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Fail to Plan = Plan to Fail

Sep 23, 2013

You may or may not know that I spent the majority of last week down in Savannah, Georgia at a conference for continuing education. The reason for me being down there isn't important for this conversation, however. I wanted to take a moment to discuss the importance of planning when it comes to traveling and staying healthy on the road.

Perhaps the best way to start this conversation is to mention the unfortunate fact that I am severely allergic to wheat (gluten), dairy, and soy. I also don't tolerate a host of other foods that many of you find are great options for your day-to-day healthy choices (i.e. coffee, most fruits, tomatoes, onions...oh the sad, sad list goes on...). To top that off, my husband and travel partner is severely allergic to shellfish and pineapple. I'm talking tongue-swelling-throat-closing allergic. The two of us together make restaurants just simply prefer to close the doors when we come waltzing in!

I mention all the above because if anyone needs to plan while going away from everyday routine, it's us. There are several things we have to avoid, obviously, so getting food while traveling can be quite exhausting to say the least. We do, however, have some tricks up our sleeves to bypass a good 'ol fashioned trip to emergency room for an IV full of Benedryl. I'll get to that in a sec...

First I want to say that many of you (don't hide!) tend to throw all you know about healthy eating and being active out the window while away from home. You chalk it up to it being "too hard" or not being "able to find anything healthy to eat" or "the hotel I'm staying at didn't have a gym." Guess what? It takes a little effort to stay on track and if anyone can attest to that, it's me! Bottom line, all the excuses in the book for not doing what you need to be doing are just that, excuses! It's time to put your grown-up britches on and plan for success instead of succumbing to laziness.

Tip number 1: When planning your trip, reserve a room in a hotel that has a refrigerator available in the room. That way you can bring food from your home, stop on the road, or find a local grocery or farmer’s market to buy healthy snacks and light eats and put them in the fridge when you settle in.

Tip number 2: Also do your best to find a hotel that also has a fitness center/room so you can get your workouts in while away. This isn’t necessary, of course, as I know you’re capable of exercising in your room—it’s a matter of whether you make the effort to do it!

Tip number 3: If your trip involves going out to nice dinners, make sure you’re super clean for the other two meals of the day. We like to find the local Whole Foods or other healthy grocery store that may have a salad bar and eat there for lunch. Most breakfast options at hotels include healthy options like omelets and fresh fruit as well.

Tip number 4: If you’re not traveling alone, make your travel companion(s) your accountability. I know I don’t want to work out while I’m down here, BUT, if my husband can make the effort to exercise, then I truly have no reason not to!

Tip number 5: Get over it! Yes, it’s hard and takes effort. No, exercise first thing in the morning isn’t fun. But, you’ll feel so much better about yourself once you return home knowing you did all you needed to do to stay on track while you were away.

I may sound a little harsh during this post, but that’s only because I know any and every one reading this that travels even on a rare basis is fully capable of succeeding while on the road. Before you leave, take the time to plan and prepare. That effort you put into eating healthy and staying active will certainly be worth it once you’re back home. Trust me.

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