So you’re off to visit family in a different state or maybe a different coast. Battling traffic jams and parking fiascos to get to the airport. Getting stuck in security checkout for a bit longer than you hoped and scrambling to find something to eat before getting on the plane.
Or maybe you’re jumping in your car for a 4 hour (or longer due to traffic) drive to your destination. The kids are starving and so are you and you just see greasy hamburger signs and fast food restaurants all over the place.
Traveling can be the toughest part of the holidays both from a stress standpoint and nutrition standpoint. So what do you do?
Here are my favorite tips to keeping healthy while traveling.
- Stay hydrated – Yes, I know that you don’t want to have to use the restroom during takeoff or maybe you’re worried about needing to pee between rest stops but trust me, the last thing you need is a dehydration headache when you’re about to see family. Be sure to bring a water bottle (preferably stainless steel, not plastic) along with you either filled up for the car ride or empty for the jaunt through security. Fill it up on the other side. Make sure everyone has their own.
- Prepare snacks for the ride – This is an often crucial but missed step for either a car ride or for the plane. Since fast food and airplanes seem to be a bit low on healthy veggies and fruits, this is my go to for travel. I prefer veggies and fruits that hold up well like carrots, apples, oranges and celery sticks. You could also try dried seaweed snacks, carrots, beets, apples and kale chips. If you love nuts, I recommend buying them raw and then roasting them yourself at home using coconut oil or avocado oil and season to taste. Most roasted nuts have vegetable oils that go rancid the moment they’re heating and cause free radicals.
- Leave with plenty of time – It’s no fun to feel rushed right? So if you have a plane to catch, check traffic conditions before hand and expect a longer than usual security line when you get there. If you can check-in in advance and bring carry ons only, you’ll be one step ahead! If you’re driving and you want to be there by a certain time, again, check traffic conditions on your google maps and consider alternative routes if they look clearer.
- Skip fried foods – This is key for the airport, airplane or the road. Again the vegetable oils used for frying foods aren’t the best for us. Because the restaurant can use the same oil for up to a week and because the temperatures are so high, the heating actually creates something called mega trans fats which have been shown to lower cognition and cause more free radicals in your body. Consider ordering a side salad instead or just go back to your snacks as a side.
- Audio books – If you’re like me, you just can’t read in the car even with sea bands. This is where audio books come in handy. Pick a family friendly story and have an adventure while stuck in traffic! It’ll keep everyone’s mind off of how slow you’re going and keep the stress level down. If you’re on a plane, you can listen to your own audiobook and nobody will be looking over your shoulder to see what you’re reading. If you really want to detach, close your eyes while you’re at it.
- Surrender – At some point you can’t really control the outcome of your trip. All you can do is plan and the rest will simply unfold. I know, missing a connecting flight or getting stuck on the freeway because of an accident can feel frustrating to say the least. Just breath and know that everything will work out.
When you keep on track with your health over the holidays and despite travel, you’ll be able to be more present with those you love and that’s the point right?
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