As fun and exciting as vacations are, they inevitably take us out of our normal routine – whether that be sleep, work, exercise, nutrition, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. In fact, often times it feels good to switch up our routine. I personally like to use vacation as a time to experience new activities, try different foods, and sometimes even do as little activity as possible. The ultimate goal, however, is to leave feeling better than I arrived. So, while I am indulging in delicious food, I also like ensure I’m keeping my body nourished and feeling good.
This does not mean that good food and the obligatory vacation drinks are out the window, though. It simply means that I am remaining conscious of properly fueling my body in order to stay energized. Vacation can make this a little bit tricky with days full of activities and lack of easy access to a full fridge. This being said, I’ve compiled a list of three things to keep in mind to help prioritize your health while still enjoying your vacation.
1. Hydrate often! It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in the summer months when you’re losing fluids in the form of sweat. Try some of the tips below to help stay hydrated while on vacation.
- Start and end your day with a glass of water.
- Drink a glass of water prior to every meal and snack you eat.
- Snack on foods with high water content (fruits and veggies)
- Drink at least one glass of water between each drink.
- Set timers throughout the day to remind yourself to drink some water.
- Bring an empty, reusable water bottle with you. You can continuously refill it and carry it with you to stay hydrated throughout the day.
2. Add nutrients wherever possible. Definitely don’t skip out on the meal you’re dying to try, but be intentional and get creative with consuming the foods that will make you feel good! Add extra veggies and fruit to your meals. For example, if having chips and dip, add raw veggies to go with the dip as well. Not only is this a good way to benefit from extra hydration, but it’s also a chance for some added fiber and other nutrients. Choose whole grains if given the option. Try to prioritize the protein and fiber on your plate if served a large meal you’re unlikely to finish. This way when you start feeling full, you’ll have eaten the more sustainable and nutrient-dense foods. Aim for a nutrient-dense breakfast that’s colorful and provides a protein, healthy fat and fiber. This way, you’re properly fueled to start your day and you’ve already packed in nutrients no matter where the day takes you.
3. Keep snacks on hand! This is especially important on long days because there’s nothing worse than being hangry when traveling. Food is fuel, which serves to energize us and naturally improve mood! Picky eaters, take note of this tip. Consider food sensitivities or intolerances. Regardless of the available options or if your stomach isn’t agreeing with certain foods, it’s comforting knowing you have some go-to snacks handy. Having nutritious snacks will ensure you have at least something of value to eat even if your main meals aren’t a 10/10 in terms of nutrition. By ensuring that you’re well fed throughout the day, you’ll be less likely to go into mealtimes starving and feeling the urge to overindulge. You’ll be more likely to slow down and truly enjoy the dish! The big takeaway here is to enjoy your trip and lean into the lack of a normal routine, but stay mindful of the things that make you feel good. Doing things to prioritize your health can actually enhance your vacation experience.
Try incorporating these tips during your next vacation and see what changes you notice! Happy travels!
Exercise is only part of the equation in living well and feeling your best. Isabel is a Registered Dietitian supporting the nutritional needs of our community. To learn more and schedule a complimentary consult with Isabel, please contact isabel.debnam@Synergyhealthclub.org.