Nutrition and Travel

June 23, 2021

Expert guest blog: Caitlyn Freeman, RD, Clinical Dietitian

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, Americans are planning summer vacations and traveling once again.

Although vacations can be a great way to relieve stress and are beneficial for our mental health, often times we “blow it” in terms of our nutrition. We tend to have an “all or nothing” mentality which leads to a solid week of gluttony and can leave us feeling sluggish on our return.

Here are some tips for keeping healthy living in balance this year while on vacation:

Find ways to incorporate physical activity.

Encourage your family to go on a walk along the beach this year, or ask your friends and family to play a game of beach volleyball! You may find yourself in a more urban setting in which you can take a bike tour or walk through a museum.

Eat breakfast in.

A great way to cut back on some additional calories while on vacation is to eat breakfast in. Studies show we consume less sodium and fat at home compared to eating out. Consuming oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, eggs and toast are great options to prepare even in smaller rental kitchens.

Pack snacks.

Bringing along healthy snacks is a great way to keep cost down while on vacation but also great at curbing your appetite. If we allow ourselves to become too hungry, we are more likely to overeat at our next meal. Packing snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, and low-sugar granola bars are great options if you won’t have access to a cooler, like at an amusement park. You could even consider packing whole fruit, like apples or oranges.

Adding a fruit or vegetable to your entrée.

Always consider adding a side of fruit or vegetable to your entrée. This will add fiber and other nutrients to your meal and will also help reduce the total amount of calories consumed. Be mindful of adding side salads with unhealthy toppings and dressing.

Reducing Alcohol Consumption.

While consuming alcohol is okay in moderation, alcohol in excess adds to the total amount of calories consumed, and can elevate your blood cholesterol. Limit to one serving a day and consider reducing beverages with added sugars while you’re at it.

Enjoy yourself!

Most importantly, enjoy yourself! It is okay if you “go off your plan” or eat more sweets than usual this week. Consider your lifestyle on average compared to this one week. If you have been dying to try Portland’s latest donuts, then enjoy your donut and appreciate the opportunity you have to travel and taste this delectable treat. Enjoy yourself and eat guilt free, keeping in mind a balance of fun and health!

Save travels!