I often get asked about how I manage to travel without going 'off the handle.' People always have anxiety around the food and how to fit in their normal wellness routines. At the other end of the spectrum, there are people who go bonkers on vacation, gaining incredible amounts of weight in short periods of time.
Do you have a summer vacation planned but having anxiety over the food or lack of healthy routine? First off, a cornerstone of my lifestyle is that 'off the handle' doesn't exist- if there is something I want to eat, I eat it and move on. I don't get bogged down in guilt over food and neither should you! Just taking that stress and pressure off you should already add some wellness to your trip!
Here are a few of my other favorite ways to stay healthy while still enjoying vacation:
Add a mantra to your daily travel routine.
I LOVE mantras and often use them as reminders of what is truly important. For travel, I like the mantra, "Enjoy Every Moment" reminding myself to be mindful of the blessing that travel is! When I was young and my parents took us on vacation, the only thing I remember about the trip is playing endless games of Tetris on my Gameboy!! What a waste! Now, I don't even hang out on Instagram while driving from place to place, since I may only get to see each street once in my life! If there is a food or drink special to the region, (like that baklava in Santorini) I'll make sure to try it, even if it doesn't fit my normal parameters of 'healthy.'
Pack your sleep gear.
I often talk about the products I use in my bedroom for sleep. They include a contoured sleep mask, amber lightbulb, blackout dots, ear plugs and amber goggles. I place all these items in a baggie for the flight, which definitely helps when moving between time zones. I also use them throughout my stay at various hotels, since some hotels don't believe in black out shades and dark rooms!
Also, in regard to traveling between time zones, there are two hacks that may help reduce your jetlag. Firstly and most easily, grounding yourself right after getting off a flight is often said to reduce jet lag. Here is a recent article claiming that grounding (which is basically placing your bare feet onto the earth) may be world's easiest cure for jet lag! Another possible hack (though I admit I've never tested this one is fasting before the flight and throughout the flight until it reaches 7:30am- time for breakfast- in the new time zone). If anyone has tried either of these hacks, I'd love to hear about how they worked for you!
Get moving outdoors for your health and the memories.
Being out in nature has a variety of health benefits, from increased vitamin D levels, to enhanced air quality and even a stronger immune system! Take some time during your trip to explore any outdoor scenes that speak to you! When I was in Capri, I took a long hike that the hotel concierge set up for me. In addition to the wellness-y part of things, going places by foot is amazing for checking out the local scenes (like the time I found a fruit store for locals in Italy or when I had 24 hours in Rome to shop and tour as much as possible!) I've also had memorable experiences doing Yoga outdoors in Amalfi, an amazing bike ride in Israel and tons of swimming in Maldives. We walked along some street in Santorini where we had amazing Greek salad and found some impromptu fireworks for a Greek holiday. We had fun times with my kids on Ben Yehuda Street (including getting some Happy Meals from McDonalds!) You never know what memories will come from simply walking!
Mindfully choose your meals.
Some meals do not need to be elaborate affairs. Many times I simply need food to tide me over until the next bigger, more planned out meal (me and my husband tend to obsessively choose each beach we will go to and which restaurants we want to hit up before the trip starts!) At those "filler" meals, simply eat as you would at home! If you are at a restaurant, just ordering a salad, skipping the elaborate appetizer, bread basket and desserts! Choose the meals that are "worth it" and indulge in those as much as you like without any guilt.
That being said, sometimes the best food is completely unplanned, like the bourekas my husband found at the side of the road in Santorini, the gelato in that little shack in Capri or the falafel from some tiny hut on Ben Yehuda. If you hit upon one of these gems, then enjoy! Another time, I was also fortunate to have stayed in Singita, one of the most amazing hotels in South Africa while on Safari. During our 3-day- stay there, EVERY SINGLE MEAL was a 5- course, 5 star experience, tailored to our tastes and preferences. From the amuse bouche to the dessert at the end, EVERY SINGLE THING was 100% worth eating! That was 9 years ago, and I still remember enjoying every bite!
Bring snacks and meal replacements along just in case.
While you don't hear me often talking about meal replacement bars and snacks, travel is a time I tend to really load up on the stuff! We've had a lot of changes in our itineraries over the years, from the time their was warthogs on the tarmac in Africa or snow storms in New York that screwed up our plans and its always good to have something on hand. Especially if you are going somewhere remote, the airports may not have all the Starbucks and Cibos that you are used to! I particularly have a hard time on the first day I check into hotels, where they deliver pastries and other snacks to the room that are generally complimentary. I tend to eat whatever is in that platter because I'm starved from all the traveling and its in front of me and free! Having a decent snack really helps me not polish an entire cake (which almost happened one time in Dubai!!). I will post a separate blog post on my favorite snacks and bars to bring along for travel!
Do you have a wellness tip to share? Share over at my instagram or comment below! Plus, check out some of my favorite pictures from Capri two years ago! (I can't wait to update with some newer shots of my upcoming trip to Mykonos!)