3 Tips for Eating Intuitively on Vacation
A recent road trip through upper Michigan and Wisconsin had me feeling extra grateful for Intuitive Eating on vacation. This feeling of gratitude inspired me to open up and write a personal post for you today. It feels good to share parts of my Intuitive Eating journey, in hopes that it helps you along your journey. If you haven’t read my Intuitive Eating story, I recommend starting with this post, where I confess that I didn’t always have a healthy relationship with food.
Intuitive Eating on Vacation
I remember when food was a source of stress on vacation. The old me worried:
- Would I have access to a fridge?
- Where’s the nearest Whole Foods?
- When can I fit in my workouts to “make up” for all the extra calories?
These anxious thoughts prevented me from fully relaxing on vacation (which is the whole point of vacation, right?)
Now, with food freedom, going on vacation is 10x sweeter! Since I’m not constantly worried about food, I’m able to:
- Enjoy time with loved ones, feeling fully present.
- Try new foods, flavors, and local cuisine.
- Move because I want to, not because I have to.
If you struggle with eating while traveling, know that food freedom is possible! Here are 3 tips to help you eat intuitively on vacation.
3 Tips to Eat Intuitively on Vacation
Tip #1 | Pack your favorite snacks.
There’s nothing worse than getting HANGRY. Having a variety of snacks available while traveling is a simple way to honor your hunger and prevent “ravenous” hunger. On this trip, Ian and I had a few days of camping and hiking mapped out. I knew it’d be important for us to have a variety of snacks on hand for longer hikes and during the car ride. We had access to a cooler, which helped to keep some cold snacks on hand like hard-boiled eggs for protein, carrots, and homemade trail mix energy bites. In addition, we packed trail mix (with banana chips), a variety of protein bars, chips and salsa, and other random snacks to satisfy cravings. In my opinion, having extra snacks is better than being short on snacks!
Tip #2 | Practice unconditional permission to eat.
Vacation is a great time to practice giving yourself unconditional permission to eat all foods that sound appealing to you, at any time. What’s your reaction when you hear the words “unconditional permission” to eat? I can remember when this felt scary. I thought: if I give myself unconditional permission to eat, I’ll eat all the time or eat only “unhealthy” foods. Can you relate?
But a beautiful thing happens when we give ourselves unconditional permission to eat. Food loses its power over us and we stop feeling guilty around food. On this trip, I was able to enjoy smores made over the campfire, without feeling guilty. Even when I wasn’t necessarily hungry, I chose to eat the smores even if just because it sounded good to me. This came from a place of giving myself unconditional permission to eat.
The key takeaway: Food is more than just fuel. You don’t have to “justify” eating to anyone. Lean into the practice of giving yourself unconditional permission to eat with non-judgment and self-compassion. It’s an essential part of healing your relationship with food.
Tip #3 | Aim for satisfaction.
When you scan the menu at a restaurant, do you order what sounds best or do you order what you “should” get? Often, we’re influenced by external factors when making food choices. We feel tempted to order a salad because all our friends ordered one. To clarify, there’s nothing wrong with ordering a salad when that’s what you really want. But if you’re craving the burger and you order the salad, you’re left feeling unsatisfied and looking for something more to hit the spot. On vacation, or when dining out in general, ask yourself these questions to aim for satisfaction:
- What food sounds good to me?
- Am I craving something warm or cold?
- Do I want something lighter or denser?
These questions will help you tune into internal cues guiding food choices, versus external ones. When we eat what we want, it may take less food to feel both full and satisfied.
In Bayfield, Wisconsin, awaiting a ferry to Madeline Island, Ian and I stopped for a bite at a restaurant overlooking Lake Superior. Upon looking at the menu, my eyes immediately went to the fish tacos made with fresh whitefish. Sometimes the first item that stands out to us in an indicator of what we really want. I ate the fish tacos with fries and felt full and satisfied afterward.
Intuitive Eating Wins
Do you celebrate your Intuitive Eating wins? It’s important to celebrate your successes along the way. I do this with my 1:1 coaching clients at the start of each call.
As I reflect on my vacation, I celebrate these small moments:
- eating smores in the middle of the day
- feeling just fine going a few days without veggies
- enjoying a PB&J overlooking the lily pond
Furthermore, Intuitive Eating wins can encompass MORE than just food. As I reflect on this trip, I’ll also remember these quiet wins:
- listening to my body and stopping when my knee hurt on a hike
- adding stretching to my morning routine when my body craved it
- feeling more present in conversation over dinner since I wasn’t worried about food
I hope this vacation recap gave you a look into Intuitive Eating on vacation. For additional support incorporating any of these tips into your life, book a Free Nutrition Consultation Call with me here. I’m always here to support you!