Exploring the world is an amazing and exciting adventure. For many of us, travel is also a tool for growth. It’s not just about umbrella drinks, swaying palm trees, and laying on the beach. Traveling offers an opportunity to recharge your body and mind and maximize your overall health.
As a yoga practitioner, you already know that yoga reduces stress, helps you get centered, and promotes a well-rounded mental attitude. Keeping up with your yoga practice and following a healthy, nutritious diet while traveling is essential for getting the most benefit from your time away.
After all, the last thing you want is to return home feeling more exhausted than you did when you left. With a little advanced planning, you can enjoy delicious, nutrient-rich meals and snacks and stay on track with your yoga practice, no matter where life takes you. Here’s how.
Stock up on healthy snacks.
Stock your room and day bag with healthy snacks so you’re not tempted by unhealthy fast-food options, airport food, and hotel vending machines. Protein, B vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats should be your top priorities for nutrition, energy, and curbing sugar and junk food cravings.
Switching to a plant-based diet makes it super easy to eat healthy while you’re traveling without having to put a lot of thought into your meals and snacks. Fresh fruit, veggies, hummus, soy protein shakes, whole grain crackers, nut butters, seeds, and nuts are great options, especially when you’re on the go.
Keep a water bottle with a filter with you at all times, too. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining your energy levels and moods.
Cook your own meals, if possible.
Snacks can easily fit in a cooler or your hotel mini-fridge and be eaten without any prep. Cooking your own meals while traveling can be a bit more challenging, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort if you can manage it.
Obviously, choosing accommodations with a kitchenette will be the easiest way to go. But you can still swing it if you prep your meals at home or stick to foods that don’t require much cooking. If you’re driving, simply prep enough meals for each day of the trip and store them in a cooler.
If you’re flying, you might be able to check a cooler with food, but you should confirm that with the airline first. If it’s not allowed, just bring a small lunchbox with food for the flight and hit the grocery store when you arrive at your destination.
Soy protein shakes, protein bars, salads, fruit, lettuce wraps, and sandwiches on whole-grain bread are all great options for preparing and eating with minimal fuss. Visiting a local farmers’ market is a great way to stock up on healthy goodies and enjoy the local culture at the same time.
Research restaurants in advance.
If one of your greatest joys when traveling is eating out and trying local foods, the best way to stay on track with your diet is to research restaurants in advance. Have a plan for what you’ll and where so that you know something healthy will always be available.
Having things all mapped out will help you cut down on unhealthy, impulsive choices. It also ensures that you don’t skip meals searching for something healthy, which can lead to cravings and blood-sugar issues.
If you’re out and about and not sure where to go, there are lots of apps to help you find healthy food on the go. Here’s what to look for when choosing restaurants:
- Plenty of lean protein and vegetable options.
- Salads or broth-based soups for starters instead of chips or bread.
- Willingness to make healthy substitutions, such as a side salad instead or an extra serving of veggies instead of French fries.
- Avoid processed grains and anything cooked in hydrogenated oils.
- Grilled or roasted instead of fried.
And give yourself permission to indulge once in a while! Don’t leave New Orleans without having beignet or Key West with having a slice of key lime pie. Just be sure to get back on track with your next meal.
Be flexible about where you practice.
At home, you probably have a space set aside for yoga practice but finding the right place to practice when you’re traveling can be tough. If there’s not enough room to practice in your hotel room, try the balcony, a lounge, and public gardens or parks.
If the space is tight, find ways to modify your practice by utilizing standing postures or seated poses instead of stretching out flat. You’ll have to be adaptable, but it doesn’t really matter where you practice, as long as the space is safe.
Hold yourself accountable.
Once you’ve found a good place to practice, make a plan for when you’ll practice and stick to it. Of course, the best-laid plans can change when you’re traveling. You might need to be flexible but make a point of practicing every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
Join a local yoga class.
One of the best things about traveling and practicing yoga is meeting like-minded people and learning from teachers you’ve never met. Look for opportunities to practice in new spaces or join an outdoor class at a local park.
Meditate before you start your day.
Waking up early to meditate in beautiful settings while you’re traveling is another fantastic way to get the most out of your trip. Find an outdoor space to meditate and make it part of your practice to watch the sunrise, center yourself, and welcome the new day.
Learn while you’re traveling.
Many times, you spend hours on a plane or sitting in the car when you’re traveling. Take advantage of these hours by exploring yoga more deeply with a good book. Break out Light On Yoga or some other book that inspires you to pass the time and expand your wisdom.
Wrapping It Up
Travel, yoga, and a healthy diet are the perfect self-awareness tools to help you create a deeper connection within yourself and the amazing world we live in. Sometimes, you have to be flexible about where you practice or what you eat, but having that awareness and commitment is incredibly valuable. The key is to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do, and hold yourself accountable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NICOLE MCCRAY Nicole is an experienced content writer with a passion for all aspects of wellness. She worked a side gig at a yoga studio for years before becoming a mom, and absolutely fell in love with holistic and alternative therapies during her first pregnancy. She’s been proclaimed the “health nut” amongst family and friends, and when she’s not writing, Nicole can be found studying to become a health coach and reading up on all aspects of healthy living!