Monday, June 27, 2011

Food for Thought for the World Traveler

Summer is the time for vacation and travel. Did you know that you can stay on track with your new lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise with some simple planning and thought? Can We Talk?!

Today we have question generated from our last post Stay on the Path. This question was related to food, but staying on the path applies to all the paths in our lives that God has set before us. Got questions? I would love to answer them! Enjoy!

Dear Aqua

I stayed off course when I was on vacation. This has always been a struggle for me, since I have been traveling a lot. I got tempted to try all these pastries/ foods and I kept thinking to myself that this is only  "temporary". When I got back from vacation recently, I still have that left over feeling that I still carried on, until I had a reality check from my friend. Now I am getting it together again, trying to stay on course. Any advise on how to stay on track while on vacation, especially out of the country? L

Dear L

I don't think traveling abroad makes it more difficult to stay on the path, UNLESS we have not yet learned to discipline ourselves fully before leaving home. Ouch, I know! We have to learn how to incorporate our healthy living into all the activities of our lives, including traveling, eating out at restaurants, and holidays.

Remember this is a lifestyle change, so our healthy living fits into our life. We shouldn't pick it up and put it down when it is convenient for us. Although, when we are first starting out that is exactly what we do. Eventually, this new life should become part of who we are as a person. For example, a vegetarian won't eat meat just because they traveled to a country that has the best Kobe beef.

When most people travel of course they want to have the full experience of being on vacation, which often includes tasting the local food. The key is tasting and not indulging in such a way that it creates the slippery slope that you described. What I mean is that you are on holiday for three weeks and for that time, you eat whatever you want whenever you want and how much of it you want. That's never a good situation. That's not good when you are at home or on vacation. Most often when you return home you find it difficult to find your center again and get back on track. The calories and the pounds add up very quickly.

The advice I would give to travelers is:

1) As much as possible stick to your regular eating habits. Plan, plan, and plan some more.
2) Have bites and tastes of the foods you want to try. Remember you don't have to eat it ALL. EVER.
3) Portion control is key. Have a little, don't overindulge.
4) Don't make the whole trip about food. Find other ways to create memories.
5) When you plan your trip also plan how/where you are going to get in your exercise.
6) Avoid trigger foods. Foods that once you eat them they trigger you to overindulge and keep eating once the vacation is over. Sweets, carbs, and fast foods are trigger foods for some people.
7) Above all else...Have a great time! Your lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise should be something that you enjoy and it should not put a damper on your vacation or the vacation of others. No one wants to hear us complain about what we cannot eat for the duration of a vacation. Keep it simple.

To stay on the path of healthy eating and exercise we are going to have to have to learn to love the food we eat and learn to love exercising. Yes, I said it! Learn to love exercise! If we don't we won't be able to maintain the lifestyle change. If the change is always a burden it simply won't last.

I would also add this note for diabetics. There are certain foods you must avoid at all times and other times you can make substitutions. If you are following a diabetic diet you know this already. You should stick very strictly to the foods that help you maintain good consistent blood sugars levels, which we will give you the best opportunity for healthy outcomes.

I hope this helps for your next vacation. Bon voyage!

Congratulations again to Al Austin! She was the 1000th guest to the blog last month and won a $25.00 Shell gas card.

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!
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