Peak vacation season is here. How can we staying healthy, stick to our nourishing routines, and enjoy ourselves while we travel? To find out, we spoke to holistic health coach, MaryAnn Jones.
Splendid Spoon: Hey MaryAnn! First things first, do you do a vacation “pretox”, or make any changes to your diet in the week leading up to a trip?
MaryAnn: Before a beach vacation I focus on belly-bloat busting choices. I want to rock a bikini! I mostly stick to veggies and lean proteins. I also avoid high sodium choices, which encourage your body to retain water.
Splendid Spoon: Do you prepare any snacks or meals to take with you on your travels?
MaryAnn: It’s key to set yourself up for success whenever your routine changes. Travel can be quite unpredictable. I keep it simple: a grab-n-go piece of fruit like a banana or orange, and a bag of raw nuts for long car trips and air travel. I often also pack single-serving Vega Protein shake packets and RXbars, just in case I need a meal replacement.
Splendid Spoon: Flying dehydrates us: how do you stay hydrated when traveling?
MaryAnn: Hydration is my passion! I think it’s the secret to the perfect vacation. If you want to boost energy, avoid jet lag, and stay healthy while you’re away, prioritize drinking more water, and less of everything else.
I usually drink a bottle of water before I go through airline security and then fill it up while I wait at the gate. I then only drink water when I’m flying. There’ll be plenty of time for caffeine and alcohol once I get to my vacation destination!
Splendid Spoon: Vacations typically involve a lot of eating out and straying from our normal diet. How can we make the healthiest decisions in these situations?
MaryAnn: If you’ve been working hard towards health and weight loss goals, it would be a shame to sabotage them on vacation. Taking time away is about celebrating yourself, and focusing on self-care and enjoyment.
I recommend creating guidelines to help keep you on track, and feel positive and empowered. My top recommendations are: avoid fried foods; eat and drink mindfully and with joy; stay hydrated to avoid overeating and prevent cravings.
Splendid Spoon: Are there certain foods you always avoid, even when on vacation?
MaryAnn: I never eat fried foods. They typically have little to no nutritional value, are highly inflammatory to the body, and wreak havoc on digestion. Who wants to spend their vacation in the bathroom?!
Splendid Spoon: Do you recommend we allow ourselves to wander while on vacation, or try to stick to our typical healthy routine?
MaryAnn: The last thing we want to think about when on vacation is being on a diet. Feeling deprived can lead us down a dark road. I advise my clients to choose indulgences that will truly satisfy. Savor your choices and remember that the banquet really is in the first bite (or sip). [Remember to eat everything mindfully — not just your Splendid Lunch Bowl! — Ed.]
Splendid Spoon: Can our diet help with jet lag?
MaryAnn: I know I’m repeating myself, but….hydration can! Prioritizing hydration is the key to staying strong and resilient in the face of time changes. Drinking enough water also enables our immune system to work optimally to fight off the germs we come into contact with while travelling. Eating hydrating foods helps too: juicy fruits and veggies have a high water content that add to our daily totals.
Splendid Spoon: What foods do you recommend to people who struggle with travel sickness?
MaryAnn: I personally struggle with motion sickness. I avoid caffeine and alcohol and nibble on raw nuts or a RXbar. I eat very slowly to gauge how I’m feeling while I travel.
Splendid Spoon: Do you have a go-to meal you eat when you return from vacation to reset?
MaryAnn: I usually empty the fridge of perishables before a vacation, but keep a stash of Splendid Spoon soups in the freezer, so I know I have nourishing meals at the ready upon my return! You can also stock your freezer with berries and spinach to easily blend up a smoothie with almond milk and a high quality vegan protein powder.