November 27, 2014

Whole Body Beautiful: Staying Healthy, Fit and Happy While Traveling

 

Whether it’s visiting family, a weekend getaway, vacations or business trips, travel is part of most people’s lives.

Knowing how to stay healthy, choosing the right food options and knowing what and how to prepare ahead is important to keep a healthy body and mind going strong. No matter what the occasion, being away from home disrupts your routine, eating patterns and, at times, even your health.

Planning ahead and making the right choices with what’s available is an important factor in staying healthy while you’re en route and when you reach your destination. If it’s in the car, camper van, plane, boat—whatever your mode of transport and wherever your destination is—there is usually a way you and your family can be prepared for a healthy and happy trip. I have traveled many places around the world and, whether you are a Vegan (as I am), or whatever your lifestyle choice is, there are many challenges you may encounter. Depending on where you are, the town, the region, the state, or country, the food and lifestyles can change dramatically. Keeping an open mind (and palate) always helps when traveling, but be aware of falling into the “vacation mode” of unhealthy food and drink 24/7. Pre-planning is key and may mean the difference between abandoning your healthy lifestyle or keeping on track. Here are a few tips to consider when you are planning your next trip.

FLYING

Unless you know there are healthy options, pack your own food and snacks. Nut butters and hummus are good options as long as they are already prepared in a wrap or sandwich. In containers, they may be considered liquid and be taken at security.

•Small packaged nut butters

(www.justins.com) and if you are able to travel with fruit (cut up apples, bananas), this is a great snack to combine.

• Baby carrots, nuts, dried fruits, healthy protein or energy bars

• Packed salads, rice crackers, etc.

• Buy your big bottle of water or fill up your empty one after you pass through security, to make sure you are fully hydrated while flying.

• Skip the alcohol. It is dehydrating and adds to health-related travel issues and jet lag.

RESTAURANTS

If dining out, use the internet ahead of time. Search for apps and information for healthy dining options. Urbanspoon.com, Happycow.com are two that I recommend. Once you find a restaurant, scan the menu and see what they have to offer. Stay away from the fast food outlets, as they usually are high in fat, calories and are not real food but “food-like” products.

Being prepared and having an idea of what food lies ahead of you will help you stick to your goals and healthful way of eating.

HOTELS

When staying in a hotel or even before you’ve booked one, see what they have to offer. It is always a bonus if there is a mini-fridge in the room so you are able to keep a few healthy snacks and drinks on hand. This helps remove the temptation to raid the dreaded mini bar.

Power blenders—Bring a small powered blender such as Magic Bullet or Nutra Bullet to keep on hand when your body is craving something fresh, quick and healthy. Kids also love smoothies, so save time and money by making your own.

No kitchen necessary—Creating the occasional meal yourself, even while in a hotel, can be healthier at times than always dining out. No kitchen necessary. Go to your local supermarket or farmers market and pick up some healthy supplies like mixed salads, vegetables, bagged carrots, fruits and even some canned beans, fish or chickpeas. A quick picnic in your room or at a park is always a fun option.

Stay active—Keep that body active as well by using the exercise facilities in your hotel. A pool, gym or even some morning yoga classes can keep you moving and motivated.

Skip the continental breakfast—Yes, you heard me right! Just because its free and staring at you doesn't mean you need to eat it all. Take some fruit, an egg, but skip the piles of carb-heavy muffins, bagels, breads and other sugary options.

DRIVING

A road trip is always the easiest way to stay on track when it comes to food, in my opinion. I always have multiple coolers and water bottles, even if it’s only a few hours, especially with kids who are hungry from the get go! By bringing your own healthy snack, dips, fruits, cut vegetables, water and healthy juices, you are more likely to keep your body healthy and happy and also less likely to make that fast food pit stop while filling the gas tank.

When in doubt, eat plants—I use an App called Vegman or Vegout ($2.99), which gives me healthy vegetarian or vegan restaurant options no matter where I am in the world. My advice is even if you are not eating a 100 percent plant-based diet, while traveling, it is usually the safer option when you’re not so sure about the freshness or safety of the food.

Stop and stretch—Be sure to stop every few hours and stretch your legs, take an impromptu hike, or even a quick nap if needed. When you arrive at your destination, I guarantee, you and your passengers will arrive in a much better state of mind and body.

­­­CRUISES

Cruise ships have a well-deserved reputation of a 24-hour feast-a-thon. Amongst the gluttony of food and drinks—those cute umbrella drinks, wine and sodas can add 150-450 calories per drink—some ships have taken on a healthier approach with no trans fats aboard (Royal Caribbean, Holland America, & Carnival). Many also offer vegetarian/vegan, low salt, low carb and diabetic options.

Don't even think about sitting around; there are loads of action-packed activities such as running tracks, indoor rock climbing, gyms, pools, fitness and yoga classes available to keep those calories burning.

If you really want that fun, healthy and active cruise that has you coming home feeling awesome and ready for more, then plan ahead and see which ship fits the bill.

THE 80/20 RULE

We all can’t live up to 100 percent healthy all the time, nor do we want to. It’s fun to indulge once in a while and experience new things, but the aim is not to use it as your excuse to go crazy. As long as you can try and stay 80 percent healthy most of the time, then you are sure to stay on track and find a balance while traveling.

If you’re traveling for business or pleasure, feeling good about yourself and your choices will have you coming home feeling re-energized and maybe even better than when you left.

There are many benefits of traveling, like trying new cuisines, cultures, experiencing fun and interesting places, new traditions, lifestyles, meeting new people and having new experiences. A vacation from our “norm” and breaking away from our daily routine is what I love about traveling. It energizes, re-focuses and gives us a different perspective on life, as we know it.

Remember your checklist: Plan Ahead, Choose Real Whole Foods, Stay Active, and Have Fun. This will guarantee a happy, healthy and fruitful trip for all.

Happy Travels!

OAT NUT CLUSTERS (Inspired by: ohsheglows.com‬)

Ingredients


• 1 cup raw walnut halves

• ½ cup raw pecan halves

• 3 tbsp. brown rice syrup*

• 6 tbsp. gluten-free rolled oats

• ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

• 2-3 tbsp. Sucanat sugar*

• Heaping ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

• Scant ¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt

• Freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 275F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place walnuts and pecans into a large mixing bowl. Pour on brown rice syrup and stir very well until combined for about 60 seconds. Your goal is to have every nook and cranny covered in syrup. No pressure!

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour it onto the nuts and mix very well until combined. Some of the oat mixture won’t adhere to the nuts, but that’s ok because it adds character.

4. Spoon the entire mixture onto the baking sheet including any oats that didn’t stick. Spread into a single layer so they have room to get toasty. Garnish with fresh nutmeg. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 10-13 minutes (I baked for 23 min total) and allow to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes.

5. Once cool, break apart clumps and store in glass jars or Tupperware containers. I expect these would stay good for at least a month. Total time: 23 min.; Yield: approx. 3.5 cups

Substitutions

• Brown rice syrup works amazingly well in this recipe because it is so crazy sticky. For this reason, it can be difficult to replace it in a recipe that requires its binding properties. I haven’t tried anything else, but if you eat honey that might work or even coconut nectar since both are very sticky.

• You can substitute Sucanat with brown sugar or with Turbinado sugar. I don’t recommend subbing with coconut sugar. I tried this and found that it dried out the mixture due to its powdery nature.

Prepping ahead—Being prepared. A salad with a good mix of veggies and protein will keep you going for a few hours.

Lisa Fallon Mindel HHP, AADP is a qualified holistic health and nutrition Coach as well as a model and triathlete. She counsels people on how to effetively reach their health, nutrition and wellness goals. With her personalized step-by-step program and support, reaching goals is enjoyable and lifelong. For more information, go to Wholebodybeautiful.com.