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Between juggling vacations, kids’ camps, work, and family time, summers can be hectic and are often different from your typical routine. When our schedules change, it can sometimes feel challenging to keep up with your normal healthy habits. And those changes can really throw our gut for a loop.
Have you ever noticed when you go on vacation that you won’t poop for a couple days?
Yup, the stress and change of travel can really cause your gut to get a little wonky. So to keep your gut happy while you are on the go this summer use these simple tips.
Planning ahead can be the key to feeling your best while on the go.
When you are prepared you are less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks that don’t agree with your stomach. Plus, convenience foods and restaurant meals can leave you feeling foggy, bloated, overstuffed, or unsatisfied.
Plan ahead by keeping healthy snacks on hand. See the list below for ideas of both make ahead and prepackaged options. My go-to’s are: energy bites, some type of bar, and fruit.
If possible, pack a lunch box or cooler filled with mini-meals and snacks you could munch on while you are out and about, traveling, or at the beach.
Have a few easy-to-prepare meals in mind that you can throw together in a flash. When you do have time to cook, this will make mealtime a breeze. Think DIY veggie pizza or taco night,, spaghetti squash and meatballs, or anything in the Instant Pot. Make extras to enjoy as leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
Look at your week ahead. Which days will be busiest? How can you incorporate healthy food and activity into these days?
When going out to eat look ahead at the menu to find foods that agree with your gut so when you get there you know exactly what to order. (Not sure what foods agree with your gut? This is what I help you uncover in my 90 day gut reset).
Pack Healthy Snacks
When you’re busy and on the go, it’s possible you may not know the next time you will be able to eat a meal. Instead of skipping lunch (which can make your stomach symptoms feel worse), leave the house prepared with healthy snacks. Pack easily portable foods that travel well for the car, plane, or in your purse.
Packing healthy options will leave you feeling your best and will keep you satisfied for longer. Consider including a source of protein, fiber, or fat for a more satisfying snack.
Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers are made with just whole food ingredients, nothing artificial. These crackers are powered with a nut and seed flour blend as the base and are a good source of fat, fiber, and protein. Depending on the flavor, these crackers offer 8-9 grams of healthy fat, 3-4 grams of protein, and 2 grams of filling dietary fiber. Thank you Simple Mills for sending me the Almond Flour crackers to try!
You can take your snack up a notch by using the crackers as the base of your own gut friendly trail mix. In a reusable bag throw in your crackers, your favorite nut for some crunch and protein, and a few chocolate chips or some dried fruit to add it a little something sweet.
Choose Quality Ingredients
Many prepared foods can be high in sugar, salt, and processed ingredients, but it is not always realistic to prepare every meal from scratch. Looking for simple, whole food ingredients is really important when you have digestion concerns like gas, bloating, or urgency. For one, simple ingredients minimizes the chances your stomach will dislike one of the ingredients. Secondly, when you know your food sensitivities (like when you go through my 90 day gut reset) you are able to quickly identify what snacks do or don’t work for your gut.
When choosing packaged foods be sure to always check the ingredient list.
Simple, whole food ingredients that you can pronounce
Products with nutrient-dense fats
At least 2 grams of fiber
Sugar content– the less sugar, the better!
No artificial sweeteners or hydrogenated oils
Traveling, especially by plane, or being out and about in the summer heat, can leave you feeling dehydrated. I preach about water all the time but especially in summer it’s important to stay hydrated when you are in the sun and/or sweating.
Fill a reusable water bottle and bring it with you whether you are on vacation or running errands. Staying hydrated can keep your skin soft and healthy, your energy up, keep headaches at bay, and your bowels moving.
If you aren’t a huge fan of water then try a flavored water. Add fruit like oranges and blueberries (or really any fruit) to your water so it gets infused with the flavor. Plus it makes your drink look extra pretty and you’ll feel fancy and hydrated.
Don’t forget to move!
By incorporating healthy habits into your vacation or busy summer schedule you won’t feel like you need a total reset once Labor Day arrives.
Squeeze a little movement into your day whenever you can. It may look a little different than your typical routine and that’s okay! Go for a jog around the block, take a walk outside, or sneak in a few sets of lunges and crunches in your hotel room.
Enjoy the sunshine and longer days by getting outside! Choose fun activities with friends and family that incorporate movement in your day.
How do you stay healthy while on the go or on vacation?
Healthy Snacks to Eat On The Go
Muffins don’t require refrigeration and can offer a good source of filling fiber. Carbohydrates provide a quick source of energy and fiber helps the energy last. Try these Paleo Morning Glory Muffins. Prep a big batch ahead of time and store in the freezer. You can take one or two with you during the day and they will defrost naturally in the warm summer air.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Many fresh fruits and veggies don’t require refrigeration. Cherry tomatoes taste great this time of year. Baby carrots, sliced peppers, and even a tupperware of salad can travel well. Be sure to pack the dressing on the side so you don’t end up with a mushy salad.
Making your own trail mix is a great way to incorporate satisfying, healthy ingredients into an on the go snack. Try this Spicy Maple Cheddar Snack Mix recipe.
Homemade Bars or Energy Bites
This recipe for Blueberry Banana Breakfast bars uses Simple Mills Banana Muffin mix and comes together in just 30 minutes. It’s the perfect meal prep recipe to make your on the go breakfast a breeze!
Amanda is a pizza loving registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in mindfulness and gut health. She quickly realized that gut health goes beyond the gut; it is also about honoring our gut feelings. She is the creator of The Mindful Gut™ which uses science and strategy to help people improve their gut health.