This past week I got to enjoy/work in the city of Austin, TX. It was a sweet little city with a ton of yoga, healthy food trucks, smoothies and restaurants within walking distance of the conference center and hotels. It’s a liberal, vegan-friendly city. In other words, I fit right in!
Most places are not like Austin, however and it can be really difficult to stay healthy while you’re away for pleasure or (especially) for business. My bosses chose most of the restaurants during the week for our dinners and it was difficult to stay on track with weight watchers and watching my meat and cheese consumption. Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions to keeping healthy while traveling!
1) Walk, walk walk!
I always try to walk wherever I am. They say you’re supposed to take 10,000 steps per day and I try to amp that up as often as possible. While staying in our first hotel I was located on the 3rd floor and took the stairs everyday to get back and forth from my room. I also walked to lunch and took cabs as little as possible.
The second hotel where we stayed (I was moved because I was snowed out of my own city!), I was located on the 14th floor. It took a whole heck of a lot longer to walk down those steps, so I decided to not walk the steps. Instead I walked all over the city while staying there. My co-worker/friend Nadia and I did not take a cab at all while we were stuck for the weekend. Sunday morning I walked 2.5 miles to a jewelry store to find out they were closed on Sundays! Saturday we walked approximately 3-4 miles for the day while discovering what Austin had to offer.
2) Make the best choices available…. as often as you can.
This one is extremely difficult. It’s so hard to make good choices when there are bacon cheeseburgers on the menu and homemade spicy macaroni and cheese. It’s a good idea to try a few of the local offerings, no matter what the caloric intake. I promise that if you’re watching what you’re eating and conscious it will not be too big of a deal if you order the jalapeno grits!
I love trying new dishes and would often steal from friends plates, or order my own new dish. One night I was craving meat (and listening to my body) so I ordered a cheese burger. I got through half of it and left the other half on my plate. My Norwegian boss made fun of me for leaving food on the table and complained that I wasn’t eating enough (and in the same sentence mentioned our ridiculous portion sizes in America). But I left it. My body told me I was full and I no longer needed to eat the burger. What I had was satisfying.
|Best Dessert EVER! @ The W for lunch|
I also said no to desserts: mostly. One afternoon at lunch I ordered the most delectable dessert of my life (but I also ate a smaller portion for lunch knowing I wanted to try dessert later!) I made the best choices I was able, but also had fun. I tried new drinks, tried to record all I ate and whenever I was on my own, I found smoothies and healthy food for lunch!
3) Be YOU
It’s so difficult to be fully yourself when you’re away and traveling. I tried my best. I meditated most mornings, I did yoga stretches in bed, I went to a yoga studio once we were stuck in Austin and I found a groovy smoothie/acai bowl location that was attached to a yoga studio!
While at work, I was my composed self and well behaved. I followed along and did as I was told. But whenever I could, I snuck off for a freshly pressed juice, apples and a kombucha!
|Snap Kitchen Pod-Lunch|
4) Have snacks ready!
A continental breakfast is for stealing apples and bananas! Just kidding (kinda). But you should seriously think about taking an apple or two when you leave your free breakfast. Grab a nutri-grain bar before leaving the hotel and always have a snack prepared.
The one rule I forgot was the airport rule. You should ALWAYS have something prepared for your airplane ride that is healthy. I ended up at the airport at 4:00am in Boston and by the time we arrived for our connection in Detroit I was starving. The airport offered dried mangos (the healthiest snack I could find) and nothing but a yucky looking fruit cup. Next time, I need to remember to pack real fruit or a homemade snack!
5) Do your best, but don’t worry too much!
You’re on vacation, or you’re traveling for work. Don’t stress about it too much and indulge in that Mexican ice cream, fried chile relleno or delicious Margarita during happy hour (which they do not offer in Massachusetts so go ahead and enjoy)!
Try your best but don’t stress. Have fun and get back into your normal routine the moment you arrive home. Eat when you’re hungry, rest (if able) when you’re tired. Most of all, listen to your body as it will tell you exactly what to do!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!
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