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4 tips to eating clean when traveling

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August is that month when we try to take in as much sun and fun as we can. Nothing speaks summer more than getting together with friends and family, driving to the cottage country, or beach play time. But it can get overwhelming and all that hard work in the gym may be at stake in just days. Eating clean while enjoying the gorgeous summer days can be easier with these four tips.

#1 Plan Ahead
Things can stay under control when you arrive at your destination prepared. Many studies have proven that preparation is key when we talk overindulgence and diet commitments. I like to create a shopping list and a menu. This helps me stay on track and buy only what I need in order to maintain my regimen when I'm away from home, because let's face it, if you don't have healthy options you are more likely to reach out for some of the unhealthy options around. Have your ice packs and cooler ready the night before. Know ahead of time what you will need and avoid buying everything last minute. Last minute shopping, just like shopping when hungry, may lead to overspending and you are less likely to stick to the healthier choices.

#2 Packaging and Portion Control
Whether you are a fitness fanatic or starting on a new health journey you know that overindulging comes with consequences. For me, it is in my energy levels the next day and I can see the immediate changes in my body composition as well. Im not suggesting you should not allow yourself the foods you want, but having all your snacks like nuts and seeds, nut butters, and hummus measured and pre-packaged will keep you from over indulging. You can also buy portion sized hummus, nuts, and dried fruit.

#3 Think Outside the Box
Ditch the chips and cookies because you know that most people will show up with all that "goodness". Instead, go bold and have fun; for ideas check out my Pinterest or Instgram below. Bring some roasted seaweed, make or buy some kale chips, and pack some sweet potato for grilling. Bring bananas, pineapples, apples, peaches, and blueberries. Bananas, apples, and pineapples can also be used to create a healthy dessert later in the day when your sweet tooth awakens. You can also buy fruit chips, but make sure they are as natural as possible; many use unneeded sugars and preservatives. For bananas, keeping the peel on, simply slice lengthwise and place on the barbeque. My favourite snack is hummus and veggies. It is light and easy to prepare and to store in your cooler. I like to experiment with most fruits and veggies and try to keep store packaged food at a minimum. Get out of your comfort zone and surprise your friends with some healthy goodness. Make it fun and exciting, but most importantly make it to your liking.

#4 Have Fun with the Water
Water is important for your health and yet overlooked when it comes to vacations and spare time. Pack some good quality water to save you from overeating and overindulging in all those summer drinks and snacks. I like to bring sparkling water everywhere I go whenever possible. I like to add mint leaves, lemons, cucumber slices, blueberries, and strawberries to make my water fun and entertaining. I tend to get picky sometimes and when that happens my glass water bottle comes with me. How can you crave water when it comes in plastic water bottles? It's unappealing and toxic to the environment. If you are concerned with safety, buy plastic water bottles that are safe and easy to use.

Let's face it, advice is great but when it comes to the actual situation in real life more than often we find ourselves stuck. If that is you- don't panic. Instead stay focused and in control. Go on a compromise with your mind and allow yourself to indulge just enough to give you that instant gratification. Stay active and burn some calories off while at it. Develop a strategy that works for you and soon enough this process will become easy and when it is easy it will become a habit. You can still play, why not play safe?

Enjoy your way to great health.

Tatiana Vicol
Holistic Nutritionist Student Practitioner