Health Quest – Guest Post By Sarah Stevenson

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love traveling. Being a wellness writer and a yoga instructor, I don’t do it much for business—but when it comes to personal pleasure, I globe trot as often as possible.

When traveling to tropical areas where I know I’ll be in a swimsuit most of the time, I make a point of exercising a little more and eating a little healthier right before my week away. The only problem is, in addition to bringing back a nice tan and too many souvenirs from my voyage, I used to bring back a good 5 to 10 lbs on my hips and tummy—and I know I’m not alone here. Traveling for fun can sometimes allow you to really let loose and let go of your healthy eating and exercise habits. Similarly, traveling for business can sometimes stress you out and foster imbalance. So I came up with something I like to call the SPA treatment. Here are 3 tips to eating healthy while traveling.

Be Smart: Fill up before you head out. Airports, gas stations and trains stations are junk food traps and if your hungry you are vulnerable to there fast and easy allure. Make sure you eat a nourishing meal before you hit the road. Something that has plenty of nutrients that can sustain your energy for a long period of time. Eggs, oatmeal, chicken, fish or pasta are all great foods that will fill you up and keep you energetic. If you’re balanced on the inside you are more likely to be balanced on the outside. You will have the upper hand when it comes to stress if your stomach isn’t growling like all the grumpy stressed out strangers at the airport. If you are traveling in a car you will need fewer stops to eat if you’re nice and full.

Be Prepared: Pack up some healthy snacks to take with you. If you have a bag of grapes or almonds with you that you can munch on through out your journey you are much less likely to get hunger pains. The US Department of Health and Human Services says it is best to eat often (5 to 6 small meals a day). Waiting too long between feedings causes your body to switch to lock-down; where it holds onto the food you have and distributes the nutrients at very slow speed. This is why you get really worn down and tired when you don’t eat. Another great way to prepare for a road trip is to take a mini car fridge with you, so you can keep yummy produce and other healthy foods and drinks fresh. They run anywhere from $50 to $100. It’s a great investment if you’re a frequent traveler. Even if you’re not traveling by car, look for hotels that have mini refrigerators in the room.

Be Adventurous: Site-seeing, scuba diving and shopping are all probably at the top of your list when on vacation. How about adding healthy cool restaurants to your list of adventures. Often while traveling we have huge lists we want to accomplish so we can get the most out of our trip. Make eating a priority so you don’t fall prey to the closest convenient fast food joint. Talk to the locals about the best places to eat in town. Take advantage of the local produce. Over the years, I’ve discovered that Mexican papayas are amazing; you can’t beat the coconuts and pineapples in Hawaii; and Australia offers Kiwis and bananas that’ll change your life. It’s local flavor the healthy way. Also, do a little research before you go on your trip about the best restaurants in the area. I’ve found the most delicious food and charming atmospheres in the local hole in the walls of the places I’ve visited. If you are traveling for business, make it a priority to get out of the hotel and eat at an interesting new place, sometimes that’s the only adventure you can squeeze in while working. You have to eat right?

Take the SPA treatment with you on your next vacation. Be Smart, Prepared and Adventurous so you can return from your travels looking as good as when you left. It’s hard enough to get back to reality after a relaxing vacation. The last thing you need is the added stress of having to drop weight once your home. Pay close attention to your eating habits just like you do at home. Avoid the easy solution of fast food joints; your jeans will thank you.

Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Southern California. She has a degree in Behavioral Psychology and teaches not only yoga classes but also life affirming workshops. She also writes for Beachbody, which provides popular workout videos including P90X2 workouts , Les Mills Pump and Asylum Workout.

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