After almost a year and a half of lockdowns and stay at home orders, things are starting to open up and we are finally able to travel again! For the last month and a half, Federico and I have been in Sicily, Italy, visiting his family in the main city of Palermo and staying on the island of Pantelleria. Whether you are planning an overnight stay, or spending time abroad, there is often a change in your normal routine that makes it harder to maintain healthy habits. Being in a country where I am a guest for dinner most evenings and there is a pasticceria (pastry shop) at every corner, I have been struggling to maintain my typical fitness and nutrition routine. However, I want to share a few tricks that I have found to keep what are the most important health components for me.
DRINK WATER. Whether you are on a plane or traveling by car, it is easy to forget to hydrate. I brought my own water bottle and refill it constantly. I also drink a litre of water first thing in the morning to ensure that I am getting a good amount for the day.
PACK SNACKS. I bought a box of protein bars (Cliff Builders Bars are my favourite) and prepackaged protein shakes to throw in my suitcase in case I can’t find something to eat at the airport, or we are going on a day trip. Prepackaged dried fruit, mixed nuts, and whole grain pretzels, or crackers are handy snacks to have and instant oatmeal can be easily made for breakfasts. I also brought my BCAA powder to add to my water during a workout and electrolyte tablets to replenish my minerals and add flavour to my water.
ASK FOR A ROOM WITH A FRIDGE IF POSSIBLE. We are lucky to be staying with family and have somewhere to store the food we pick up at the local market. Having fresh fruits, veggies, yogurt, cheese, etc. readily available will allow you to make healthy choices and you can also save a bit of money by not eating out for each meal too!
PLAN IN ADVANCE. While staying in Palermo the first few weeks we knew we would be eating out a lot so we were careful to make good choices at restaurants such as splitting a pizza and ordering a salad on the side. We also looked at the menu beforehand to find dishes we liked and that contained lean protein and veggies. If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen like we are here in Pantelleria, you can stock your fridge and pantry with whole grain pasta, rice, local fruits and veggies and can cook most of your own meals.
EXERCISE. When on vacation make sure to get your steps in when you are sightseeing. Staying in the center of the area you are visiting allows you to walk to most places and saves you money on transit. Here there is lots for us to do and we are taking advantage of the beautiful trails through the mountains, swimming in the sea and we have squeezed in a few workouts as well. Federico actually bought a heavy bag and gloves to use here, but a bodyweight workout with squats, pushups and lunges can easily be done wherever you are staying. I have even stopped at a playground to do pull ups and box jumps!
Finally, enjoy yourself! We have been under so much stress with the pandemic that it is nice to get away and indulge a little. The gelato here is amazing and I have made it my goal to try as many flavours as I can. I know that when I get back home, the club is waiting for me and I will get back to being more diligent about what I am eating.
I am a lot of things. I am a woman, a school teacher, a registered nutritionist, a fitness enthusiast, a partner, a daughter, a writer, a friend, a chef... But most of all I am a fighter. Yes, I train at Legacy Fight Club, but what I mean by “a fighter” is not just in the literal sense of the word which is “to contend in battle or physical combat”, or, “to engage in boxing”. It is to constantly put forth effort and determination in everything I do. So when I say I have been a fighter all my life, it is true. You can reach me at Michellestone2424@gmail.com for any questions or advice on Nutrition and Lifestyle.