I love traveling.
I love working out and pushing my body to get stronger.
I love eating fresh, colorful, nutritious foods. That taste delicious, of course.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t quite figured out how to balance those things. Yes, my travel living habits are definitely out of the ordinary and healthier than those of most 21 year olds, but I still sacrifice some of my usual habits, and it bothers me.
My trip to lapland was a student tour with 60+ people. We rarely had time for lunches. Rest stops on the long bus rides were at gas stations. We snacked on sugary candies from the ‘make your own’ mix stations at convenience stores. <– Yes, I did take part in this one. I decided not to be so uptight and ‘live a little’, but now I’m have trouble shaking the sugar cravings.
[note: this is definitely not everything I ate on the trip. almost all snacks (I had a ton of food packed from home, so I was set with healthy snacks) and a few meals went un pictured]
Breakfast day 1 – muesli with yogurt, egg, veggies, cheese. I went back for a few other things, but overall not a bad breakfast buffet. We barely had time for lunch this day. I snacked on some nuts and other food I brought along, but by the time 4pm rolled around I was ready to eat my arm off. After a trip to the grocery store I ate enough snacks to make up for my lack of food during the day. Newsflash: I am not a fun person to be around when I’m hungry.
My other midday snack – coffee & cake (fika!) in a tent on the dog sledding/ snow mobiling tour. I don’t turn down coffee and cake.
Dinner day 1. A group of 9 of us pooled some money for a communal dinner. Which was, of course, pasta. They made meat sauce, and some veggie sauce, but the meat eaters took most of the veggie sauce before I could get to it. We had salad, and I added chickpeas to my meal. I was pleased with this, except that I ate too much, too fast – and not long enough after my giant ‘snack’.
After dinner treats. I helped myself to some more chocolate cake (again, too good to pass up) and some of those cookies. I had a really hard time stopping myself when I was full, but I managed not to dwell on it for too long.
Breakfast days 2&3 – food brought from home. Protein chia oatmeal, raisins and pb. This will forever be one of my favorite ways to start a day.
And with coffee.
and more coffee.
I did manage to pace myself a bit with this bar – it lasted about 4 days. But that was on top of all the other sugary treats I consumed Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every last over-sweetened bite (not the chocolate, that was bitter goodness), but I definitely felt the effects of the sugar. Not so pleasant.
I think this is the only real salad I had during my whole stay there – from a grocery store. Salad bar = happy Rachel.
We had a campfire in a tent one night! We were given gluhewine and marshmallows, and brought our own things for grilling. Most people brought hot dogs. My lovely vegetarian friend and I decided to do our own thing – packets of marinated tofu and veggies!
Even our non-vegetarian friends thought this ‘dish’ was really good. And that it was. (excuse the half-eaten photo. it was really dark in the tent, and I had a hard time getting a good shot)
I also had about 10 too many marshmallows. I didn’t feel like I ate beyond fullness (probably because of lack of daytime eating), but again I felt the sugar effects. Roasted marshmallows taste so damn good, though!
This was an impulse buy. It’s something I really should have thought more about before spending the money on (granted it was only a couple of dollars), because I really didn’t need it. I love licorice, but this wasn’t helping the sugar-binge.
Another comforting, healthy meal. Spinach and a lentil mix from the grocery store, buckwheat I brought from home. Not gonna lie, I felt a little uncomfortable eating this while my peers feasted on more pasta. Why? I have no idea – it was a delicious meal that kept me full and satisfied. But something felt off.
Which leads my to my next thing – travel workouts. I brought my gym boss timer with me on this trip. There were at least 2/5 days I really wanted to bust out a HIIT interval workout in my hostel room. But for some reason, it just felt way too uncomfortable and weird. I felt awkward, but also I wanted to fit in, and didn’t want to make any of my peers feel bad that I was exercising. I don’t know if this is a truly rational thought, but that’s what was going through my head at the time. It was the same when I was in Copenhagen. I wanted to do a quick sweat session in the hostel, but felt way too weird.
I’m leaving on another trip tomorrow – to Paris for a week! I’m super excited – words cannot express how truly excited I am. I’m traveling alone, so the food anxieties won’t be an issue. Plus, it’s France – I plan to indulge in all the local fare – wine, cheese, bread, the works. And I’m going to love it.
But, a week of no higher intensity workouts (I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking) will make me stir crazy. My mood drops as well – I only realized this when I did a killer workout class the day I got back from Lapland. I instantly felt happier and much more confident. I’m not going to stress over working out every day on my trip, but I know how much better I feel when I get in a good sweat.
So, this leaves me asking *anyone* out there:
Does eating ‘strange’, healthy foods in front of others make you feel uncomfortable?
Any advice for how to indulge during travels without overdoing it?
How can I work out during group travels, when I don’t have a private hostel room?
Any other healthy travel advice you have to offer?
I would really love to hear from you. Or if you choose not to answer, do you have any healthy travel stories to share?
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm a 22 year old college student in New York City with a passion for staying fit, eating well, and exploring. I'm a born foodie, but like to share an occasional workout, travel, or eco living post. Thanks for stopping by! And feel free to email me at eatlearndiscover[at]gmail[dot]com.
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