As most of you know, I travel for work every week. While I may be an amateur chef and even more amateur food critic, I definitely have become a pro at traveling! I’m the first to admit that learning how to stay healthy on the road was not something that I adjusted to easily. You can read more of that story here. I have found that it is really easy to get stressed about keeping up your healthy habits when you have less control of your surroundings, and that we (me) are especially hard on ourselves around the holiday seasons. I hope some of the ideas below allow you to enjoy your holiday travel with a few “strategies” to approach eating and fitness to allow for indulgences and still feel good about yourself.
1. Eating. Your mantra: You can’t have it all, all the time.
Order what YOU want. Do not feel embarrassed to ask the waiter to hold the butter, put the sauce on the side, and to swap veggies for the pasta. If anyone pushes you to order differently “you SURE you don’t want the chicken alfredo? It’s your favorite!”, say that it’s simply what you’re in the mood for tonight
If you know that you want to sample lots of appetizers and dessert, order something small for your entree – maybe another appetizer. All about portion control!
Be the one to choose the restaurant for the group ahead of time – that way you can check out the menu beforehand
Wear tight clothing. Yup, if you are in something that is form fitting you mroe likely to stop eating when you are satisfied and not overstuffed. It’s no fun telling Aunt Hilly that no, a niece is not on the way and you are just pregnant…with food.
Survey what’s being served and make a game plan where you want to indulge for the night. It can be in the cocktails, in the appetizers, or in the desserts. Choose one, love it, savor it, and make healthy choices otherwise. If you say “no” to everything, you are not setting up yourself for success
Simply stand away from the food when you’re done eating. Out of sight, out of mind
Hold a glass of wine or some bubbly water. Sometimes it’s nice just to have something to do with your hands!
2. Exercising. Your mantra: Make it part of the fun!
Staying in a new city:
Take advantage of “your first class free”! Research the different fancy fitness studios in the city that you are staying in, and I’m guessing most of them will have your first drop-in class as free or for a very reduced price
Run! No better way to get to know a new city than by running the streets. I have stumbled across so many cute cafes and shops just by meandering around. I love using a Map-my-Run app in when I run in new cities for memories!
Sign up for a Turkey Trot 5K or a holiday-themed race, and make the whole family in town do it too!
Staying with family:
Go on a daily afternoon walk with grandma/grandpa/mom/dad
Be the one to take the dogs out in the morning!
Wake up before everyone and get your workout done before the day even starts – that way, it won’t get in the way of anything else
Family dance parties…need I say more?
Staying in a hotel:
Most hotels have really useful “baby” gyms as I call them. My favorite kind of hotel workout? 1 mile on the treadmill, 2 circuits of weights (3x through of 12x reps) and then another mile on the treadmill. Should take you 40 mins!
Use the stairs
Staying at the Doubletree? Say no to that tempting cookie at check-in – one of those packs 500 calories
3. Keeping yourself well and sane. Your mantra: Take care of yourself.
Flying? Drink lots of water, avoid carbonated beverages (gas in your stomach increases during flights), don’t sit down while waiting for your plane to board and do some stretches instead
Love to snack? Bring your own snacks wherever you go – nuts, dark chocolate, apples, oranges, turkey jerky, Lara bars, KIND bars – they all travel well and will hold up throughout your entire vacation to have on hand as needed
Stressed with holiday logistics? Take some time for yourself – get a mani/pedi, call up a friend to commiserate. Take a nap!
Locked indoors due to weather? Take advantage of standing activities as much as possible – helping out with dinner, cleaning, etc
Stomach issues due to flying? Happens to me every week that I’m on a plane. Staying active, upping my amount of probiotics/fermented foods, and staying hydrated helps
At the end of the day, hanging with your folks > one yoga class. Let’s all make a pledge this holiday season to embrace balance!