How To Make Your Holidays Healthier
How many times have you gone on holiday, indulged in everything in sight, laid horizontal on a sun lounger, and come home feeling stuffed and like “I need to eat vegetables for two weeks solid”?
Raise your hand ✋????!
I am ALL for those horizontal sunbathing hours and enjoying the most delicious gelatos & G&Ts (I mean c’mon those are some of the best parts of a holiday!) yet I am also all for feeling healthy, energised, and returning home with a post-vacay glow rather than a holiday hangover.
I believe it is possible to incorporate your wellbeing priorities in to every week of the year – your holidays included, and today I am sharing some of my go-to tips for keeping your wellbeing on track and how to make your holidays healthier.
Prepare fresh food (when you can) & eat a diet which makes you feel great
Whenever I am travelling I like to be able to chose what I eat in line with the types of foods which I know leave me feeling energised and well. Like many people I have gone through my ups and downs with the foods I’ve eaten – I’ve eaten in a way which makes me feel good, and I’ve learnt that some foods really make me feel poorly, bloated and tired.
And hey now, poorly, bloated and tired are three symptoms you don’t want to be feeling when you are on holiday.
I like to prepare fresh food when I’m abroad for at least one of my meals every day. The ideal scenario is renting an apartment in which you have your own kitchen, we lucked out with an amazing apartment in New York last November and ended up eating two out of three meals in the apartment most of the time.
If you don’t have a kitchen, you can still eat fresh food – most hotels have a little mini bar fridge, I often pop some food I’ll like to eat in there. Things like yoghurts, salad bowls and fresh fruit are perfect for keeping in your little fridge.
Being able to prepare your own food not only means that you can do a food shop which is in line with your own eating choices, it also saves a lot of money. When Ella and I were in Menorca recently we ate two thirds of our meals at home, and ate out for the other occasions.
As for snacks – I go for fruit! I know some people are cautious about how much fruit they eat in a day, and yes they have a lot of natural sugars, you know how much is right for your body – I tend to have one portion of fruit for breakfast and another as a snack in the day. If you can, try and discover which fruits are local to the place you are staying, in Menorca we enjoyed the most gorgeous peaches which tasted so delicious mixed in with some greek yoghurt, honey and granola – I ate this both as a snack and on occasion for breakfast.
If you have an intolerance – pack some of your cooking go-tos. Ella kindly brought some gluten-free pasta with her to Menorca, which we cooked up as part of a few meals. Ella eats a largely gluten-free diet so this ensured that we could both whip up a tasty pasta together.
Re: indulgences, my attitude on holiday is the same at home – if you really fancy it – go for it! And if you can, try the local dishes, indulge in the typical food of the area – it’s a DELIGHT to enjoy the food of the place you are visiting. When eating out, opt for dishes which you really feel like eating, in Menorca I always enjoy the stuffed aubergine and stuffed courgettes, the goats cheese salads with honey and the artisan ice creams – so good! I’ll opt for whatever dish I really fancy, but always have in mind that if I can, I’ll go with the healthier option of the items I like the look of.
Overall, you know best what works for your body, keep reaching for the foods which make you feel energised and healthy and make sure to enjoy the local delicacies and things you really fancy too. Oh and stay super hydrated!
Sunglasses: Taylor Morris | Trainers: New Balance
Turn your tourist activities in to active-ities
Active-ities – geddit?
???? . . . bad puns aside, ahem, your holidays are a great opportunity to get active in a new environment. A lot of my time when I’m home is spent at a desk in front of a computer – the opportunity to pull my trainers on and EXPLORE is dreamy.
If you enjoy getting to know a new area, walking or going for a jog is one of the best ways to do so. When Oli and I visited Barcelona in April we walked miles every day, it was such an awesome way to uncover some real hidden gems in the city, as well as staying on track with our fitness.
Equally, exercise is a brilliant counterbalance to jet lag. Next time you travel somewhere you know is on a different time zone, take your workout gear and at least have the option – if you are up bright and early one day, you can take the opportunity to go for a run – it totally shakes off the cobwebs of travelling, and will help reset your body clock to your adopted local area.
When Ella and I were in Menorca we parked at one beach resort, and hiked for around 45 minutes to reach the most beautiful little cove – and one of my very favourite beaches on the island. If you are travelling in an area which you know has beauty spots, ask the locals if they can recommend any particular trails.
Although we didn’t actually get around to doing it(!) Ella and I also discussed watching some yoga tutorials and stretching on the roof of our apartment too. Admittedly we forwent this in favour of sunbathing, but y’know the thought was there ????!
Stay on track with your happiness habits
As I mentioned in this post my relationship with travelling is oxymoronic – I love exploring new places yet can feel nervous about leaving home and getting out of my regular routine.
When I am travelling, I like to stick to a few little quirks of my personal routine from home, which help get my day off to a good start wherever I may be. In particular I aim to stick to my happiness habits of writing in my Thankful Journal, and meditating.
When it comes to meditating in particular, I like to use the new environments I am in to stimulate my mindfulness. Some of the best reflective times I have had, have been when I am abroad. Find yourself a quiet spot, and simply sit down however feels comfortable for you, close your eyes and aim to focus on your breathing. You become so much more aware of the sounds around you when you do this, and I love hearing the waves at a beach or birdsong – especially in Menorca where the island is full with beautiful little birds.
NB: I spoke about little birds to Ella so much in Menorca she started calling me Snow White ????
These little happiness habits help to make me feel calm and well when I am away, therefore to me are always a priority. If you suffer with any type of travelling anxiety, like I have done on occasion, then I can really recommend creating your own routine even when away, to help you feel safe and at home in a new environment.
What do you guys think? How do you stay on track with your wellbeing goals whilst away? You can read more about my home comforts when travelling here.
Love, Monica x
Photos by Ella Gregory