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Health Tips

How to stay healthy during Christmas travel

By 17/12/2019 No Comments

The next few weeks are a busy time for travel for some. Undoubtedly, being outside of our usual environment can be tricky to navigate, when aiming to stick to health goals.

A bit of pre-planning and being motivated to stay on track can help see you both fully enjoy your travels and maintain your goals!

I often get asked for tips on this very topic and here I share with you some food for thought:

Smart snacking
You just never know when you are going to get caught short during a day out and in need of some sustenance! Rather than scrambling at the last minute, be prepared with some travel friendly snacks such as:

  • Packet/container of raw nuts and seeds
  • Fresh fruit – kept whole (eg banana, apple, orange)
  • Homemade trail mix – raw nuts, seeds, dried dates, dried figs, coconut flakes and dark chocolate
  • Natural protein or nut bars
  • Popcorn packets
  • Uncut veggies such as baby carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes or baby cucumbers

Keep active
We generally eat more during periods of travel so it’s a no brainer that being active is key to maintaining weight and also fitness levels. If you are walking a lot during the day, adding in a 15-20min body weight based training session or even doing pilates/yoga on the hotel floor, can be a time efficient and effective way to train whilst away. If you are really into your fitness, why not try a local exercise class for something new?

Drink in moderation
Drinking day in day out over the course of a few weeks can really start to add up. In fact, newly revised alcohol guidelines just released now say people should drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week in order to reduce the health risks associated with alcohol consumption. This is compared to the previous advice of no more than 14 per week. The recommendation to have no more than 4 drinks on any one occasion still stands. When on holidays, have some alcohol free days. In order to be ok with this, breaking the connection between relaxation and alcohol is important. Find a suitable replacement, such as watching a sunset or going for a night walk, so you don’t feel like you are missing out.

Portion distortion!
Many of us forego listening to our natural hunger and satisfaction cues when on holiday and instead eat everything on our plate with the excuse ‘I’m on holidays.’ It’s perfectly fine to adopt this mindset from time to time or during special meals out but if you do this daily and wonder why you struggle to maintain your weight or vitality on holidays, this could be part of the problem!

Think about the portions you eat at home and try to replicate similar when eating out. Eating mindfully and slowly is a simple way to do this, stop at satisfied rather then overly full. Upon your return home, it will be much easier to fall back into your usual eating habits.

Breakfast in bed
How you start the day can majorly impact your eating habits for the remainder of the day. If you aren’t the breakfast out type, book a room with at least a fridge and one step better, a stove top, so you can whip up a simple yet balanced breakfast. A few simple ideas are below.

If you have a fridge only:

  • Before leaving make up a nut/seed/oat mix or other muesli style mix and once you arrive purchase natural yoghurt and fruit, mix together for a protein packed breakfast.
  • Purchase some good quality bread or seed crackers and enjoy the following toppings:
    • Cottage cheese/ricotta and tomato
    • Hummus, avocado and tomato
    • Nut butter
    • Salmon or tuna with avocado

If you have a stove:

  • Purchase a carton of eggs, avocado and some good quality bread. Boil the eggs and come breakfast time, make yourself eggs and avocado toast. For a vegan version, replace eggs with hummus and tomato.
  • Scramble eggs with chopped tomatoes and spinach or any over veg you can find locally
  • Sautéed mushrooms with feta/goat cheese on toast

Warding off the ‘holiday flu’
How many times have you arrived at your destination only to find you fall sick? It’s very often a case of when we stop, we get sick! If you are currently burning the candle at both ends, to help protect against getting sick, try to wind down not only physically but also mentally a few days prior to your trip. This may mean swapping cardio and high intensity exercise for restorative movement, saying no to social invites, scheduling in massages or putting a few tasks and projects off until the new year. In addition to this, when away, always practice good hygiene measures, start your day with a fresh cold pressed vegetable juice or greens powder to boost the nutritional density of your diet, avoid too much alcohol and refined sugar and prioritise sleep. All of this will add up to help keeping you well whilst away.

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