Friday, May 10, 2013

Stay Healthy Even on Vacation

Traveling is one of life’s great joys. Many of us spend months dieting and upping our workout schedules to fit into new vacation clothes. Unfortunately, traveling can also make it challenging to keep up this good behavior while on the road. Here, Cole Millen, guest blogger, has compiled some easy tips on how to stay healthy while on vacation. Cole is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life's best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate "experiences."

On the Plane
Plane travel can be uncomfortable and the food available on planes or in airports can be questionable at best. A great idea is to eat well before heading out so that you’re well fueled before your trip begins. Try packing healthy snacks like fruit and nuts, rather than waiting until your only option is a bag of greasy chips. If you do need to eat at the airport or on the plane, look for yogurt and other fresh options like salads and fish or chicken entrees. Take advantage of a layover to move around a bit. You’ll likely spend most of a travel day sitting in a cramped airplane seat, so take a walk around and explore the airport; many have temporary art installations and other interesting sights.
Finding a Healthy Destination
The most important aspect of a healthy vacation is where you are staying. It is pivotal to ensure that prior to your departure, you have chosen a hotel and area that allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle while you are away. I have found that reading reviews of hotels, restaurants, and vacation areas to be the best way to find unbiased and truly honest information. In a recent trip of mine, through a little research, I was able to find a site that listed reviews for hotels and included all sorts of information regarding amenities, restaurants in and out of the hotel, and other services provided. The site even offers a travel guide overview for each specific city that you wish to travel to. If you are traveling to a new city you are often in the dark about restaurants, hotels, and things to do so a site like this can be extremely helpful.In my most recent experience it led to the finding of a hotel with a gluten free restaurant as well as a gym and spa within!
At the Hotel
Once you get to your hotel, prepare yourself for temptation. The mini-bar, of course, is the epitome of convenience. But beware! Those easy to reach snacks and drinks are both expensive and calorie-laden. Ask at the front desk where the nearest health food store or market is located and get some fresh fruit, granola, or easy to make oatmeal or instant soup that you can prepare by heating water in the coffee maker. If your hotel offers continental breakfast, take advantage of the fresh fruit and yogurt offerings to start your day off right with an energy-packed healthy alternative. Whole grain is a great alternative to nutrient-barren white bread, and eggs can help you get the protein you need without all the fat.
Where to Eat
While in your hotel room, check out the nearby restaurant options. Many phone books include sample menus for some restaurants so you can plan your meal ahead of time to avoid last-minute temptation. Also, investigate potential restaurants online before heading out. If they have a mascot, steer clear!
Do your best to avoid fried entrees, opting for broiled or baked instead. Creamy sauces, soups, and dressings can also pack on the pounds, so focus on red sauces, vegetable broths, and vinaigrettes. Take a pass on the breadbasket before dinner, as this is a filling yet typically unsatisfying starter.
Keeping active and selecting the healthiest food options while traveling will help you enjoy your vacation without breaking your diet!

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