Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Healthy Holidays

March 18, 2024
Posted by Lucy

Living Vacation Time to the Max: A Guide to Healthy holidays!

I’ve been having some great conversations lately with Kendra Thornton @KendraThornton about staying healthy during holiday time. The fun, excitement and enjoyment of vacation time can be the perfect antidote to our busy daily lives. However, in a desire to “let go”, sometimes we forget to about the basic principles of eating well while we are away. There is plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy a gelato, but remember that the principles of healthy eating can keep us healthy wherever we are.

If you are looking for some travel tips and hints for healthy holidays, read below for a summary of the key things you need to keep in mind

Fitness and Health Tips for Travelling With Family

Kendra: When going on a trip with your family, it can be difficult to eat right and exercise when you feel like you're allowed to let go. Whether you like to plan for vacations ahead of time or always go for last minute vacations, there are some things you should think about before heading out on the road. Eating out, snacking, lounging and relaxing are all fun things that anyone does on vacation, but if you want to stay healthy, you have to think about what's best for your body and mind. These are some of the ways that I have maintained my diet and exercise routine while on vacation:

1. Pack the Right Snacks

Kendra: Snacks are your friend on vacation whether you're traveling by yourself, with friends or with family. Dry snacks like pretzels, granola and cut up veggies are great to bring along the road. Fruits are also a wonderful way to fill yourself up so you don't feel like pulling off at the first exit with a fast food sign hanging on the overpass. You want your appetite to always be satisfied so you don't go overboard.

Lucy: I agree Kendra, creating snacking options for you and the family is an essential part of traveling. Remember that the days of travel during a vacation can be long, starting early, long road trips or waiting around at airports. It takes just a little preparation the night before or the day of travel to pack a few snack options. In addition to your suggestions, some toasted nuts and seeds in a jar/packet; a few small pots of natural low fat yogurt and some wholegrain crackers are also a great option.

2. Walk It Off

Kendra: When you have some time to yourself on vacation, why not walk around and enjoy the fresh air? Walking is a great way to explore but to also exercise. With sightseeing and adventures, you can spend all of the extra calories from breakfasts in bed and nights out on the town. It can also be very serene to find a trail or walk along the beach with kids in the morning.

Lucy: That’s a fabulous idea. Remember that on holidays your exercise doesn’t necessarily have be ‘formal’ such as a run or workout. It can more informal, such as long walks, swimming in the ocean or pool and climbing city steps.

3. Skip Caloric Meals at Restaurants

Kendra: It's inevitable that when on vacation you'll dine out and need to keep your head while looking over the menu. While some of the rich foods may be delicious to taste, you want to think about what's good for your body. You can exchange for a different sauce, ask for no cheese or just go without the mayo when you're eating out to avoid those extra calories.

Lucy: Great tips. I also find that when eating a lot, we tend to loose out on some of the most nutritious health bursting foods. Many mains are filled with proteins such as meat/fish and carbs such as potatoes/pasta. Create more of a balance on your plate by always asking for a salad or vegetables, either on the side or as a starter.

Even though you are on holidays, remember that you don’t always have to automatically get dessert! Don’t slip into the habit of over-ordering; assess your hunger levels before you order.

4. Find a Fitness Center

Kendra: Most hotels have fitness areas now with cardio equipment and weights. If you plan on being in a spot for an extended period of time, it may be best to find a place to work out and take classes. There are always going to be times to relax on vacation or times when you don't have anything to do. You can make plans to fill in those slots with fun exercises and activities at gyms or by heading down to the hotel fitness center.

Lucy: I find most hotels now have a good schedule of classes in addition to the gym. It may even be the time to try something new, like a yoga or Zumba class. Go on.. Nobody knows you!

Kendra: Eating right and being fit on vacation can be difficult. I know my family will be implementing these tips and tricks on our upcoming trip to Orlando. I always like to book a hotel with a quality gym for convenience and in case of rain. With so many hotels in Orlando, sites like Gogobot make it easy to read user reviews so you can feel as comfortable as possible when you book your hotel for your family.

Lucy: Indeed Kendra, there are plenty of options so all it takes is a state of mind. Remember that eating well is a day to day activity and whether on holidays or at home, it’s easy to incorporate some or all of these activities.


Kendra Thornton @KendraThornton

Lucy Hyland of Food for Living @foodforlivingie

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