Have you ever found yourself feeling bloated, crampy, constipated, and sluggish while traveling? These uncomfortable symptoms are common when we are traveling and out of our normal eating routines. Below are 5 tips to help you feel well while traveling.
#1: Stay hydrated
It’s easy to forget to drink water when you are away from home. Ideally bring a stainless steel or glass water bottle with you and fill it up whenever you get the chance. When you go to drink water take at least 10 sips at a time. If you are worried about water quality and are traveling via car, it might help to pack a couple of gallons of filtered water with you. If you are consuming alcoholic beverages, you will want to drink even more water. Drinking one 8-ounce glass of water after each alcoholic beverage you consume is a good goal.
Why this is important: Avoid dehydration, reduce chances of constipation, and reduce risk of getting a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
#2: Pack healthy snacks
Don’t count on gas stations or your hotel gift shop to provide you with healthy snack options. Some of my favorite on-the-go snacks are RXbars, Larabars, Epic bars, nuts/seeds, nut butter packets, jerky, and fresh or dried fruit. Look for a good balance of protein, fat, and carbs when picking out your snacks. Just a banana (carb) isn’t going to fill you up, but adding in some protein and fat (nut butter) will help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you energized for a longer period of time.
Why this is important: Drops in blood sugar can lead to sugar cravings, irritability, and over-eating.
#3: Don’t veer too outside of your normal eating patterns and don’t forget fiber
You are on vacation and of course you want to enjoy yourself, but veering too far outside of your normal eating habits can leave you feeling bloated, tired, and sick. If you are used to eating things like sweet potato, vegetables, and lean protein or beans with dinner and you start having fried chicken sandwiches and burgers with fries for each meal on your vacation, my guess is your body isn’t going to react too favorably. My suggestion is to keep at least half of your meal similar to what it would be like at home and try to include fiber with each meal. Here are some examples:
- If you get a burger, instead of getting fries get a side salad or steamed vegetables
- If you want fries, get a salad with lean protein with it instead of a sandwich
- Instead of a large stack of pancakes or French toast with syrup get a small stack with fresh fruit and a scrambled egg.
Why this is important: Fiber will help keep your bowels regular and also helps with satiety and blood sugar regulation.
#4 Chew your food well and check in with your hunger
The process of digestion starts in your mouth. If you only chew your food 3-4 times, think about how much harder your body is going to have to work to break down that food vs. if you chewed it 10-20 times before swallowing. Also remember to check-in with your hunger at various points during the meal. We blogged about mindful and intuitive eating here.
Why this is important: Proper digestion starts in the mouth- you will be less likely to have GI upset if you chew your food really well and don’t over-eat.
#5: Enjoy your company
We don’t get much “unplugged” time these days, so put your phone down and have some meaningful conversations with the people around you. Meals aren’t just for nourishing your body with food, but are also for nourishing your mind and soul and forming connections with those around you.
Why this is important: Having positive relationships in your life is just as important as the foods we choose to eat.