Written by Chef Anja Lee & Kasia Grobelny (http://www.themotherlandblog.com/)
Our team here at Anja Lee has a passion for travel and loves to discover new places and new foods! Getting to try all those delicious new cuisines is one of the best ways of embracing a country’s culture but it’s still critical to keep your health and wellness in mind, especially when on the go!
Here are some tips we encourage each other to follow to stay healthy when traveling:
Drink water! This is a no-brainer but often one we might forget in the excitement of visiting a new destination for the first time. This step is especially crucial when traveling during the hot summer months. (We hope you just picked up your water and took a sip!)
Always drink a big glass right before you go to bed, every time you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night rehydrate yourself with a big glass, and then upon rising.
Limit alcohol consumption. I know, I know this is a tough one but try to keep the drinking of alcohol to every other day. Alcohol can be very dehydrating and its best to limit how much you drink so you have the energy to go out and explore your beautiful vacation spot! If you do drink, try to choose options with less sugar like a vodka soda or tequila with soda and lime (no added agave!).
And on that sugar note, just say NO to sugary drinks. All those exotic juices make look tasty but they’re really packed with enormous amounts of sugar that will inevitably send your body crashing. They also are a sneaky way of packing on pounds during your vacay and even messing with your digestion. If it has ANY sugar in it (read the label), just don’t do it! Water is the most important thing your body needs to feel full and be satisfied anyway.
Get in some exercise! This is another difficult one for some people but so worth it. Even a short jog or walk can jumpstart your metabolism and get your body revved up for the day. Tie your running shoes onto your duffel bag no matter where you go so they don’t take up room in the bag. Try to plan to wake up 30 minutes earlier to get out and wake up your body before consuming any food. This will help get yourself hungrier and stretch out before getting comfortable in front of a meal after having been lying down all night.
Bring on the salad! Always order a salad with lunch and dinner, and eat it first! Get those greens in, and then enjoy the other stuff. If it is adding up, try sharing a salad with someone, or get your own salad and then share the main with someone. You’d be surprised how full you’ll often feel after a salad and eat less of the bad stuff 😉
Try to stick to 3 meals a day. By eating a real meal, you’ll be fueling your body the right way and of course getting to sample all the deliciousness of the destination you’re in.
Hold the sauce. Order sauces on the side, this way you can control a lot of what you need and what you are given. And don’t just pour the whole sauce onto your meal or salad! Start with a small amount, a little often goes a long way flavor-wise and you can always add more if need be.
Go veggie! Try going vegetarian for at least one meal so that you’re getting your vegetables! Sometimes our meals while traveling end up lacking the veggies, which should be 75% of your daily diet.
Limit the dessert. Instead of totally shunning sweets, simply save them for the weekend or one or two days. Keep the remaining days dessert free so that you can truly indulge and enjoy your splurge.
Get moving! Bike around instead of taking the metro or a public bus. Many of our chefs opt for this during their everyday commute, and definitely continue this practice when traveling!
Cook for those you are visiting! My favorite part when I traveled through Europe during my year abroad in France was when I would book AirBnB’s and I would offer to cook them an American meal one night (making sure it was tasty and healthy) if they would cook me a special family meal the other night. We got to know each other, the cost was much lower than going out, and I got to enjoy food from new cultures family-style! And as a bonus, eating a home cooked meal is most often much healthier than a sugar and salt-packed restaurant meal.
And last but not least of course, is to ENJOY your time away. Travel truly is good for the soul but with the help of these tips it could be good for your body as well 🙂
Feel free to email us and share your healthy travel tips for some more advice: firstname.lastname@example.org