Without the daily restraints and stress of busy work/life schedules, time spent on holiday allows us the freedom to get outside, reset sleeping habits, spend quality time with friends and family and try new and exciting foods.
We’ve explored which holiday habits we should bring home with us (and which one we should leave on the beach). From keeping your gut healthy to taking time to explore the great outdoors, here are some holiday habits to continue long after you arrive back home.
Have the right kind of travel bug- look after your gut
Travelling, different foods and irregular mealtimes can wreak havoc on your digestive system. You are what you eat- or more accurately you are what you feed the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut. 80% of the entire immune system is housed here, and these organisms create a micro-ecosystem: the microbiome, which plays a very important role in your health. The healthier your microbiome, the healthier you are, so it’s important to nurture your microbiome before, during, and after your holiday to avoid getting sick.
To maintain optimal health, it’s essential to incorporate both probiotics and prebiotics into your diet to keep your gut, and consequently the rest of your body, in balance. The most common probiotic is yoghurt, but other bacteria-fermented probiotic foods include kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha. Prebiotics are fertilisers for the gut. Foods rich in complex carbs, fibre and resistant starch, including bananas, legumes, oats, berries, asparagus and onions are all great prebiotic foods.
‘Are we there yet?’
Travel is a necessary, but sometimes tiresome, part of getting away. Being ready with a few handy snacks means you are prepared for delays, avoiding poor and expensive choices at service stations or airports, and boosting your nutrition en-route. Why not continue this habit when you get home?
At Balance Box, we say it’s important to snack well. Often, boredom can drive us to snack, so make sure you incorporate fresh flavours and crunchy textures to keep your taste buds tickled. Try raw carrot batons, celery with hummus, or fresh fruit. We’ve created a range of healthy snacks which complement our meal plans, all of which are calorie counted, healthy, and delicious.
Sunny weather and empty days mean that we can spend much more time exploring the great outdoors when we are on holiday. From walking around the place you’re visiting, to taking a hike, or swimming in the pool, all physical activity outdoors is great to get you moving. Studies show that being outdoors may help fight off and/or lower depression and anxiety levels due to the modulation of key stress hormones and the healthy increase of feel-good endorphins and serotonin secretion – which lifts and brightens your mood. Try to incorporate daily walks into your routine or take up a new outdoor exercise class to continue these good habits and keep the endorphins flowing when you get home.
Sleep on it
Being on holiday and away from the stress of daily life is a great time to get some much-needed rest and recharge your batteries. It’s also the perfect time to put into place a new sleep hygiene routine that you can continue when back at home. Setting a healthier sleep schedule will not only improve the length of your sleep but also the quality, which in turn will give your overall mental and physical health a boost all year long. Set aside time to wind down in the evening- whether that’s taking a long bath and curling up with a book or simply finding a quiet space for calm. Keep your room cool, dark and quiet and avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime to aid good quality sleep.
Eat at regular intervals
When we’re away on holiday we tend to eat a lot more regularly. Eating regular meals is much better for your metabolism and reduces hunger pangs which can result in cravings and giving in to tempting unhealthy snacks. Don’t forget to continue this habit once you get home! Prioritise healthy breakfasts like overnight oats which are full of soluble fibre to keep you fuller for longer, and pack healthy snacks with you to keep blood sugar levels regular throughout the day.
Embrace the Mediterranean diet
Popular holiday destinations such as Portugal, Spain, and Italy, all consume diets containing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, wholegrains, fish, and unsaturated fats. The traditional Mediterranean diet is often seen as an ideal balanced eating pattern. Continue to ‘eat the rainbow’ once you get home. Incorporate foods that cover the three main macronutrients – complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and good fats, as well plenty of fresh, colourful fruit and vegetables to ensure your micronutrient needs are covered too. Not only will you be maintaining healthy eating patterns, but your skin will glow and you’ll be full of energy. Win-win!
Why not plan ahead and book a Balance Box delivery to arrive on your doorstep when you get back from your holidays? With a delicious range of menus and options to choose from, Balance Box will help take the stress away from meal planning so that you can maintain your healthy holiday eating habits long after the moment you arrive home.