Written by Zella Pavlov MA, RD/LD
With summer approaching, so do the travel plans! These trips can also come with the mindset that “calories/food choices don’t count” on vacation. This mindset can lead to over-consuming higher-calorie foods on-the-go and feeling like we can’t have these foods any other time. This is far from the truth; welcoming all foods into your life (traveling or not) helps you to learn to listen to your body and eat mindfully. Eating mindfully allows you to enjoy some high-calorie, higher palatable foods, but also enjoy some nutrient-rich foods – not because you “should” but because you enjoy it and want to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs. Here are some tips to help you eat mindfully on vacation:
Stay Hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water or zero calorie/low sugar drinks. It is common to be dehydrated on vacation due to changes in weather or more activity. If you’re flying, the lower air pressure and low humidity can make you more susceptible to dehydration. Dehydration can make you feel irritable, confused, fatigued, thirsty, and even give you a headache. Busy travel can also make it harder to notice thirst signals so you could become dehydrated before you notice you’re thirsty. Aim to drink 8-10 glasses (64-80 oz) of water a day!
Food Matters. Aim to eat 2 to 3 meals a day AND snacks to give your brain and body the energy it needs to function properly. At gas stations or fast-food restaurants choose foods that are grilled over fried and add a vegetable to your meal order. If able, pack a few snacks with you to keep you fueled between rest stops and save a little money along the way! Try to include at least 2 food groups in your snacks. Here are some ideas!
- Pre-Cut Raw Vegetables and Dip
- Applesauce Go-Go Squeeze + cheese
- Air-popped Popcorn, Unsalted + Dried Fruit
- Roasted Chickpeas + Fruit or Veggies
- Rice Cakes + Fruit or Nut Butters
- Overnight Oats (Oats, Milk or milk substitute, fruit)
- Multigrain Crackers + Hummus
- Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
- Boiled Egg + Fruit
In summary, while it may be tempting to indulge while on vacation, it is important to prioritize mindful eating habits by staying hydrated, aiming for balanced meals and snacks, and making nutrient-rich choices when possible!