Traveling and exploring this amazing world can be super gratifying and exciting and full of anticipation when it is right in front of you!
I mean, who doesn’t like a good, relaxing vacation or time off to spend with your family and rejuvenating yourself? I know I sure do! Vacation is the time to relax and enjoy and let your mind feel carefree and less stressed.
But, sometimes vacations and time away can be super stressful when you are living a healthy lifestyle and being fearlessly devoted to your healthy nutritional lifestyle. We have all been there– all nutritional hell can break loose at the drop of a french fry onto our plate!
Let’s face it, there’s a fine line between indulging and being too careless in our diets when our routines are shook up, when uncertainty of food choices are on the horizon, and when we are tempted with so many amazing foods. I don’t know about you, but my digestion and my bloating can only justify a handful of sugary decadent treats and grease-soaked cardboard carriers in a short time period.
Now, I’m not saying that abstaining from indulging in some not so healthy food choices are the way to go – not at all – I think that you should absolutely indulge in your favorite foods and enjoy yourself. That’s part of being on vacation and living a healthy life! It also keeps you mentally sane.
What I am saying is that there are some tips and tricks that can help you save on the splurges that may not taste so great and are just plain pointless to you. Indulging in the foods that make you happy and bring back incredible memories, or that simply tantalize your taste buds, tend to bring more satisfaction to your life. This is so very important for whole person health! Food is meant to nourish the body, but it’s also meant to nourish the soul.
I know you might think I’m crazy, but sometimes I think nourishing the soul and feeding your heart is more important than nourishing the body.
Listen, I am not talking about that hard as a rock donut that has been sitting in the Krispy Kreme display all day being oogled and ogled at by every passerby. A less than decadent donut like that is not going to truly satisfy the soul. We are not justifying your sweet tooth and sugar addiction here. But, if it is a luscious donut that you get at the corner bake shop every year as a celebration of you and your family first rolling into your favorite beach town and getting ready to spend a week of fun in the sun, then that, my friend, is a true feeding of the soul. It has purpose. It has meaning. It has pure soul nourishment.
No options for you
Inevitably, you are going to encounter times where your indulgences are merely succumbing to options and availability of where you are eating or how your day unfolds. In that case, I say, be prepared and get yourself ready to be able to eat healthier and save your soul nourishment for the foods that truly feed your soul.
Before you leave, have a list of what kind of foods are a big no-no for you and which foods you will indulge in. Being prepared ahead of time of what is not worth the indulging and what is, will mentally set you up for better success. Plus, if you are consistently indulging meal after meal, the true joys of indulgence don’t seem so joyful and special. They are merely palate wreckers…
Here are three of my favorite tips to help you choose wisely —
1. Take your own salad dressing. Dressings on a healthy salad can totally ruin a good thing- blah! Pack Himalayan sea salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or your favorite healthy salad dressing and take it with you to restaurants so that you have a healthy option.
2. Pack easy, travel worthy snacks, even if you don’t eat them. I love having a small cooler or an insulated bag to carry perishable and nonperishable foods. Being prepared is super important to be less likely to stop at a convenience store or fast food restaurant when you feel like you need to eat immediately. If you take a cooler, you can easily pack cut veggies and fruit. If a cooler is not your thing, there are plenty of nonperishable foods that will rock your nutritional world —
- Jerky like Epic Bars
- Bars like RXBAR, Larabars, or Kind bars
- Nuts and seeds (or pre-made trail mixes)
- Dried or freeze-dried fruit (dried mango or apple chips)
- Individual packets of almond butter or coconut butter
- Individual packets of coconut oil
- Wild-caught salmon or tuna pouches
- Fresh fruits like apples, bananas, avocados or oranges
3. Do some research and find what restaurants you might want to visit. Use Yelp or Trip Adviser to assist your search and dive into the menus of the restaurants that look awesome to you. Remember, you can search by food style and genre, for example “Paleo – friendly” or “Vegetarian.”
While all of these tips can help you eat healthy food while traveling, the most important thing you can do throughout your trip is to not stress about food imperfection. Stressing about the imperfection is just as bad for you. In fact, one of the number one causes of digestive distress is stress. This means, you could be eating the most nutrient-dense, perfect diet, but if you’re stressed, you’re not only impairing the breakdown and absorption of your food, you’re also suppressing your immune system and increasing your likelihood of experiencing a reaction to a gut pathogen or food toxin.
This is especially challenging for us “type As” as perfectionism and the all or nothing mentality typically reigns supreme. In the end, however, that mentality will only do more harm than good.
Just enjoy yourself and the vacation that you are on. Stay true to what you need, but don’t miss out on exploring all the new foods out there!
Take action now! What foods can you go without and what foods are totally worth every lip-licking bite? Make your list and, when you have your next road trip or vacation, prepare ahead of time by using the tips above.
Go to the comment section. Make a comment and let me know what you have struggled with, what you have tried, and what your action plan is. The best discussions start between like-minded friends! Share this with your friends and get more people in on the action.
Do you want to learn more? This was a just a snippet into how you can apply this to your own life. If you are craving more and need to make a change in your life right now (or even if you are scared and don’t know what to do), I am here to guide you in the right direction. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about what you can do to get you from where you are now to where you always dreamed you wanted to be.
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