Last weekend, I took a little detour from my usual routine and went away with my childhood girlfriends.  Though we try to get together once a year, it’s not always easy organizing schedules since we all live in different cities and have our busy grown up lives to take into consideration.

As is the case with many sacred old friendships,  we always pick up right where we left off.  Here is a picture of us from a trip we took over 30 years ago that we recreated this past weekend. We had such a great time reliving old memories, catching up on new ones, and enjoying the freedom of being away together with no kids, spouses, or demands on our time.  Sooo relaxing and nothing beats a good laugh with old friends.

While nobody likes to feel too restricted when traveling, we know that going away (especially on a girls weekend) can put a wrinkle in the best of intentions.  Yes, there may have been a trip (or two!) to the frozen yogurt bar. . . but because I had a few strategies in place, I was able to enjoy myself without stressing about derailing my healthy eating plan.  Here are a few strategies I always employ when I am away:

  • Plan ahead. I rarely travel without my little cooler where I am able to pack up snacks for the car and hotel room.  I know that if too much time goes by and I get hungry, that would just set me up for eating things that drain me rather than fuel me. My friends found my snacks to be pretty good (they didn’t even complain about the organic sulfite free wine)! A few of the goodies I typically bring with me included nuts, seeds, apples, carrots and hummus, and  homemade granola bars.
  • Seek out local health store or food market. If you find yourself low on supplies from home, you can always pick up a few items at a local market such as hot cereal packets (Jane and I love Qia), fresh fruit, organic yogurt, hummus, and nut butters to keep in your room (some items would need refrigeration).
  • Stay hydrated.  I carried around my water with me all day and made sure I had water in my hotel room at night.  Loved the infused water available in the hotel lobby (I brought my own stainless steel reusable water bottle for refills).
  • Speak up at restaurants. I am pretty strict with sticking to gluten free.  It’s a non-negotiable for me because when I eat it I truly don’t feel well. And who wants to feel bad when everyone else around you is having fun.  I don’t find it so difficult now that so many restaurants understand what gluten is (as opposed to 15-20 years ago when I first started).  It just may take asking more questions of the wait staff or chef, but I’m not shy about it. This is just one example of how you can tailor your meal to how YOU like it. Ask for two veggies instead of one. Have them bring oil and vinegar to the table instead of their bottled salad dressing. Ask the waitress to leave the bread off the table so you are not tempted. See if they have a sweet potato to sub for a baked potato. Whatever your fancy, restaurants will often aim to please. See our “eating to please” article if you lack the confidence to ask for what you want.
  • Move.  Fortunately we had amazing weather and walked miles and miles which was great. If your time away doesn’t involve walking consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator, checking out the hotel gym or doing stretches in your room.

And most importantly: Remind yourself that nourishment does not just come from food. The main reason for my trip was to spend time with women I have been friends with for over 35 years. This truly nourishes me from the inside and out.

The weekend flew by and ended too quickly, but at least when Monday came I was able to get back on track with my typical fair. Phew!

Do you find yourself veering so far on vacation that you have a hard time getting back in the groove?  Any of your own tips that you would like to share?

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