How to Stay Balanced While Traveling

Woof, it’s been a while since I’ve last written.

I went out to San Francisco for a long weekend and then the following week, I was out in Austin, TX for work. Let me tell you, I knew I would fall off my health track because I was on pure vacation mode. I ate mostly every meal out at a restaurant, had a few cocktails for dinner, and ate a LOT of meat (hello BBQ). It’s hard not to fall into the vacation mode trap while traveling for fun, or for work. I tried to work out in San Francisco, but by the time I got to Austin for work, it became a cycle of eating, sitting, eating more and drinking. Now that I’m back in Chicago, I feel like I’m a really off balance and need to get back into the groove of working out and making healthy choices.

Here are some of things I learned while traveling in order to stay balanced, and feeling healthy:

1) If you are on vacation, pick some activities that don’t revolve around food. I’ve gone on several vacations to urban areas (ahem NYC) where my main tourist activity revolved around visiting a brewery and then eating at well known restaurants and heavily snacking. Try to incorporate lots of movement into your vacation where you are checking out sites and walking around. In San Francisco, I went hiking and biked across the Golden Gate Bridge the following day. It doesn’t have to be vigorous activity, but any movement that keeps you away from staying stagnant will deter you from over consuming calories.

2) Eat breakfast. Do not skip breakfast otherwise you won’t have the energy to do everything you want to do on your vacation. If you’re working, make sure to eat breakfast to avoid unconscious snacking throughout the day. For breakfast, pick something with protein and carbs that will keep you full and give you energy. Even a little sugar won’t hurt. I like to pick a yogurt parfait with fruit and granola. Toast with peanut butter, or apple and whole nuts can give you a boost. If you’re going to have a long day, a breakfast sandwich will keep you nice and full.

3) Pack your water bottle and bring it out wherever you go to ensure you’re staying hydrated all day.

4) When you’re out at lunch/dinner, try to have one healthy option or incorporate some veggies into your meal. I usually like to make lunch the lighter option by ordering a salad and greens. Dinner, I’ll order the brisket and a side, but I won’t eat a pound of it. Consider portion control.

5) If you’re staying in a hotel and don’t have a gym, try doing jump squats, jumping jacks and lunges every morning in your hotel room. Something is better than nothing. Even if you are having a 10 minute private dance party, you are burning calories.

Are you traveling soon? What do you do on vacation or on the road to stay healthy?

Hungry for more,

The Midwest Marmot