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How Do You Keep Your Healthy Habits When You Travel?

by Lisa on July 21, 2010

I’ve been contemplating how to write about the food from my weekend trip to MA. I don’t think my friends that I visited read this blog, but I also don’t want to say anything that could be construed as an insult about the way they eat.  I really do like to think I’m pretty sensitive to people at all places along the food continuum. That’s an essential part of my job as a wellness coach because I can’t expect everyone to eat perfectly (and who says my understanding of “perfect eating” is right for everyone anyway?!).  I do think everyone is different regarding what types of foods they thrive on, myself included. I used to think I could just live on carbs, and at times I really tested this method (animal crackers and juice boxes anyone?).

During my trip, I did not take pictures of the food (and the three of us also made a pact not to take photographs at the beach for fear a bikini picture would end up on Facebook for all to see). When I arrived in Acton on Friday night, I had already eaten in the car—half a bag of Sesame Blues (blue corn tortilla chips), a bottle of water, and a granny smith apple. Well-rounded nutrition? No. Could have been better. Do I feel badly about it?  No—I didn’t stop at McDonalds!

On Saturday morning I had a feeling it would be a long time till I ate anything really acceptable to me, so I retrieved an avocado from my car and ate it with a spoon. Weird? Maybe.  But it was satisfying, and kind of an insurance policy in case it was a long time till I could eat.

On our way to the beach, we ended up stopping at a sub shop. I ordered a Greek salad, made up of iceberg, 1 tomato slice, 1 olive, and about a cup of feta cheese. Oh, and italian dressing. No comment.

Beth packed some veggies from her mom’s garden for snacks at the beach—score!  I drank a bottle of water and ate cucumbers.

Dinner—at a local restaurant. I had been anticipating some fancy Boston food (swoon), but this wasn’t the case.  It was home-y and small town restaurant quality. I ordered a salad and crab cakes. Iceberg once again donned my plate…and then there were the crab cakes. Mayonnaise, egg, and breadcrumbs anyone?

I also had a glass of wine and ended up getting dessert for some strange reason. Have I mentioned that I need to be on a no-sugar diet right now?  I killed that.

But what should I have done?  Really—what do you do when you are not in your domain and your friends don’t know you’re food-crazy?  I have always been the type of person to just blend in and go with the flow. It’s difficult for me to make any demands or ask for special consideration.

I might have to start though.

On Sunday morning, Catie very nicely offered for us to go shopping and buy veggies.  I decided I might as well head home—we didn’t have any plans anyway. That’s when I went to Whole Paycheck Foods. I bought some healthier things for the ride home, including a mixed greens salad with pecans and goat cheese and a gluten free vinaigrette. I stopped at the last rest stop on the Mass Pike to get gas (it was $.12 cheaper per gallon than in NY—I was totally being responsible!), so I ate my salad then too.

Oh, I also bought a package of dark chocolate covered goji berries and ate those while I was driving.  Healthy junk food?  Yep. But it still wasn’t McDonald’s!!!

After I returned home, it was really hard for me to instantly snap back onto my healthy track. I ate coconut ice cream Sunday night (more healthy junk…and more than zero grams of sugar for sure).  I felt awful for two days and was so tired I could barely do my work (and boy, do I have work to do!). I’ve proven to myself repeatedly that I can function much better without sugar in my life.  I get it. It’s that crazy consistency thing. Joe doesn’t really understand—he asks me why, if I know what I should do, I don’t just do it?  If I knew the answer to that, I’d be a bazillion-aire because I’d tell you too.  All kidding aside, it’s a process, and progress is not instant. I can look back over the last year and I’m much further along in the wellness department.  That’s what I need to focus on.  What are some of your coping and “mental game” strategies?

It ain't always pretty, but eventually I got back on track (and part of the progress seems to be that I did it in 24 hours this time!)

How do you keep your healthy habits when you travel?


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