Hey healthy people,
Sitting on a flight to Spain has got me thinking: “How do you keep up all that good work on holiday, without losing that holiday feeling?!”
Firstly, how do you avoid falling into the trap of eating crap food on your journey? (the ‘crap trap’ if you will…)
Step 1. Begin your day by hydrating properly
I go for 2 pints of water within the first half an hour after you wake up, then 500ml every hour after that. Travelling long distances, especially when taking flights, is very dehydrating due to the dry air in the cabin and excessive air conditioning (why do we have to feel as if we’re flying in a fridge?!) You want to pre-empt this by getting ahead with your hydration.
Step 2. Prepare your first meal and snack(s) for the journey in advance.
Staying out of the ‘crap trap’ means making sure that when you’re hungry and need to re-fuel, you don’t get stuck deciding between a bad choice and a terrible choice. I tend to make healthy wraps with hummus or leftovers from the night before, with salad leaves and tomatoes. Wrapped in foil, this makes for an easy and light (and Tupperware-free!) option when you’re on the move. My wife, Suzi, often makes healthy banana, nut and oat slices as snacks to avoid the inevitable sugar cravings you experience while you’re on the move through the airport stressed and beginning to flag. This way, the temptation to give in to “why not, I’m on holiday!” and pick up those bags of sweets, meal deals and vegan cookies is nicely avoided.
Step 3. Make contact with your destination.
After landing or arriving in your destination the last thing any normal person wants to do is start prepping a meal that takes anything longer than 10 minutes to make…I don’t think I’m speaking just for myself when I say all I want to do when I arrive at my holiday destination after a long travel is put my feet up! We’re lucky as we are visiting family on this trip, so we spoke to our hosts a few days ago and asked if they could pick up a few plant-based essentials for when we arrived. Tinned chickpeas and black beans, some bananas, avocados, mushrooms and some local gazpacho for quick snacks and our first breakfast. If you’re not travelling to a place where family are, you can often get in touch with your host in advance and organize such things with relative ease. Trust me, this makes a big difference!
Step 4. Plan some ‘Intermittent Fasting’.
So starving yourself if clearly not everyone’s ideal start to a holiday…luckily for you that is not what I’m suggesting! Taking the opportunity to (deservedly) put your feet up means a decrease in energy expenditure. As a result, your food intake needs to match your change in activity levels – if you want to maintain your healthy results from exercise routines you’ve honoured at home. A great way to approach that is to do some ‘intermittent fasting’. Intermittent fasting is an approach to eating which involves using an ‘eating window’ and ‘non-eating window’.
I apply this rule by having a non-eating window from the early evening into the late morning the next day. During that time I stick to water and non-calorie liquids (like coffee or herbal tea) and inside that window I would eat as normal. Thus, keeping some control over my energy balance.
Having said that, I’m lucky enough to not mind missing breakfast without feeling a massive drop in energy but my wife Suzi is a) not built like that and b) is pregnant, so it’s not a great idea for her to start starving herself. In cases such as hers, the aim is to try to keep the window to 12 hours, avoid snacking between meals and take full, nourishing meals rather than spending the day idly grazing. Before we part ways, I appreciate that holidays are just that…a holiday! A well deserved break from your usual routine and a chance to switch off. If relaxing your usual boundaries with eating and drinking is what you feel like doing then go for it. I’m just here to provide a few tips to keep you on track, a little motivation to stay true to your goals and an invitation to maybe not TOTALLY throw in the towel (pun most definitely intended!).