If you’re trying to get in that one last vacation or trip before summer is over, then dieting is the last thing that should be on your mind. Vacations are about relaxing and enjoying yourself, taking a break and bringing balance back into your life. You don’t need to take all your kettlebells and 1/3 of the Wholefoods produce department with you in order to stay on track or keep you health at optimal levels. Stressing about it does more harm than eating diner french fries would, so chill out.
Airplanes and Airports
Don’t panic. If you’re flying domestic, you don’t need to pack your pantry into a giant cooler and worry about security. Chances are your flight is no more than 4 hours max, in which case I recommend eating a good meal with healthy fats prior to your arrival at the airport. Pack some snacks that are suited for hours without refrigeration (see list below for my suggestions). Remember, when they hand out snacks on airplanes they toss you a bag of peanuts and some cookies so don’t get stuck without some healthy nourishment which will lead you to making impulsive and unhealthy decisions. You don’t have to pack the entire list below, these are just ideas. Once you’re past security, get a bottle of Evian for the flight. Traveling 33,000 feet up in the air dehydrates you no matter how long your flight is, so drink as much water as possible. I do not recommend bananas, crunchy ‘stuff’ or going heavy on the nuts for that reason alone.
Snacks for the airport & plane:
- nuts (organic, sprouted are best)
- pouches of tuna, organic chicken, salmon or sardines
- pouches of almond butter, coconut butter/oil and/or goat cheese
- dried coconut chips
- celery, cucumbers, pickles, cherry tomatoes, carrots, sliced peppers
- berries, pineapple and cuties (do best without cooler)
- Spring water
Well you’re brave. If your road trip is 2 hours or less, you can “survive” with some mineral water, coffee and packed fruit. You really shouldn’t be eating and driving anyway. But if you’ve got a longer road trip ahead with your partner/family it’s good to plan ahead. Eat well before you hit the road, being sure to get some good nourishment and protein so you’re not tempted to stop at every roadside waffle house you see. Pack some decent snacks in a cooler (suggestions below) and even pre-packed meals or leftovers you can heat up anytime you stop for gas. Driving is where you can easily plan ahead and bring along the things you like and enjoy, but remember, you don’t have to occupy yourself on the road by eating the whole time – which is what a lot of people think without knowing it. Audiobooks, podcasts, and stand-up comedy on Pandora are all ways to keep your neurotransmitters active and happy without telling you “feeeeed meeeee I’m sad and have no stimulation.” If it’s time for a real meal on the road, you may feel anxious trying to find something healthy in territory you’re not too familiar with. See my list for dining out tips.
For the car:
- shaker bottles
- can openers, food storage containers, paring knife
- packets of tuna, salmon, organic chicken
- gluten free, grass fed jerky
- packets of stevia, monk fruit or your favorite sweetener (don’t get stuck with splenda at pit stops and hotel!)
- packets of almond butter, hazelnut butter, coconut butter etc
- packets of goat cheese, babybels, cubed raw cheddar etc
- pre-sliced fruit
- melons (diced)
- deli meat roll-ups
- veggie snackers: celery, cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes
- veggie dip: plain, organic greek yogurt with dill, cilantro, avocado, flaxseed & sea salt
- fruit dip: plain, organic greek yogurt with (sprouted ) crushed pecans, cinnamon & sea salt
- protein drink mix: prepared ahead of time in bottles, whey/egg white protein, gelatin, l-glutamine (just add water or beverage)
Tips for pit stops:
- grab fruit, use your paring knife to slice if needed
- stock up on mineral/spring water
- get a cup (or few) of ice for cooler
Tips for dining out:
- Get these apps- Food Tripping, Locate Special Diet, InBloom and/or Clean Plates. They all allow you to search nearby restaurants/cafes/supermarkets etc that cater to your dietary needs. You can search “gluten free” or “organic” and even “paleo”.
- If nothing too healthy is being located nearby, pick a restaurant that serves breakfast, burgers and/or salads. When you can’t be too choose-y, go for the safety: eggs, potatoes, fruit, veggies, burger no bun, salad with avocado.
- Still not much to choose from? Or the restaurants are nothing but fried-everything, then look for a coffee shop or cafe where you can get a smoothie or Americano with cream to hold you over.
- No dice? Then let your cooler be the guide to your dinner. Nut thins and goat cheese are better than fried catfish from that roadside diner with the flashing neon sign.
- Last resort- starve. No seriously, nothing wrong with a little fasting. It’s much better than dealing with the digestive repercussions you’re gonna suffer later… along with the fatigue, mood swings and guilt. Not worth it. Turn on an audiobook and cruise to your destination.
No matter where you’re going, drink lots of Spring water, take your probiotics and some oil of oregano with you to ward off bad bugs and keep your immune system optimal. And then… just have fun! Below is the Amazon.com storefront that has all of my favorite products for travel hacking.