Happy Thanksgiving, all! I hope you’re enjoying your Black Friday, in whatever manner you choose. This year, I slept late and then took advantage of Anthropologie’s 50% off cyber sale. I bought a sweater, a winter skirt, and a couple of layering tank tops. All while still wearing my pjs.
I’m sure many of you are traveling this week, and if not, you’re gearing up to travel for the upcoming wintry holidays. You’ll remember that I recently did my first weekend away since starting my new exercise and nutritional plan, and I was pretty anxious about it, especially the idea of being stranded in an airport with nothing healthy to eat. Imagine my surprise when I found this for breakfast:
I was pleased to find non-dairy yogurt options, and happy to find 100% juice options instead of the typical sugary 5% juice drinks. For the afternoon traveler, I spied a lot of vegetarian and vegan-friendly sandwiches and salads, and several lactose-free and wheat-free versions of typical travel food. The airport is getting hip to the times, folks. You just have to be willing to look for the healthier options!
I got off easy on Thanksgiving; we just drove about an hour outside of the city to stay with the fella’s parents. But for Christmas, we’re doing the full-blown, week-long travel, staying with my brother and sister-in-law down in Florida. So here are a couple of trips for traveling while on an alternative nutritional plan:
- Offer to cook a few meals. Explain to your hosts that you’re thrilled to be visiting and staying with them, and ask if they’d be willing to let you commandeer the kitchen for a few meals. If you’re cooking vegetarian for a carnivorous family, be sure to make something hearty and interesting, so they won’t miss the meat. For my family, a veggie chili will probably go over best, but a veggie stir fry is another good bet.
- Pack some of your own food. If your morning doesn’t start right without your particular brand of tea or granola, don’t leave it to chance that you’ll be able to find it wherever you’re traveling. Leave that extra pair of shoes at home and pack a little peace of mind in the form of some of your favorite snacks (but leave the liquids at home!).
- Don’t get defensive about your eating choices. If the family is whipping up steak and potatoes for dinner, and you opt to skip the meat in favor of a salad, don’t let Uncle Joe bait you into a heated argument about why you’re not eating the meat when you’ve eaten it every year prior. Calmly explain that you’ve made a couple of changes in your diet, you’re feeling fit and healthy, and you’d be happy to discuss calmly one on one after dinner.
- Stay strong! Deb and I briefly mentioned the temptations we try so hard to resist when we’re browsing a restaurant menu; it’s ten times harder when you’re trying to resist Mom’s homemade pie, or a cup of coffee with Grandpa. Before you indulge in these things, think through why you gave up refined sugar or caffeine in the first place. For me, I find that remembering those long, hard weeks of weaning myself off of caffeine is enough to make me ask for a cup of herbal tea instead.
- Take some alone time. Take your brother’s dog for a walk around the neighborhood, go for a run, or just spend some time in a quiet room in the house for a little bit of a recharge. No matter how much you love your family, the dynamics of a large group of people can leave you drained and irritated. Low moods are one of the triggers for a lot of us to start making unhealthy eating choices, so when you feel yourself starting to get a little snippy, excuse yourself for 20 or 30 minutes, take some deep breaths, and then wade back into the loving fray.
What do you all find helps you stay focused on your food and exercise goals while spending time with family?