New surroundings, hotel rooms cleaned daily, free mini toiletries, and late evenings rolling into late mornings–vacations have the power to decrease cortisol levels, and leave us feeling relaxed; they really can have a positive impact on our health! Yet the unfortunate truth is that these holidays are not always so kind on our waistlines, as it becomes harder to stick to a balanced diet and get regular exercise. Check out my first GUEST BLOG from Cole at Cole’s Mill with his tips for maintaining your healthy lifestyle while on vacation…
Tips for Eating Right While on Holiday by Cole at Cole’s Mill
Eating right and staying in shape is challenging enough in daily life and becomes even more so while on vacation. A holiday in a far away locale often brings high-calorie temptations, and relaxation can cause a person to forgo a fitness routine. Some tips for eating healthy while traveling are outlined below.
Having a healthy meal before departing for the airport is a great way to avoid temptation. Nuts and dried fruits are good snacks for lengthy flights, and fruit cups, baked chicken and salads make for low-fat eating during layovers. Those wanting a little exercise can explore the airport while carrying luggage as opposed to using elevators and escalators. The San Francisco airport offers travelers a Zen Room, which is a quiet space to unwind and do yoga between flights.
When staying fit and eating right is a priority for a traveler, booking a health-centered hotel can make the process easier. Many hotels offer a service that provides a treadmill, dumbbells, a stretch cord and a mat for those who wish to exercise. Shopping around online and looking at review sites can provide more information regarding health-based establishments. I personally use Gogobot because it breaks down reviews based on a number of different aspects. On my latest trip I was searching through a list of cheap hotels in Las Vegas and was able to read reviews regarding the amenities, the restaurants nearby, even things to do. Information like this helps you plan your trip every step of the way. In general, avoiding the minibar will eliminate high-calorie snacks and alcohol, and selecting foods such as low-fat yogurt and oatmeal will keep continental breakfast time healthy. Some travelers elect to bring along a small crockpot to easily prepare foods like chicken, rice and vegetables.
Food and Restaurants
Restaurants that feature salad bars and fish-based entrees are a good choice for low-fat meals. Eating a small portion of fruit prior to going out can prevent overeating or snacking on bread before the meal arrives. When ordering, the focus should be on finding foods that are presented as light, low-fat, grilled, roasted and steamed. Lean meats without skin are a good choice for protein. Using vegetables as a side dish instead of carbohydrates will keep the calorie count down and prevent bloating after the meal, and are a great way to get an extra servings of veggies into your day. Travelers should avoid “all you can eat” type restaurants or any establishment that features food that is battered, fried or stuffed.
*(Quick tip from The Nourished Soul: Going meatless from time to time is a great choice for many, but watch the vegetarian options at restaurants, as sometimes they’ll deliver some serious calories, dwarfing their meaty competitors. Keep it lean!)*
If a health-based hotel cannot be found, booking one with an extensive exercise room or that is located near a gym can keep a traveler on a fitness schedule. Looking online for local restaurants that feature vegetarian or low-fat fare and also thoroughly checking the menus before going out will save guesswork on arrival. A daily multi-vitamin will replace nutrients and provide an extra boost of energy to help the body deal with the stress of travel.
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, those concerned about exercise and eating well while on the road can follow the tips above to stay on track.
Thanks, Cole! ALSO: don’t forget to use your FEET! Take advantage of your time in a new city/state/country/continent, and go see some sites. The beauty of most urban areas is that things are walkable. Think of hoofin’ it rather than taking a car. And if you prefer to vacation in more rural locales, utilize those open country roads. Grab an iPod, or ditch it and listen to the sounds of the Earth–whatever makes you happy!
Don’t forget to check back to see how my rotations in Kidney Disease and Labor/Delivery went. Now get out there and enjoy the weekend!
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