In light of spring break and upcoming summer trips, we’re chatting about Healthy Travel!
I asked Whitney of Whitness Nutrition to fill us in on her expert tips, especially for flights. Since our family tends to road trip more, my tips are more geared towards that, but both are applicable in most cases!
No surprise that it’s not so much about the actual trip but your daily routine that plays into you feeling your best! We’ve also included lots of pictures and ideas of healthy snacks to take with you on your travels. And, be sure to check out my previous healthy travel posts and travel workout as well…
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Healthy Travel Tips…
Q: Nutrition-wise, what’s a healthy mindset to be in when you travel and want to feel your best physically and emotionally?
A. This trip probably isn’t about the food. Instead of stressing over every meal that you eat, pack along some options, but then; forget about it! Enjoy the experience, move about the scenery, and live! Most of my patients lose weight on vacation because they find comfort in non-food activities, no longer tied to their desk working all night with a soul-food side of dark chocolate almonds.
Q. Any strategic moves before you leave town?
A. You don’t need to overdo it before vacation. Just live your darn healthy life! Bottom line: a few extra sessions at the gym isn’t going to make up for weeks of poor eating and sedentary living. Our bodies do not reap instantaneous changes.
- If you are headed to the beach and want to avoid the flight bloat (the worst), do: stay hydrated, avoid cruciferous veggies, and pack nutritious snacks instead of opting for the provided sodium-laden ones on your flight.
- If you don’t’ have a big portable water bottle (not a 16 oz S’well boo, like a 32 oz Yeti), get one. (S’well does offer a larger 25 oz size!) I fill mine up AFTER I’m past security….AND I request a 30 oz cup of water at Starbucks if the line is short. It’s free; just smile big.
- Also; did you clean out your fridge and freeze what you could? Old food is the worst to come home to.
Q. Favorite snack or meal combos to take on a longer flight?
A. I always eat right before I head to the airport. It’s usually the last of a prepped meal or casserole that I can’t freeze (you bet I freeze anything I can; including my casseroles, frittata, and veggies). For longer flights, I focus on packing protein and fat rich snacks because a banana/oatmeal/granola is worthless. There are literally free carbs everywhere (making everyone crave more)! Why would I pay for something provided?
I always consider a snack that both myself and my husband can eat, because a hangry husband (or kids!) is not something I want to bring on vacation, amiright?
Our go-to’s: meat/jerky bars or sticks, single tuna packets, portable almond/cashew/or other nut butter packets, HB eggs (if the flight is shorter than 3 hours I just throw this in my bag; it’s fine.), collagen singles, a few Bulletproof Bars (I love these, but they’re sweet, and I tend to over eat them because they taste delish!). I really focus on function over flavor. Before the evolution of jerky and single nut butters I was stuck eating Luna Bars and oatmeal packs; my poor family, I was always raging with hunger.
Lunch Bots Container / Epic Bars (Chicken Sriracha and Sesame BBQ Chicken are faves) / Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry RXBARS / raw peppers, hard boiled eggs, baby carrots, cucumbers, blueberries, raspberries, celery, avocado
Q. What do you do/advise clients to do when you arrive at your destination to set yourself up for success?
A. I always refill my water bottle first of all! Planes dehydrate you and all the time without movement can cause you to feel bloated; time to flush it out! If you can get movement in that day, do so!
If this is a work trip, or if you’re going to need meals, consider pre-ordering groceries or prepared meals. Request a fridge in your room and use the concierge! Services to make this possible:
- PrimeNow! Whole Foods delivery within 2 hours, free over $30 for Prime members
- The Good Kitchen; these squeaky clean meals can be shipped worldwide if you plan ahead.
- Walmart/Kroger- delivery/pick up options
- InstaCart: Click here for a free month.
- Territory Foods Fresh, prepared meals that can be ordered ahead! Save $50 when you use this link
- Snap Kitchen: Use WHITPLAN for $20 off a meal plan. Use WHITNESSNUTRITION or ANDREA10 for $10 towards an online/app order.
Q. Any Non-Negotiable parts of your routine you maintain on vacation/trips?
- My coffee and collagen! But on vacation, I get the added bonus of: a slow morning down and read for 30+ minutes…
- Savory protein rich breakfast.
- Daily movement. Doesn’t have to be in a gym, get creative and see the sights.
- I eat what I want. I refuse to be pressured by the, “but you’re on vacation excuse”. My health and my decisions are never on vacation. Don’t be pressured by others to eat what you don’t want to. Don’t’ be pressured by yourself to not eat when you need to.
Q. What are some simple habits that will make a big impact on how you feel when you get back home?
A. Return to your routine! If your flight is late night/early morning, consider ordering groceries at the airport to have delivered to your doorstep, or a few freezer meals you can pull out when you get home. Arriving home on an empty stomach to an empty fridge is the worst! Also, give yourself grace in the first two days. Your body needs time to adjust! Don’t’ step on the scale, seriously.
Q. Uh oh…I overdid it (alcohol, sugar, over ate in general, etc) on vacay! What can I do to get back on track? And, what should I NOT do?
A. Did you intentionally eat your favorite caramel sea salt gelato on your parent’s seaside dock next to your two children while watching the sunset? Sounds like a pretty fantastic vacation. First: remove all guilt from your prior decisions. They were intentional! And, even your normal diet allows for some alcohol/sugar/indulgences. You aren’t too far gone. You are never too far gone.
This mindset shift is vital to see your body bounce to a normal and healthy routine. If you stress about the return, you’ll hinder the process by raising the stress hormones that cause you to actually hold onto fat and crave sugar.
But, once I return, I don’t delay from returning to the routine that I thrive on. Adequate sleep, adequate hydration, daily movement, and purposeful nutrient-rich meals. When you’re grocery shopping for the week consider what meals can give you the most nourishment (I know how hard it is to get adequate veggies in on vacation!) and really balance your meals for purposeful eating.
Any final thoughts/advice?
Before you go, think about the why behind your vacation. Is it to look perfect in your swim suit the entire time and get 10K IG likes, or is it to enjoy time with the people you love and relax? Food for thought!
This series is: Dishin’ with the Dietitian – Q+A with Whitney Stuart, RDN CDE
Addressing nutrition and healthy lifestyle questions with the insight of an RDN…Thank you for the positive feedback about this series! We strive to make these posts a great resource for you. Be sure to check out our other posts in this series on Collagen Facts and Alcohol Q+A!
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment and share your own thoughts and tips for travel. If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in this series, send it our way…
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Safe Travels! xx- Andrea + Whitney
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