With summer approaching many of us have fun vacations to look forward to. Traveling can be full of amazing experiences that feed the soul but it is important during these times to not neglect the way we feed our physical bodies. Many people follow the idea that travelling is a time to let go of dietary goals and overly indulge, some refer to this as, “falling-off-the-wagon.” While there is nothing wrong with treating oneself (some luxury and abundance while away from home is good),over-doing it can come with consequences, especially if you have been eating healthy and treating your body well leading up to the trip.
Many report becoming extremely sensitive to junk foods and pro-inflammatory foods after having cut them out, experiencing unpleasant side effects after consumption such as gastrointestinal pain, nausea, gas, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, anxiousness, depression, and more. For example, if you’ve worked hard to cut out sugar but decide while on vacation you are going to allow yourself to indulge in desserts, you’re likely to experience reactions to the sugar since your body has moved to a healthier state. What started with a decadent treat can quickly take a turn and leave you with a headache, indigestion, and/or nausea which will likely be paired with a sugar crash, leaving you feeling tired.
These side-effects can really take away from the quality of a vacation. No-one wants to spend their precious time feeling unwell. While indulging in foods you don’t usually eat while travelling is fun, like trying out a local specialty, and an occasional treat is not likely going to kill you, it can leave you feeling less than optimal, affecting the quality of your trip.
Here are some of our tips for staying healthy while on vacation!
|PLAN AHEAD! Pack healthy snacks, google restaurants in the area you will be travelling to that serve high quality food, find out if you will have access to health-food stores to buy your snacks and occasional meals, brainstorm potential easy and nutritious meals you could prepare while on your trip and make a list you can reference.|
|Don’t over-indulge foods you have eliminated from your diet because you feel better without them, as consumption of these can lead to uncomfortable side effects.|
|If you have the option to go to a local grocery store, purchase some food to have on hand, giving you more control over the quality of what you’re consuming. It is important to keep nutritious snacks with you so you don’t end up going too long without food, causing unstable blood sugar levels and often leads to mindless bingeing and overeating once food is consumed because you are so hungry.|
|BREAKFAST! The most important meal of the day! Avoid breakfast options that are high in carbohydrates (I.E.: pancakes, bagels, cereal, fruit juices). The sharp rise in blood sugar is followed by a significant drop in blood sugar which can lead to fatigue, irritability, and poor concentration. Instead look for minimally processed whole foods that are high in protein.|
|HYDRATE! It is easy to forget to drink enough water in the midst of all the vacation fun but dehydration comes with many side-effects. Make sure to always have clean water on hand. Bring a reusable water bottle from home and put it to good use! Aim to consume half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.|
|Last but not least, BE MINDFUL. Don’t deprive yourself of things you would like to experience while travelling and you don’t have to be perfect, but do be cautious when indulging and pay close attention to how your body is responding. Be in tune with what it feels like when you are hungry and when you are starting to feel full. Eat your food slowly and savor it, enjoying it thoroughly so that you are left feeling satisfied. Being mindful can play a huge role in supporting self-care.|
ENJOY YOUR TRIP!
Written by Makala T., BS in Nutrition & Dietetics