Summer is upon us and now is the time where most of us will take some time off to recharge and reconnect with loved ones. It’s a wonderful time of year … the days are longer, and the evenings are warmer. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year where many people engage in excessive behavior when it comes to food and drink. You can hear it now, the ubiquitous phrase: ‘I’m on vacation’. Somehow this phrase is a license to drink too much, eat too much, and completely abuse our bodies. This mentality has gained steam with the onslaught of all-inclusive packages and cruising options that have emerged in the past 50 years.
This is exactly why diets don’t work…ever! If you’re on vacation, or it’s someone’s birthday or other celebration, you somehow give yourself ‘permission’ to completely abuse your body! The mindset is wrong and is completely unsustainable.
Once you determine you want a lifestyle change then your choices will start to reflect your new mindset. It won’t be so important to gorge on industrial food and drink while on an all-inclusive…perhaps taking daily hikes with planned food in a backpack becomes your new reality…?
My Recent Trip
I recently took 10 days to travel to Europe (France and Italy), and I found that staying true to my clean eating lifestyle was quite easy. Here are some of my tips:
- On the flight, I had a separate bag filled with my food (snacks, meals, powders etc.). BTW, TSA loves it when you have your food separated and you tell them while passing security. The airline is also very amenable to you bringing on your own food, even if it is in a large bag that is in addition to your carry-on.
- France is really into food and they just don’t put up with ‘crap’! Their industrial food at a truck stop looked like a healthy version of one of our ‘walk-ups’… definitely puts Chipotle to shame! Now, if that’s their truck stop food options, you can just imagine their sit-down restaurants. The food culture here is serious and they are very prideful of their heritage. It shows! I didn’t have a hard time finding the food at the level I was looking for. In fact, most things were beyond organic!
- Italy is also very prideful, but industrial food seemed to be more readily available than in France. Once again though, their low-level industrial food is comparable to our high-level industrial food. Basically their low level is just below our industrial organic. So, it was easy to search and find clean eating places since their culture supports sourcing from local farms and farmers. They are not using industrial oils because they love using olive oil or pasture butter from their local region. Here’s a cute conversation I had with a waiter/owner at an Italian industrial restaurant:
Me: What on the menu is organic?
Him: What does this mean … organic?
Me: No spray, no gmo’s, etc.
Him: Oh yes, from the garden … okay, I understand, yes, it’s from the garden. You can see our garden, right there!
Me: Awesome…how about the meat?
Him: I come from a family of butcher’s, my father, my grandfather, his father, they all tell me to order veal from the Netherlands, they say it’s the best, that’s what we have, I learned from them.
Me: Okay, I’ll have the veal with greens from the garden!
He didn’t know if it was pasture, or what the animal was fed because it doesn’t even occur to them that it wouldn’t be on pasture and they wouldn’t be feeding the animal its own diet. It’s so foreign to them, and that’s the status-quo here, no matter the restaurant!
What do you want to get out of your vacation and how will it impact you and your health goals? I was gone for 10 days, I’m back refreshed, no weight gain, and certainly no food inflammation! I was able to enjoy alcohol and regional foods, so no deprivation, just the clean eating versions of all my favorites! You can do it too. It just takes some planning and a mindset shift.
If you want to learn more about clean eating and how you too can make it a lifestyle then I recommend you take my course: Get Food Smart, Join My Tribe. It gives you all the information you need to finally make a lifestyle change to achieve lasting longevity.
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Great post! Good to know the TSA and airlines are ok with a food “stash”. My go-to travel meals are the Papa Steve’s bars you sell…great substitute when tired & tempted.
Love this! One of my favourite memories of Italy was in Praiano. They had these juicy, fantastic looking tomatoes everywhere. I asked for a tomato salad and the waiter promptly took one off the vine and came back 1 minute later with it cut and just a kiss of salt and olive oil. When the ingredient is pure you don’t need it much dressing up (disguising). Divine.