Bikini Ready Tips: Healthy Swaps While Traveling

I'm off on vacation so I thought it would be the perfect time to get some tips from Kelly about my biggest struggle: eating healthy while traveling. I think a lot of people struggle with this. Vacation often means taking a vacation from your typical food and exercise regimens, but it doesn't have to be that way.

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Scroll down for a Q&A on how Kelly stays on track and also a little encouragement on when it's okay to splurge a bit:

1. There are so many junk food options at the airport, how do you resist the huge sugary Cinnabons and french fries calling your name?

I don’t eat airport food. The healthy food is iceberg lettuce with rubbery chicken and the fast food is too tempting. Growing up on CPK, Cinnabon, and McDonald's (yes it’s true!) means I remember what those foods taste like and they can be tempting. By choosing to bring a clean meal or eat right before the airport I walk directly to my gate without even considering it. I either save my food for the flight or dig in right before I board. The caveat would be if I know there is a healthy option through the gate, for example, terminal 5 at LAX now has a Lemonade. Grabbing a clean meal when it’s available is always easiest, however, there is no guarantee. Google your terminal before you go if bringing food proves to be difficult. You never want to buy a meal near the entrance and find a healthier option near your gate so do your research. Honestly, I always find myself stopping at a Whole Foods before heading to LAX is the best plan even if that means my Uber driver waits for me to run in. I would pay $4 extra dollars for a travel day of healthy options.

2. What are your favorite on-the-go travel snacks?

I will always choose a meal over snacks. After snacking all day I feel a little sick and never totally satisfied. That doesn’t mean I go unprepared, my go to flight snacks are hard boiled eggs, nut packs, almond butter packs with an apple or celery slices or packet of chocolate protein powder and a shaker bottle. I pack snacks for the trip not just my flight to ensure I have things to pack in my purse throughout the trip and my favorite snack bars are Primal Kitchen and Bulletproof!

3. What should you eat in the morning to give you enough energy to start a long day of traveling?

My breakfast on a travel day is the same as any other day; a veggie omelet with avocado or a #Fab4smoothie. You need the protein, a fat and fiber to hold you over between meals and keep your blood sugar balanced when you are on the move.

4. I would rather be out exploring than spending time at the hotel gym…what can I do to stay active while on vacation?

I totally agree! Traveling is an easy way to get moving. Use your iPhone Health App or Fitbit and keeping moving until you hit 10 thousand steps. A good tip is to map your first destination. If its 1-2 miles, get a long walk in post breakfast to start your day to see the city. Push yourself by taking the stairs and/or walking in the sand on the beach. If you are one for a really sweaty workout Yelp can help you find a class in the neighborhood where you are staying and if you use Class Pass you can change your city and use your membership when you are traveling.

5. How do I let myself indulge while on vacation without going overboard?

Vacation is for relaxing, recharging and enjoying the culture of a new place. If you are in Italy, taste the gelato. But does that mean you should get a double and taste it every day? Vacation isn’t vacation when you come home bloated and heavier than when you left. That is just more work when you get home. I love to enjoy wine on vacation and for me, that is my indulgence. It's sugar and if we share a bottle that might mean I am having two glasses. On drinking days, I don’t order the lattes, gelato or desserts. I enjoy the savory culture of the country and choose to enjoy the wine. If it's a gelato day, I am not drinking. It's about making the right choices without denying yourself, just remember you are already having more fun than any normal day at home.

6. What are some go-to healthy options when eating out?

Dinners are easy, I always choose proteins from the main menu. I opt for fish near the ocean or red meat if you are in Europe or Central America because the animals are raised in naturally organic settings. At lunch, choose a vegetable-rich salad to get in healthy fiber and help ensure you are still “going” on vacation. A salad isn’t complete without healthy fat, look for avocado, nuts, and clean dressings to help make lunch last. Breakfast is a toss up, I pack protein powders so sometimes it is an espresso and a simple shake. Other times, I enjoy eggs from the hotel buffet but it all depends on how late I ate dinner, if the buffet looks fresh and what we have planned for lunch.

7. What are the best airline food options? Drinks?

I drink water or sparkling water with lemon/lime on flights. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine on flights is a good idea, the altitude and recycled air is already very dehydrating you don’t want to add fuel to the fire. Depending on the length of the flight, I also like to use the flight as a scheduled intermittent fast. Just a few hours without food is a great way to surge your metabolism and start the process of getting back to your normal eating habits. Besides, most of the time people eat on a plane out of boredom.

Alright. Back to vacay! Stay tuned for more tips from Kelly on both my blog and Kelly’s, Be Well By KellyFor the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes and tips to help you get ready for bikini season…post-baby or not! 

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.