Travel season is upon us! Summertime is full of late nights, parties, sunbathing, less time behind a desk and more time drinking in the freedom of summer.
While that all sounds AWESOME, it can add up to a lot of routine disruption, which can throw you off your game and the hard work you put in during winter.
So, how can you stay on track? Say it with me: 7 P’s:
Use the 7 P’s to prepare for travel (by car, plane, trains, whatever) and you’ll be set to avoid temptation, stay on track and best of all? Actually, still feel awesome at the end of summer.
Before Your Trip
1. Map out your route and drop a pin at restaurants, rest stops, and grocery stores along your route to get an idea of what your options are. You could even add farms and farmers’ markets to the list for some local, often inexpensive flavor. So fun!
2. Traveling for extended periods of time? Pack an insulated lunch bag or cooler with cold packs to keep food temperatures in the safe zone. If your trip lasts multiple days, you can purchase ice at gas stations as you go and store it in ziplock bags.
3. DO hit up your grocery store. You’ll get more for your money and be less tempted by gas station fast foods. Cover your food group bases: Protein, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and complex carbs.
During Your Trip
Stop, get out, and MOVE. While it might add an extra 30-60 minutes to your travel time, stopping every 3-4 hours to get your blood flowing will wake you up, keep your metabolism revving and ensure you get to enjoy the very places you’re driving through!
Hydrate. It’s the easiest thing in the world to get dehydrated while traveling. It can be an inconvenience to stop and take a potty break, but regular bowel movements are key! Waste buildup can lead to serious consequences, so plan a potty break every 3-4 hours alongside your movement pit stop.
Time Out Your Meals. When you’re on the road or traveling by plane, you can easily get off schedule and find yourself eating handfuls of easy-to-grab snacks, when you’re not even hungry! Check your watch-how long has it been since your last meal? How much water have you drunk? Are you actually hungry or just bored? Keep your food in your trunk or backseat, so you have to stop to access it.
After Your Trip
Keep Your Routine. Long days of travel and sun can make it easy to ‘take a few days off’. Wasn’t that what your vacation was for? Jump back into your routine as quickly and seamlessly as possible. This will also help regulate your sleep cycle and keep your energy high!
Here are a few suggestions for On-the-Road-Fuel:
- Dry-roasted edamame or chickpeas
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut and seed butter
- A minimally processed bar made from nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, like KIND bar
- Hummus: Look for single-serving cups or packs
- Protein powder (bring in a ziplock or purchase single-serve packets and add to plain oatmeal or shake with water)
- Fresh fruit: If you’re squeamish about fruit touching other stuff in your bag, choose something with a peel or keep washed fruit in its own resealable bag or container.
- Dried or freeze-dried fruit: Portion into single-serving bags to avoid overeating.
- Fruit-and-seed bars like KIND Pressed bars: These gluten-free bars are made of just fruit, vegetables, and chia seeds. Though there’s no true substitute for fresh fruit, these bars are a convenient way to help fill the void, as each provides two servings of fruit.
- Sliced fresh veggies: Bring your own or find at grocery and convenience stores. Many come with a creamy dip, but skip that in favor of hummus, salsa, or a single-serve packet of guacamole.
- Freeze-dried veggies: These provide a satisfying crunch along with filling fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Just scope out labels to help you choose products with simple ingredients. Ideally, you just want the veggies and maybe a little oil or sea salt.
- Vegetable juice powder: Just shake up in a water bottle.
- Salad: This is a no-brainer way to work in more veggies at your meals. Include protein and limit the high-calorie add-ons, like cheese, avocado, nuts, and dried fruit.
- Soup: Broth-based soups with veggies are a great way to up your intake. Just steer clear of cream-based soups—a butternut squash bisque, for example, might sound healthy, but it’s often made with heavy cream (and even sugar!), which can negate the benefits.
- Avocado: Slice it in half with a knife and eat the flesh out of the skin with a spoon. To keep calories in check, split with a travel companion and enjoy a 125-calorie snack that’s packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, and potassium.
- Single-serving packs of olives: They provide satisfying monounsaturated fat for only 50 calories.
- Single-serve packets of chia seeds or ground flaxseed: They’re an easy way to add fiber and texture to yogurt and oatmeal.
- Oats: Packets of unflavored instant oatmeal can be mixed with hot water or stirred into yogurt.
- Whole-grain bread: Make a simple sandwich with cold cuts or nut butter.
- Whole-grain crackers: Look for something with at least 4 grams of fiber. If portion control is tough for you, separate into single-serve bags.