation from my diet!
Now, I’m not saying you should only drink green juices and salads while traveling (especially if you’re in a totally foreign country with its own cuisine), but try the local delicacies but truly enjoy every bite – and don’t overdo it. At the end of the day, you want to holistically enjoy your time traveling, not just the food part of it and if you’re over-eating, you’re not going to feel well and hence, not enjoy your time.
How do I find the balance? I like to stick to these few rules while traveling:
- Avoid anything fried. If you’re somewhere that specializes in fried food, try it, but don’t eat it every single day.
- Make smart breakfast choices, as breakfast sets your pace for the day. Unless I’m in a place that’s known for its breakfast (like Mexico – on my honeymoon, I think I had huevos rancheros every day), stick to what you know. In Puerto Rico, I had an egg white omelette with avocado and whole wheat toast every morning.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter for what you want. If you can’t resist the breakfast potatoes, ask them kindly not to put them on your plate.
- I stick to a 50/50 plant-based/animal protein rule while on vacation. I find this allows me to enjoy the local cuisine, while filling up on fibrous veggies and nourishing myself. If you watch the video, you’ll see what I mean. Half my meal is vegetarian/vegan and half the meal is not (I generally stuck to seafood on this trip.)
- When you check in to a hotel, immediately ask for fruit – they’ll usually have it somewhere in the lobby or they’ll tell you it’s in the room. Having a piece of fruit handy keeps those cravings at bay, because you have a quick snack.
- Avoid dairy while on vacation – it bloats you and weighs you down. Now, if you’re in France or Italy (or a place known for cheeses!), of course, enjoy it – but you don’t have to eat the entire plate of cheese! Tasting and truly enjoying flavors is more important. I ask for almond milk everywhere I go and if they don’t have it, I drink the coffee black (you get used to it, trust me.)
- For 3-day weekend trip, I like to work out 2 of those days. This not only gets your blood flowing and makes you feel better, it leaves a little extra wiggle room when you just can’t resist that pastry. Plus, when you return home, you won’t be totally off your workout schedule.
- The trip doesn’t end once you check out! Make sure to keep it healthy on your travels back or else all your healthy focus on vacation will be for nothing. Wouldn’t you rather have tasted that delicacy than scarfed down that bag of Cheetos and a Coca-Cola on the flight back?
See these principles in action in my latest video! Watch the video to check out what I ate while in Puerto Rico and my healthy tips: