6 healthy travel tips for maintaining balance while on vacation
if you follow me on social media, you may have picked up on the fact that i have a very exciting trip coming up this week. if you haven’t, i’ll cut right to the chase: on friday i’m off to the land down under for two weeks…. ahhhhhh!!!
this is a trip i have been dreaming about for essentially my whole life, only it’s extra special because i’ll be spending the first leg of the trip in broome [which is in western australia] to watch one of my dearest friends tie the knot! it all seems really surreal and i don’t think it’s even hit me that this is actually happening just yet!
the only thing i’m more obsessed with than health and wellness… okay, and yoga… is traveling. i’ve had the wanderlust bug ever since i first found out that traveling was a thing and that there are so many places in the world to see and experience. traveling is the best way to learn, not only about other cultures, but about ourselves, too. we all know that i’m all about balance, treating yourself and saying “no” every once in a while, but sometimes i think we use being on vacation as an excuse to throw caution to the wind and really get all sorts of out of whack. which is totally fine if you’re okay with that, but personally, i find that coming down from the vacation high and re-entering the real world is only that much sh*ttier when i also physically feel like total garbage.
i’ve done a little bit of traveling in the past couple of years and along the way i’ve picked up on some key ways to stay healthy while still 100% immersing myself in the local culture, cuisine and lifestyle of wherever i happen to be. here are 6 healthy travel tips to help you maintain balance [and still have the best effing time ever] while on vacation.
1. pack healthy snacks. i’m a foodie and one of my favorite things about traveling is getting to try the local cuisine, but i still remain mindful of the fact that my body does not appreciate it when i load up on foods it’s not used to. i’ve started packing my own snacks, not only for the plane, but to snack on throughout the course of the day during my trip, as well. it’s super easy to throw raw seeds and nuts, snack bars [i love the new glo bars from raw revolution], some dark chocolate, tea and fresh fruit into my carry-on before i head to the airport. this helps me avoid having to waste time searching for healthy snack options or eat something i wouldn’t normally eat just to satisfy my hunger [and plane food… woof].
2. find ways to move. while most hotels have fitness centers, this is not always an option, especially if you’re taking the hostel or airbnb route when traveling. and even if you do have access to a gym, not everyone wants to spend time indoors on a treadmill while visiting a new and exciting place. an easy way to move while on vacation is to book some excursions that involve being active. hiking, snorkeling, biking, surfing, paddle boarding and skiing are just a few examples and depending on where you’re headed, you might find yourself with endless options. you can also throw a jump rope in your suitcase for a quick and easy cardio option or bring a travel mat with you and check out a local yoga studio [obviously i’ll be doing this in oz]!
3. explore on foot. this one kind of goes hand-in-hand with numéro dos. one of the best ways to see a new city is to walk it. you get a much better feel for the energy of a place when you wander to and from tourist sites, through parks, in and out of shops and down small, hidden alleyways than you do taking cabs or public transportation everywhere. get your hands on a map and head out of your hotel in the morning with a general plan in mind and see where the sidewalks take you!
4. stay hydrated. okay, so i’m pretty sure that every list of tips I’ve ever compiled here includes drinking water, but that’s because it’s that effing important. staying hydrated does wonders for our entire system and there is no such thing as too much water. i travel with a vapur everywhere i go because they’re lightweight and roll up when empty to save space. do yourself a favor and invest in one of these babies before your next trip and keep it with you at all times.
5. stick to your usual meal schedule. eat whatever the eff you want. like i said before, traveling is not traveling without experiencing the local cuisine, but what i mean by this is that you should try to stay on your regular eating schedule as much as possible. eat breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same times you normally would. this way, even if your body is not used to some of the things you might be eating, it’s on a schedule it’s used to and will continue to metabolize your meals optimally.
6. sleep. it can be quite tempting to get up early to explore, be out and about all day and then go out out to party like the locals do in the evenings… which you definitely should do! just try not to do this every. single. night. and make sure that you have some room for sleeping in the next day if you do plan on pulling a “4am-er”. sleep is super important to your overall health and wellness for many reasons, and this is no different when you’re on vacation!
**bonus tip: pack the perfect carry-on for the most healthy, relaxing and enjoyable experience possible on those long flights!**
there you have it! implement these things into your next vacation and i guarantee the post-vacation blues will be a little less severe, getting back to your routine will be easier and you’ll be feeling like yourself again in no time!
p.s. if anyone has any recommendations for places to go, things to do, food to eat, alcohol to drink, etc. in broome, cairns, brisbane, north stradbroke island or sydney please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
what i ate wednesday: l.a. edition
from the minute i booked my birthday trip to l.a. back in january, i’ve been researching restaurants and mapping out my meals. i find myself planning weekend trips and full vacations around where and what i’ll be eating [and drinking!] more than what tourist spots and sightseeing i want to do… i guess that means i’m officially a “foodie”?
if that’s the case, l.a. is definitely a great city for foodies and even more so, a great city for health conscious foodies. while i’m all about balance and believe in letting yourself go all out, especially when you’re in a new place or celebrating a special occasion, i have to say that i didn’t really feel like i was overdoing it at any point, simply because 90% of the meals i ate were vegan… and i didn’t even have to try! here’s a round up of the places i ate and most importantly, what i ate.
breakfast at rawvolution:
this little café in santa monica is 100% raw and organic. i had the probiotic coconut yogurt with berries, a little agave and bee pollen with a hot cup of organic coffee after a yoga class. great food, really great service [as with just about every place in l.a., the people are so nice!] and very eco-chic environment.
lunch at kreation kafé:
this place was #soLA i could have died. i met up with a friend here for lunch and we sat outside on the patio [duh]. the vibe was great, the service was also great [again, you’ll notice a pattern in l.a. with this] and they serve your water with chlorophyll in it. yea, right up my alley. i had the hummus garden salad and a green juice [naturally]. kreation kafé has multiple locations in the l.a. area and also happens to have a full juice bar/cleanse line, so they kinda kill two birds with one stone here.
pre-dinner drinks at nobu malibu:
no explanation needed.
dinner at malibu farm:
the pictures are a little dark because we were seated outside, but this was one of the best meals i had on this trip for a few reasons. let’s just state the obvious first: malibu. now, more specifically, this place is located at the end of the malibu pier… outdoor seating, cute decor, big fleece blankets to stay warm with on those chilly southern california nights… you see what i’m saying right? second, all the food is fresh, organic, sourced locally and doesn’t contain any sh*tty ingredients. simply prepared, but so. effing. good. we started with the cauliflower pizza [and wine, duh] and i had the vegan coconut entrée [tofu, veggies, wild rice and coconut sauce].
brunch at gracias madre:
plant-based mexican food. again… do i really need to elaborate? easily my favorite meal of the weekend. first of all, just look at those drinks. now take those, add some chips and guac, vegan cauliflower and mushroom tacos with black bean sauce and cashew cream, and then wrap it all up with a fudge brownie topped with salted mezcal caramel, cashew coconut whipped cream, and coconut bacon… PINCH ME, I MUST BE DREAMING. amazing ambience with an outdoor patio, the best service ever, and bangin’ food. don’t be scared away by the whole “plant-based” thing if you’re not really into that. i promise you won’t even be able to tell the difference.
dinner at sur:
if you’re a bravo fan, you’ll know that we really just ate here more for the novelty factor than anything else. i’m a huge fan of the real housewives of beverly hills [no shame, everyone’s allowed a guilty pleasure] so i felt like not eating here wasn’t an option… and i really wanted to meet giggy. the food was fine, but a little pricey and the portions were pretty small. i had the fried goat cheese balls and the endive salad with gorgonzola cheese and pears [and a cucumber cocktail]. no signs of giggy or lisa… soooo like… did we really even eat at sur?
ice cream at kippy’s:
coconut ice cream [i tried a combination of the cinnamon and date flavors] with a coconut-based chocolate shell and coconut-based caramel syrup. yup.
lunch at true food kitchen:
so, at this point you can probably see what i meant when i said how effortless it is to remain conscious of what you are eating in l.a. i had the “tlt” – tempeh, lettuce, and tomato – sandwich with avocado and two sides [kale salad and sweet potato hash] and the kale-aid green juice… really effing good.
birthday donuts! from dk’s donuts:
finally, my friends surprised me on the morning of my birthday with these babies [and “21” candles, because i’m 21 and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise]. i’ve never seen donuts quite like this before – literally sliced in half and assembled with fillings like sandwiches. one was strawberry shortcake and one was strawberry nutella. yea, i’m done here.
so, my final thoughts are:
must-eat: gracias madre
must-drink: nobu malibu
honorable mention: malibu farm + dk’s donuts
your turn! tell me all of your favorite l.a. spots! my list has grown to 50+ restaurants/bars/cafés… so i have a lot of work to do, but always want more recommendations!
what i ate wednesday: boston + chatham edition
as i mentioned yesterday, i was in boston over the weekend visiting a friend, and what would a weekend getaway be without checking out some local spots for amazing food and a what i ate wednesday recap? not a getaway i’m interested in taking, that’s for sure!
saturday morning, we went for a run down near the harbor, grabbed breakfast, and drove down to the cape for the afternoon, specifically, to the town of chatham, which was like… storybook perfection. it was such a gorgeous day, and even though it was a little windy and chilly, we still took advantage of the sun and spent most of the day outside… and eating. this post is a little more cape heavy, but it’s all relevant [i think]!
smoothies + juices at the juice box:
we hit this cute little juice bar in south boston post-run and i went with the green glow smoothie. they also have breakfast bowls and cleanses available… and a trail mix bar!
flavored coffee at marylou’s:
we stopped for coffee at marylou’s, a massachusetts/rhode island staple, on our way down to the cape. Normally flavored coffee is not something i would ever entertain [sugars, syrups, etc. = major yuck factor] but instead of flavoring the coffee with the sh*t they use at most coffee shops, marylou’s infuses the beans with flavor so you avoid all of those terrible additives. i had a really hard time deciding what to get, but i ended up with an iced mocha mint coffee with a splash of almond milk. you can guess how it was.
afternoon cocktails at chatham bars inn:
we arrived in chatham and immediately went to the chatham bars inn for a drink. the raspberry lemonade [pictured here] was perfect – refreshing, but not too sweet – and i think the view made this even more enjoyable. cocktails + adirondack chairs + the beach + the sun = pure happiness.
lunch [+ beers] at the squire:
the squire is your typical dive bar with walls covered in snarky license plates from all over the country. they serve pub-fare with an emphasis on seafood [this is cape cod, after all] and if you’re into that sorta thing, you should definitely check this place out. as a vegetarian, i went with the black bean veggie burger served with a side of fries and coleslaw. naturally, i washed it down with the cape cod i.p.a. they had on tap. #foodcoma
brunch at anthony’s café:
finally, on Sunday morning, we had a quick [hungover] brunch at anthony’s café. this place is pretty old school: cash only, walk right up to the counter, order, take a seat [inside or outside] and they bring you your food… served on paper plates. i had the three egg omelette with spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese, served with a side of whole wheat toast and home fries. the picture does not do it justice [i was too busy inhaling my meal to get a good shot], but i guarantee you will understand why this place is a neighborhood staple if you try it out for yourself.
must-eat: anthony’s café
honorable mention: chatham bars inn
what are your favorite boston spots?! share in the comments below!
what i ate wednesday: philly edition
when i’m planning a trip, whether it’s a full-fledged vacation or weekend getaway, i would say about 75% of the things i end up putting on my to-do lists are related to food and drink. making sure to try a famous local/national dish, experiencing a popular restaurant that’s famous for x-y-z, enjoying coffee, wine or beer that is specific to the city or region i am in and of course, finding the hidden gems that are go-to spots for the locals.
i spent last weekend in philly, which you might have seen on instagram, and naturally spent a decent portion of the weekend checking out some places that came highly recommend by friends, and investigating a few spots that caught my eye on social media [one of the many ways i put instagram to use]. i did what i ate wednesday recaps for my last eurotrip and my weekend in south beach, so i figured why no continue this tradition and fill you guys in on some incredible philly eats.
dinner at cuba libre:
firtst and foremost: the cocktail list was massive and had some really unique libations [we opted for the pineapple-basil, and mint, ginger and honey caipirinhas] which is always a nice starting point. we shared the yucca fries, and spinach and manchengo buñuelos as appetizers… definitely opt for the latter here… and the vegetable paella [pictured] as our main course. i love when a vegetarian friendly paella is offered… you really don’t see this much! also, the vibe here is great. you really feel like you are sitting outside under palm trees and street lamps in havana… or at least that’s what i imagine it would be like to be sitting outside under palm trees and street lamps in havana!
ice cream at franklin fountain:
the moment you set foot in this ice cream shop you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. the décor is all vintage, the employees dress the part and the ice cream is unbelievable. they have an extensive menu of sundaes, milkshakes, and floats, but since i didn’t really feel like going into a food coma at 2pm on a saturday afternoon, i opted for a good old-fashioned two-scooper in a cup: one scoop chocolate and one scoop whirly berly [chocolate with salted caramel swirls and cocoa nibs.. yea]. two scoops was probably much more than i needed but i polished that sucker off anyway. #yolo
beer flights at 2nd story brewing company:
flights… because why limit yourself to only one… or two… or three… beers? they had eight signature brews on tap, so how perfect was the option for two flights [four beers each] so we could give each one a try? they had a few different stouts and an i.p.a., but my personal favorite was the fritzie’s lager… i ordered a draft of this and in my mind i was transported right back to oktoberfest.
brunch at hawthorne’s:
what would a weekend getaway be without a brunch stop? not my kinda weekend getaway, that’s what! sunday morning we headed to hawthorne’s and expected a long wait, but were seated immediately [it probably helped that we arrived at 11am, before the brunch crowd]. they have a full, help yourself style “beer boutique” here, but i opted for mimosaw instead. they serve them “deconstructed” with your own little mini-bottle of champagne, so you know they aren’t skimping on the bubbly. the menu was amazing and making a decision was truly a challenge, but the bananas foster waffle really hit the spot. i sampled a bite of the funnel cake french toast and this would have been another great option. you really can’t go wrong here.
i don’t have pictures from a few of the other places we stopped, but reading terminal market is definitely worth checking out. there are basically 1,000 options here and it’s mostly grab-and-go/bakery/deli style places, so it’s a good place for a casual and inexpensive lunch. we had dinner at continental mid-town on saturday night and while i was super confused by the menu when i first glanced at it, i wasn’t disappointed at all. it’s all tapas/shared style dishes and the eclectic variety of cuisines is almost as awesome as the ambience and décor.
so, to sum it all up, when it comes to philly [based on this trip]:
must eat: hawthorne’s
must drink: cuba libre
honorable mention: franklin fountain
what i ate wednesday: south beach edition
one thing that i really love about miami [aside from the obvious] is the food. you might not realize it [i definitely didn’t before], but there are so many amazing and unique places to eat in south beach. i’ve heard the same is true for miami proper, but i’ve never been there, so i can’t personally speak to that, but here is a what i ate wednesday recap of some of the best things i ate this past weekend.
breakfast at juice + java:
this is easily one of my favorite spots in south beach. it’s located within walking distance from where we stayed and they have an amazing selection of fresh, healthy options [including a lengthy juice/smoothie menu]. i started the day out with the “hangover remedy” juice [apple, lemon + ginger… which i later added vodka to and enjoyed poolside] and veggie eggs [tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach + cheese] with some avocado and pita bread on the side… and an iced coffee… because duh.
tacos + margartias at huahua’s:
this. place. was. amazing. i think i could subside on only tacos for the rest of my life if i had to. it’s a really low-key, grab-and-go style restaurant, but definitely worth hitting up if you’re ever in south beach. i had the hongos magicos taco [charred portobello mushrooms, grilled veggies, + spicy tofu crema] and the guaco taco [grilled veggies, fried avocado + spicy tofu crema]. no words. and also a margarita… because margaritas are my favorite.
dinner + sake bombs at fung ku:
we did a lot of sake bombs here, so i was a little distracted/drunk and not focusing so much on the food, but the pad thai with veggies was pretty good.
cocktails at the w hotel living room bar:
the cocktails at the w hotel’s living room bar are on a whole other level. while they aren’t cheap by any means, the atmosphere and the unique drinks on the menu make it totally worth it. i had the siddhartha [pictured; a mix of vodka, gin, lemongrass + coconut milk] and also tried the cucumber collins.
breakfast at maxine’s:
i’ve eaten at this restaurant more times than i would like to admit, but this was the first time i tried their breakfast. i’m a sucker for poached eggs, and the shashuka had a little kick to it and was nice and light for starting the day with!
cold-pressed green juice from juicee:
they had these green juices available at our hotel which was literally a godsend. the green lover was perfect… fruity and refreshing, great for detoxing the morning after a night out!
basically everything at naked taco:
okay. i saved the best for last and i wish i had more pictures from naked taco because the food here was just totally out of control. upon arrival, we were told there would be a small wait and to make up for it were going to be offered free champagne at the bar while we waited… so basically they immediately won me over. the menu is incredible. they really play with the “naked” theme well. their slogan is “the best taco you ever ate out” so that along with cheeky additions to the menu such as the option to “get wet!” and the prompt to “ask about our rim jobs!” you can get a feel for the atmosphere of this place, which i personally thought was really fun. we had pitchers of margaritas, guac and chips, queso dip and nachos to start with… and i ate a big fat veggie burrito [pictured above] and obviously chose the options to “get wet” a.k.a. smother the damn thing in sauces, extra cheese and sour cream. need i say more?
to conclude this edition of what i ate wednesday, if you find yourself in south beach anytime soon, the must-eat/must-drink places are as follows:
must-eat: naked taco
must-drink: w hotel living room bar
honorable mention: juice + java
what i ate wednesday: eurotrip edition
if you follow me on instagram [and if you don’t, what are you actually doing?], you probably already have a little bit of insight into what my diet looked like while i was in europe. basically, for 10 days straight, my diet consisted primarily of beer, some type of carbohydrates, heavy cream, and cakes or pastries. i was able to sneak in a few salads here and there and yogurt with muesli is pretty much everywhere for breakfast, but fresh fruits and veggies are few and far between. i wasn’t even in countries that really understand the concept of vegetarianism, but thankfully, most restaurants had at least one vegetarian option on the menu. i want to recap all of my european adventures here on the blog, so i thought i would start off with some of the most epic things i ate while in germany, hungary and austria and do a what i ate wednesday post. and please don’t judge me based on what you are about to see! it’s all about balance and enjoying life, not perfection, remember?!
münich: bier, brezn, repeat
i’m not sure if any of you have ever been to oktoberfest before, but woah. what a crazy couple of days. i don’t think i have ever consumed as much beer in one weekend as i did at oktoberfest. the picture below pretty much sums up what i ate/drank all day, e’ry day while we were in münich celebrating oktoberfest. the beer [served only by the liter] is so good, and a little stronger than American beer, which can definitely be a recipe for disaster, and the pretzels or “brezn” are just out of this world. crispy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside with just the right amount of salt. they really put those sh*tty new york city street pretzels to shame.
there is one traditional german dish, spätzl, that is not only vegetarian friendly, but just so happens to be smothered in cheese, so this clearly has “kelsey” written all over it. spätzl is basically a small dumpling-like egg noodle that is extremely hard to describe, but so, so good. if you’re ever in a country where this is a specialty, you absolutely have to try it.
budapest: desserts, desserts, + sugar soaked cucumbers
budapest is easily one of the most beautiful cities i have ever been to. the views, the architecture, the river… everything is so picture perfect. throw in some seriously epic desserts and i’ve found one of my favorite european cities yet. below is a plum pie served with a side of vanilla ice cream and yes! a fruit garnish! the crust of this pie was unlike anything i have ever had and the plum filling… just, wow.
another highlight of my dessert tour of budapest was this hungarian specialty, a nut pastry with sabayon, a very light, whipped custard.
on the non-dessert side of the spectrum, nearly every restaurant we ate at served some variation of a traditional hungarian cucumber salad… cucumbers soaked in vinegar and sugar, and then covered in sour cream and paprika… and i ordered this at almost every meal. i plan on playing around with this and giving it a healthy spin, so keep an eye out for a recipe soon!
vienna: carbs + cakes
we were only in vienna for a day and a half, so we just had time for one truly traditional viennese meal. for our last meal of vacation, we went to café central based on a recommendation from a friend and really just went h.a.m. café central is famous for their desserts [with very good reason], but their dinner menu was fantastic, as well. we had a few bottles of wine with dinner [note the wine stained tablecloth below… oops!] and i had a salad [small victory!] with traditional square viennese noodles.
for dessert, we all had something different so that we could all try a little bit of each other’s selection for the full experience. i ordered a raspberry-yogurt-poppy seed cake which was very unique… i don’t think i’ve see a cake like this anywhere else… and it was awesome. i also sampled two different chocolate cakes and a mousse-filled chocolate dome. let’s just say that café central lived up to their reputation.
as fun as it is to try new foods and indulge in the local cuisine in new places, by the end of the trip i was dying to just eat a salad and drink a green juice. you better believe that i have done both of these things every day since i’ve been home. i’m definitely feeling the side effects of all of the alcohol, sugar, and white carbohydrates, but it was so worth it and i’m confident that i’ll be back to feeling normal within the next day or so… it’s only wednesday and i already notice a difference!
what are some of your favorite food-centric cities? have you found an international dish that you just can’t get enough of? i would love any recommendations… i never know when my travels will be taking me next!
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