I’m back in the USA. Everything is already more expensive, especially after my run to Target yesterday. I got home, the house was a disaster and we literally had no food. I’m not sure what Tony was eating but I did find a bag full of empty Ruffles and a jar of pistachios with ONLY SHELLS in the cupboard.
I can’t wait to tell you ALL about where I ate and went in Europe, but first I wanted to share some of my best tips for staying healthy and active while traveling. Over the past few years, I’ve really found what works for me in terms of staying balanced yet still experiencing culture and the unique foods while traveling. Often when I travel, I get plenty of messages on Snapchat or Instagram from readers asking how I manage to eat that and stay ‘thin’. Another question that often comes up is how to find balance in eating, especially while traveling.
1.) Walk everywhere and always take the stairs.
It’s not difficult for me to get up to 20,000 steps per day when I travel and it’s a great way to stay active! However just because you walk everywhere, doesn’t mean it will negate a giant cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake. Don’t try to negotiate with yourself like exercise and eating are on two opposites sides of a scale. That’s not balance. Balance is everything in moderation.
2.) Travel with an open, but thoughtful mindset when it comes to food.
When you travel, you know you’re going to be eating things you probably wouldn’t normally eat. For some it gets to be really uncomfortable since you find yourself in a place between wanting to experience all the delicious food a country has to offer, but also being cautious of your waistline expanding too much.
If you have an open mind about what you’ll be eating, you’re likely to feel relaxed about the choices you do make. For example: When I was in France, a croissant with breakfast felt completely acceptable because I normally don’t get a chance to experience pastries like that and wasn’t likely to have it again the rest of my trip.
I enjoyed that croissant like no other. It was a joyful experience and knowing that I was making a mindful choice to enjoy it made the pastry 10x more satisfying than I ever knew it could be.
So maybe you want deep fried Portuguese food, but tomorrow you’ll choose a salad. The next day you might have pistachio gelato on a long walk. For breakfast, you’ll choose fruits, nuts and yogurt. This is being mindful and creating a balance with food. Cherish your food experiences but remember to take care of your body because you only have one.
3.) Bring healthy snacks to fuel you
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been hungry in an airport, on the plane or in my hotel room with few healthy options available. I always pack double the snacks I think I might need. Usually I’ll make a big batch of balls and keep them in the mini fridge in the hotel to make them last longer. Fruit is also a great option if you’re in a pinch or making pre-portioned trail mix baggies.
If you’re more of a bar person, my absolute favorite is RX bars and Kind bars for nutritious ingredients that include both protein, fiber and healthy fats!
Pictures above are my peanut butter protein balls!
4.) Get moving!
My favorite way to feel balanced while traveling is throwing in a workout. It doesn’t have to be long or extremely intense, just something that gets my body moving. Maybe a tennis match, kayaking or a half hour of swimming in the pool. Another great option is all of the Summer Sweat Series workouts because they can easily be done in your hotel room or by the beach.
Click here to check out more Summer Sweat Series workouts!
5. Choose fresh produce and protein
While on vacation, be sure to have a variety of foods including fresh produce, fiber and protein. Usually I find myself enjoying a salad at least once a day to keep things a bit lighter, keeping both breakfasts and lunches my bigger meals.
If you find yourself faced with a buffet, start with a large plate of vegetables or a salad, one grain and lean protein. Keep your plate full enough so that you don’t have to go back for seconds. I always find when I go back for seconds, I usually take things that I don’t really need.
6.) Refrain from eating too much sugar or doubling up on dessert
This is a tough one, because you’re probably going to want to have dessert every single night. I’ve found that if I’m active during the day a small dessert at the end of the evening makes me happy and satisfied. You can absolutely treat yourself, but refrain from snacking on sugary foods during the day or doubling up on your desserts. Everything in moderation. Said too much, but it’s 100% true.