Ever feel like all odds are against you when it comes to eating right? Our lives can become consumed by work functions, weekends out with family and friends, or exotic travels. These special occasions have a tendency to pull our focus away from treating our body right. But working hard and enjoying life need not conflict with healthy eating. In fact, work, play, and health should all co-exist as part of a balanced life. Nutrition mindfulness allows you to enjoy the best-tasting parts of your life.
Having a plan for travel or work functions lets you share in all the meals and activities without feeling bloated by the end of the day. Keep from feeling so ravenous that you lose control of what you're eating by having healthy snacks on hand. Fresh fruit, trail mix, nuts, or energy bars with whole, low-processed ingredients are easy to pack. Emily Hagan Lazaro, a busy mother and frequent traveler, has a healthy breakfast figured out the night before. Colleen Devlin, a consultant, says, “Many of my colleagues eat a salad for lunch every day when they're on the road. It's easy to find and a sure-fire way to get some greens into your diet every day.” Control meals by making calculated, healthy decisions so you can enjoy this next step.
Indulge in moderation.
Indulgence is a joyful part of a balanced life and possible as part of a healthy diet. The key is deciding which dishes are worth savoring and which are better skipped. When faced with a conference-style buffet or an all-inclusive resort, remember you don’t have to eat it just because it’s free! Business women Kristen Sprano and Christine Devlin share this solution for the busy work dinner: skip the bread, sub a salad for fries, and order tea for dessert. When on vacation, enjoy one new dessert, a world-renowned dish, or the local cocktail as part of satisfying meals and snacks. Save what doesn’t fit for a return visit (or bring non-perishables home to share with friends).
Do as the locals do.
Alli Jukiro, co-owner of Dobra Tea in Northampton, Massachusetts, shares great wisdom with her tip, “Eat the local foods.” Local foods taste better and give you a sense of the culture, while also helping support the local economy. Whether traveling near or far, research which local fare are your must-taste dishes. How do the locals enjoy these foods and how are they fitting these foods into their balanced lifestyle? For work events, choose restaurants with fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients.
Thanks to Katie Weisner, Stanford MBA business executive and foodie, for her strategy of daily exercise. You have the power to be active, even when you can’t control the food served. Plan excursions like water sports, bicycle tours, or a sightseeing walk when on vacation. When traveling, pack workout gear and hit the hotel gym, or try an at-home or in-room workout. Regardless of your schedule, you deserve at least 30 minutes of stress-relieving exercise every day!
Photo by California Bakery