This is a guest blog post written by Simone Krame of Conscious Living and Lifestyle for Love ‘N’ Luggage’s #FeatureFriday. If you’d like to be featured in the future, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does traveling liberate your mind and soul, but wreak havoc on your body? Deviating from your normal routine can be fun and refreshing, but it can also make maintaining your health a challenge. Typically, when it comes to health and travel, people fall into two polar opposite mentalities: an overindulgent one or a fear based one: “I’m going to eat everything in sight because it’s vacation and I don’t do this often,” or “I’m going to be out of my routine, I’m going to gain weight, I can’t enjoy the local food because my body isn’t used to it.” I know this, because I’ve been a part of both camps. And let me tell you, both are total buzzkills and detract from the enjoyment of your vacation. How can you truly appreciate that Barcelona sunset on the beach or a tour of the Louvre if food is constantly on your mind?! Today, I’m going to share my top 8 tips to stay healthy while traveling.
Tip #1: Don’t splurge on every single meal
I know, it is exciting being in a foreign country and a huge part of traveling is enjoying a culture’s cuisine. However, I encourage you to strike a balance. You can still enjoy a culture’s cuisine without going overboard each and every time. You should try to eat 2 meals as you normally would (in terms of quantity of food as well as opting for healthier choices) and then allow yourself one meal a day where you order whatever your heart desires. The same holds true for alcohol consumption. Oftentimes we use the fact that we’re on vacation as a justification to really go overboard in this department. If you enjoy drinking, I definitely encourage you to allow yourself to do so, especially trying any local libations, but to just be mindful of your consumption. Eating and drinking in this way allows you to enjoy and indulge, but helps prevent you from overdoing it.
Tip #2: Eat mindfully
To really enjoy and get the full experience of eating, it is important that we engage all of our senses. Really try to slow down and let the eating experience begin with your eyes, and then your nose, and then lastly your mouth. Take small bites and chew your food well so you can really taste it. Eating in this manner helps us to connect with our food and surroundings, enhances our appreciation, and turns it into an unforgettable culinary experience that enlivens all the senses!
Tip #3: Eat when you’re hungry
Sometimes, we may feel like we need to try every variety of x, y, or z at the market to really get the full experience of the local cuisine. Or, we force ourselves to eat when we’re not even hungry because we have a fear of missing out. When you’re in Rome you just HAVE to try the pizza, pasta, and gelato–right!? That’s fine, but it doesn’t have to be all in the same afternoon! I encourage you to really practice only eating when you’re hungry. This is another way to prevent you from overdoing it. AND, if you’re eating mindfully, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the process and thus get the full experience of immersing yourself in the cuisine.
Tip #4: Eliminate the guilty mentality
Part of being healthy while traveling is allowing yourself to enjoy the cuisine. If you practice the other tips mentioned above, then there is no reason you should feel guilty about consuming foods that you might normally choose to avoid. It’s all about moderation!
Tip #5: Bring snacks with you
When traveling, we sometimes have a jam-packed schedule to ensure we get to see and do everything on our wish lists. I encourage you to bring some easy, on-the-go snacks with you while traveling to prevent you from getting hangry (and not enjoying the activity) and then most likely overindulging during your next meal. The best kinds of snacks are those packed with protein and healthy fats because these will keep your blood sugar stable and prevent any crashes in energy. Some of my favorites are:
- Mixed nuts
- Protein bar (look for ones that are low in sugar and devoid in processed chemicals. If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it!). My go-to is Bulletproof’s Collagen Protein Bar— it has everything I need to keep full and energized between meals.
- Beef jerky (look for brands that are grass-fed, soy-free, and don’t contain MSG). I like the brand Epic.
Tip #6: Schedule some physical activity
Yes, sometimes the purpose of traveling is to relax, and I encourage you to slow life down and take full advantage of the free time. However, you also want to make sure you’re engaging in some form of activity while traveling. The best form of activity is to spend time daily walking and immersing yourself in the culture on foot. Or, maybe there’s a cool hike, or bike ride that will allow you the opportunity to be active and sightsee at the same time.
Tip #7: Bring Vitamin C
Traveling, unfortunately, is an opportune time for our immune systems to become compromised, especially if we have to fly to get to our destination. In order to prevent yourself from getting sick, I recommend supplementing with Vitamin C daily starting a few days before your trip and ending a few days after. Getting sick while traveling is the worst, so make sure there’s room in your luggage for lots of Airborne or Emergen-C!
Tip #8: Get Adequate Sleep and Relaxation Time
Being in a new place is incredibly exciting, and we feel like we must do and see it all to fully take advantage! However, as mentioned above, traveling can weaken our immune systems, so it’s important to not wear ourselves too thin. In addition to sightseeing, make sure you schedule in time for some relaxation and rest to recharge your battery. Also make sure that you’re not staying out super late every single night–try to plan for one or two nights where you get to bed on the earlier side, so that you can make sure you are getting adequate sleep for your activity levels.
There is definitely some overlap between the tips I shared for travel and just normal tips for healthy living. I have really come to believe and embody that sustainable, healthy living is a part of everyday life and needs to be attainable in both normal, day-to-day life and while traveling. That’s where balance comes into play; if you’re able to fit health into your daily life regardless of what you’re doing, then you have some wiggle room to be less strict with your routine from time to time. Of course, when we travel, we might splurge a little more and be a little more inactive, but overall, your lifestyle while traveling should closely resemble your lifestyle at home.
Simone Krame began her career at Canyon Ranch, a premier Health & Wellness Resort in Tucson, AZ where she held various positions ranging from Operations Manager of Health, Healing & Spiritual Wellness to Director of Guest Experience. She then took her passion for spirituality & health one-step further by founding, Conscious Living & Lifestyle, a coaching practice to support individuals achieve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Simone graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelors degree in Finance and concentration in Spirituality and Health. Currently, she is working on her Masters in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Mind, Body, Spirit Medicine at Columbia University. Simone is a Certified Primal Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Balanced Bites Master Class Certified Practitioner, and has participated in a variety of mind, body, spirit courses, workshops, and webinars that, coupled with her life experience, allow her to be confident in her knowledge and approach to coaching clients.