Healthy on Holiday
Oh holidays.... What glorious images that word conjures up!! For some of us that's an exhilarating skiing trip in the mountains, or camping and bush walking in the forest, and my personal favourite... Somewhere warm and quiet where I can relax by the seaside with a book and, ideally, a masseuse and chef haha.
Whatever holiday is your favourite, and however long or short it may be, holidays are not without their health challenges. Now before you get worried and think that I am calling the fun police on you, I'm not suggesting holidays are not be enjoyed - by all means have those cocktails, an extra course at dinner and dance the night away!
I just want to make a few suggestions that may help temper some of the holiday indulgences likely to tempt you so that your health (and waistline) don't cop it... 'cos nothing takes the fun out of a holiday like coming home feeling bloated, tired and yucky.
It only takes a little bit of extra preparation beforehand to ensure you'll get the most out of each and every single day you're away and come back feeling rejuvenated and great!
Now I adore being able to try new things, enjoy novel cuisine and thoroughly revel in having someone else do the cooking!! Just please don't approach your holiday like you're training for the Eating Olympics. Nourish and fuel your body with great food to get the most out of your holiday.
- Pack your own plane food, or train food, or car food. I usually pack a couple of healthy snacks and a meal (depending on the length of the trip/flight) to ensure I get fresh, nutritious and yummy food. It’s awful being trapped on a plane hungry with no good options. You may be able to pick up fruit salad, nuts and seeds or a smoothie at the airport but I don’t recommend you leave it to chance - BYO. Same goes for service stations and fast food outlets (although Oliver’s is a favourite road trip pitstop of mine). Packing your own means you will eat well and feel good when you arrive. Hand sanitiser makes it easy to clean your hands when you’re on the go too!
- Take your own bar mixer and Wheyless. It’s easy to pick up a little milk while you’re on the road or once you get to your destination and then 30 seconds later you have a yummy smoothie to enjoy. Whether I travel for business or pleasure I always have my bar mixer and protein powder with me - especially great for late night arrivals or early morning starts.
- Research your accommodation and destination. Try and stay somewhere with a kitchen or kitchenette so you can prepare you own meals if you want to. Great to help you save money and eat well, but also pretty convenient. Before you go, check out where the local grocery store, butcher, farmers’ markets, organic/wholefoods cafés and restaurants are. That way you can easily buy fresh produce and prepare your own food, or happily go out and enjoy healthy meals.
- Eat mindfully. Try and keep to a normal healthy routine and be conscious of how often you’re eating. It’s easy to snack all day long if you’re lounging poolside or if your daily schedule is a little different. Also consider taking a probiotic with you if you’re travelling in countries that may not have a great standard of sanitation.
More often than not when I head away on holiday it's to rest, and chances are I was working like a mad woman leading up to it so I'm exhausted, which means I want to do as little as possible and ideally... Sit like a blob and enjoy being still. Even so, I still make sure I keep active and move regularly.
- Pack your ‘gym gear’. Make sure you have a sturdy set of shoes and a set of light, quick-dry clothes to be active in.
- Be active. If you're on an 'active' holiday where you're bush walking, skiing, surfing etc you probably don’t need to worry about formally ‘working out’. Remember the sunscreen and hat!
- Try something new. If you’re not on an ‘active’ holiday consider whether your holiday destination has some new activities for you to try like sailing, rock climbing or hiking.
Of course being on holiday means you can enjoy some late nights out if you want to, and by all means do. Just remember that our bodies and minds rest and regenerate at night whilst we're slumbering - especially when we’re taking a break from work - so now is the opportunity to allow your body to rest.
- Create a routine. Try and keep to a regular sleep/wake routine to keep your body clock healthy. Ideally get up around the same time each day, and go to sleep around the same time each day. Having said that…
- Get extra rest. Have a nana nap if you want. Take advantage of the fact you don't have the usual commitments and get some extra rest, have a candlelit bath (I like mine with soft music, a glass of wine and a good book) and get an early night. Sleep in on occasion... A long, gloriously lazy sleep and roll our of bed for brunch (or lunch) instead.
- Consider melatonin. A natural sleep aid that a doctor can prescribe is very helpful to adjust to a new time zone and combat jet lag. I swear by it! Consider ear plugs and an eye mask to help you sleep well in a foreign place too