I savored every moment of Memorial Day weekend in Brooklyn, New York with my girlfriends from college! When on vacation it's natural to step away from the routine, fully rest and relax. Here are 10 tips that will help you stay on track to eating well, feeling good, and moving your body, while not digging too deep into your wallet.
1. Explore at the grocery store. Traveling diffuses into the local market, offering regional produce and cultural inspiration from the roots of your destination. Our girls weekend in New York we all made an effort to eat out only once per day…at least that was the goal! This meant, making 1-2 meals at my friend Chloe’s Brooklyn apartment. It saved us money, time and calories in the long run.
2. Start the day with a solid breakfast. It’s like any other day, but if you’re touring around for hours on end you need to be fortified. No one likes a hangry travel buddy! On Saturday we went on a thrift-crawl aka consignment shop tour. We had a hearty breakfast with veggie egg + chick pea scramble, vegan sausage and avocado toast, then ate out for dinner. The protein and healthy fat from the eggs and avocado saved me keeping me satiated for the better half of the day. Another morning we went to the Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe around 11am and I enjoyed this massive breakfast sandwich: whole wheat everything with avocado, hummus, lettuce and tomato. I chose a healthier option, ate only what my body asked for and enjoyed a notorious NYC bagel.
3. Stick to your routine. We are all huge fans of kombucha; a morning treat to kick start the metabolism. I’ve made it at home several times because it’s very expensive to purchase (as much as I’d like to drink it!) There’s more research needed, but the quick and dirty is it contains live active cultures that aide in digestion. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria naturally found in the intestines. They help digest food and destroy disease-causing microorganisms. They are most commonly found in yogurt.
4. Savor the moments you live for. One of my favorite afternoons was our cocktail hour at a rooftop bar in Manhattan with a stunning view of the Empire State Building. We ordered a bottle of Rose and guacamole accompanied by carrots and chips to split between the four of us. I believe there’s a balance to focusing on eating healthy and staying fit 24/7; it’s empowering when you stay on track when traveling but it’s also an opportunity to indulge a bit on treats you won’t typically have. Another night we had brick oven pizza at a beer garden. A few slices of veggie style pizza and a hoppy local brew was the perfect way to enjoy the evening with friends.
5. Stock up on snacks + keep them on hand. As a registered dietitian member of the KIND Collective, I received the 5 new flavors of KIND breakfast bars all rich in whole grains, fiber and made with real fruit. We enjoyed these as snacks while walking over the bridge and I saved one for the plane ride home. They are perfect paired with fruit or yogurt for breakfast on the go. Chewy in texture and rich in flavor, my favorite was Raspberry Chia.
This paprika, lime juice and sea salted fresh mango was a sweet street side treat. My friend Nicole always has something in her purse, like a bag of nuts, dried fruit or bar. Her favorite is dried edamame! Skip the pretzels, chips and candy; added salt and sugar will only feed the fire of being hungry or thirsty. For those moments when you're in a hurry, feeling lazy or want to save a dollar snacks really come in handy!
6. Order in. Save the cost of eating out when you can enjoy a meal at your temporary home base. Rest and relaxation is just as important as wandering about and you can still enjoy a variety of foods. One night we ordered from a vegan Asian- fusion restaurant and shared delicious veggie options while catching up Netflix comedy including Chelsea Handler and Allie Wong. I enjoyed my beer and pizza from the night before so I chose lettuce wraps with brown rice and a side salad with carrot ginger dressing.
7. Stay active! I love to travel because I know I’ll get my steps in. My friend Gabby wore her FitBit and tracked out steps all weekend. We walked everywhere and skipped the train or cab ride when we could. Renting bikes is another option that allows you to stay active while covering more ground. Starting the day with a run or trying a new yoga studio are also fun opportunities.
8. Strategize when dining out. A few tricks I have when dining with friends are:
Ordering for the table family style, and sharing. I rarely order a full dinner entree because trying new foods is half the fun! Instead I often order appetizers to split for the table.
Always say yes to water. Rehydrate after trekking around all day!
Skip the bread, unless it’s freshly made and irresistibly delicious. If you choose alcohol match it with a 1:1 ratio of water and stick to your healthy limit.
Enjoy in conversation with the people you love and cherish the environment around you.
9. HyDraTe for the Long Haul.On average women need 8 cups of water per day and men need 11 cups of water per day to maintain hydration. Start with a glass when you wake up. Be proactive and have a water bottle on hand for your daily activities. You can fill it up as needed throughout the day. If you start feeling dizzy, have dry mouth, or little urination these are signs your body is telling you to drink up!
10. Eat smart for your travel home. I enjoyed a fresh salad and side of roasted mushrooms before my flight back to Florida. Kept it lean, easy to digest and rich in nutrients. Also hydrated a ton! For more check out Healthy Air Travel Tips.
Enjoy your journey of explorations and safe travels!