What’s the point of taking a vacation if you feel physically miserable the whole time? Have issues like fatigue, stress, nausea, or digestive issues ever spoiled what could have been an otherwise amazing trip for you? I’ve totally been there, done that, and I can confidently say it’s #theworst.
That’s why today I'm sharing 6 simple ways to help you feel your healthiest, best self while on vacation. Shades? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Let’s begin!
1. Catch those zzzzzz’s
I know you're excited about the fun excursions you've planned, but try not to let that excitement get in the way of some solid shut-eye while in paradise. Getting enough sleep will not only you feel more refreshed and energized for your jam-packed days, it will also help you be more in tune with your hunger signals.
Did you know that sleep deprivation can disrupt the hormones that control your appetite? This can hinder your ability to decipher your hunger cues, and can cause you to feel more hungry than you actually are.
Here are some things that help me get the best sleep possible while on vacation:
- Following my usual nighttime routine (shower, floss/brush my teeth, moisturize, and read) and climbing into bed around my usual bedtime
- Using a sleep mask (if my room isn’t completely dark)
- Turning on a fan for white noise
- Avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol. It's common knowledge that caffeine can keep you up at night, but many people may be surprised that alcohol, although it may help you fall asleep faster, contributes to poor-quality sleep (womp womp).
2. Balancing Act
Vacation is absolutely the best time to enjoy all the delicious foods your destination has to offer. And while a big bowl of fresh tropical fruit or a warm plate of french fries might sound appetizing, you may feel more satisfied and ready to take on a full day of adventure by eating a meal that has a balance of carbs + protein + fat. I'll share a few examples below:
- Oatmeal with fruit (carbs) + nut butter (fat + protein)
- Pancakes with fruit (carbs) + eggs (fat + protein)
- Toast (carbs) + veggie omelette (fat + protein)
- Turkey sandwich (carbs + protein) with cheese (fat + protein)
- Nut butter (protein + fat) and banana sandwich (carbs)
- Salmon (protein + fat) with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes (carbs)
- Black bean burger (carbs + protein) with mashed avocado (fat)
If you want to learn more about creating balanced plates that both fuel and satisfy you, click here to learn more about my one-on-one virtual nutrition counseling services.
Bringing snacks along on your vacation adventures will help you stay energized and less hangry. You can choose to pack snacks with you in your suitcase or visit a local grocery store as soon as you arrive at your destination. Here are a few of my favorite snacks to enjoy while on vacation...
- Trail mix
- Protein bars
- Dried fruits
- Dry cereal
- Nut butter packets
- Baby carrots
- Snap peas
Listen, nobody likes being constipated while on vacation. And yet it happens to the best of us. There are many reasons as to why it happens, and a diet lacking in fiber is one of the biggest offenders. What exactly does fiber do for our doo-doo? To put it politely, fiber adds “bulk” to help it pass more smoothly and quickly…aaaand...moving on!
Where can we get more fiber in our diet? A good rule of thumb is to look for minimally processed plant foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa.
Here’s how to get more fiber while on vacation:
- Choose fresh vegetables with hummus or bean dip for an appetizer
- Order fresh vegetables or a side salad with your meal
- Choose a whole grain bun/bread with your sandwich
- Swap white rice or pasta with brown rice or whole wheat pasta
- Order fresh fruit with your meal or for dessert
Not only is fiber great for our digestion, but it also:
- Slows the transit time of our food in our digestive system, which can help us feel fuller for longer and reduces blood sugar spikes
- Foods with high fiber content are usually high in other nutrients like vitamins and minerals
- Consumption is associated with reduced risk of diseases like heart disease and diabetes
5. "Just Do It"
Trust me, I like bummin' on the beach or chillin’ by the pool with a good book just as much as anyone else. Our bodies absolutely need time to rest, especially after all the stress we endure at work, school, and even at home! However, finding ways to move and exercise while on vacation can be just as rejuvenating (even if it's something just as simple as walking). Not only does exercise improve your mood, but it also helps you sleep better, and supports healthy digestion. It’s also fun when you can get your friends and family who are with you on the trip involved.
Here are some fun ways to move:
- Resistance training
- Kayaking or canoeing
- Surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing, paddle boarding
- Beach games (frisbee, spike ball, paddle ball, corn hole, etc)
6. Carry a water bottle with you:
Staying hydrated (AKA getting enough fluids) helps our body: maintain a normal temperature, transport nutrients all throughout the body, and eliminate waste.
Without proper fluid intake, we risk dehydration, which can lead to problems we do not want on vacation like constipation, fatigue, headaches, and more serious issues like kidney problems (no thanks!!)
Carrying a water bottle is such an easy way to make sure you’re meeting your fluid needs. To read more about hydration and how much fluid you need, click here. To view some of my top water bottle choices, click here.
Bonus tip: If you’re staying at a place with a freezer, fill your water bottle halfway with water, store in the freezer overnight, fill up the remaining space with water, and enjoy ice-cold water throughout the day!
Where is your next vacation destination? Tell me what tips/tricks you'll try from this blog post while you're there!
Hungry for more?
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