Summer officially begins this month and that means Father's Day, graduations, parties, weddings, and vacations, all of which may be fun but can also be stressful and filled with temptations. We want to look and feel our best when we’re traveling and enjoying warm weather and less clothing, but being in “vacation mode” often means over-indulging in foods that don't serve us and neglecting workouts. This leaves us feeling sluggish, bloated, heavy, and regretful, and when we return to everyday life it feels like we're starting from scratch (again).
But this doesn't need to be the case! You don't have to miss out on the fun or deprive yourself if you put some strategies in place and plan for success. If you know how to navigate different situations, you can feel confident and take good care of yourself no matter where you are or what you're doing.
Preparing for a trip requires pre-planning. Start with your mode of transportation and make sure you’re prepared with healthy snacks whether you go by plane, boat or car. Below is a list of my favorite traveling companions. If I’m driving, I pack extra in a cooler to have in my hotel room; if I’m flying, I bring whatever I can and I try to find a health food store at my destination:
- Almonds or a mix of almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds
- Protein powder and/or meal replacement shakes and a Blender Bottle
- BPA Free water bottle with a built-in filter such as Eco Vessel
- Sliced veggies, organic apples, or grapefruit
- Individual-sized hummus, almond butter and/or guacamole
- Sliced apples (goes great with the almond butter!)
- Mary’s Gone Crackers or plantain chips; great with guacamole or hummus!)
- Hard-boiled organic eggs from pasture-raised chickens
With the possible exception of fast-food restaurants, every restaurant has options or will provide substitutions to meet your needs and any food restrictions. Do your best to find farm-to-table style restaurants that use organic, local ingredients and ask for extra veggies instead of the starch. At a Mexican fiesta? Skip the chips and melted cheese and order the veggie fajitas, for example. Ask your server to bring just the grilled veggies, and extra guacamole -- hold the sour cream and cheese (if you're gluten-free, ask for corn tortillas or skip them altogether since non-organic corn is usually GMO). Salsa works as a great side, as do black beans and a small amount of rice for some complete protein sans factory-farmed meat or poultry. No matter where you go, you should be able to order grilled chicken (hopefully free-rang/pasture-raised) or fish; steamed or grilled vegetables, and salad with olive oil and lemon juice or a vinaigrette. You might even consider asking the server not to bring the bread basket. And what if you drank less alcohol and relaxed with some sparkling club soda with lime or berries? You may be surprised how GOOD you feel after the meal (without the bloating, sluggishness, or headache)!
Picnics, BBQs and Family Reunions
You can’t control what your hosts will serve, but you can stack the odds in your favor by BYOF (bringing your own food). Make enough to share, of course! If you arrive with one or two healthy, delicious options, you’ll be sure to have something you enjoy without having food-related symptoms or regret. Check out my website for healthy recipes, from appetizers to desserts. No time to cook? A veggie or fruit tray is always welcome!
The Wedding Crasher
You can’t bring your own meal to the wedding, but you can prepare in other ways. Eating something healthy before you go will prevent you from being ravenous by the time the reception doors open. And of course, while a sip of champagne to toast the newlyweds won’t throw you off your game, drinking throughout the evening can add up, interrupting your sleep cycle and leaving you feeling rotten in the morning. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and if available, add fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries to that bubbly to make it even yummier!
What To Know Before You Go
If you find that you cave in to temptations during these summertime soirees only to experience regret, you could be an “emotional or situational eater” or there could be situations that “trigger” your eating habits. You may want to consider meeting with me before your big event or vacation, so we can talk about your concerns and challenges and set you up for success. As your coach, I can help you change your relationship with food so that you are control of it, instead of it being in control of you. Together, we can learn why you might be “stuck,” what’s getting in your way, and how you can make small changes that will make a big difference. To learn more about what wellness coaching can do for you, cIick here to schedule a complimentary Coffee Talk session where we can talk about designing a plan based on your specific needs and goals!