1. Being able to eat all foods is both the best and worst part of eating intuitively while traveling. It is the best since I love trying out new restaurants and local foods when I travel. However, it is the worst since I choose to leave the extra great food on my plate when I get satisfied. That is really hard for me to do. If I am unable to look at the extra food when I am finished without nibbling I will ask the wait staff to remove the plate.
2. Waiting for hunger is a big challenge when I travel and means I end up eating at weird places like the middle seat on a plane or during my daughter’s graduation ceremony. It also means I don’t eat the free cookie on the plane which can be hard to do when 179 other people are all eating their free cookie. However, I will choose to take the cookie for later if it looks good.
3. Travel often includes parties and alcohol. It is hard to eat intuitively when I am at a function and they serve alcohol before the food. When I am able to eat something first it is easier to eat intuitively.
4. Intuitive eating includes movement that brings you joy. This is easy for me to do when I travel since I think that taking a walk in a new place is phenomenal! It is also a nice way to take a break from people or situations that can be stressful. Many cities have interesting walking tours.
5. Self-care is essential when traveling and is an important part of intuitive eating. For my self-care I include: a journal, a good book, and my favorite music.
6. I do better at intuitive eating when I am not overly tired. Traveling usually includes weird hours and makes me tired. Therefore, I try to make sure I allow time for rest whenever possible. This may include taking a nap, a nice hot bath, or listening to relaxation or meditation videos.
7. Traveling situations are not ideal for healthy eating and I try to remember to be kind to myself and remind myself I am doing the best I can. Intuitive eating encourages you to notice your eating behaviors from a curious and non-judgmental perspective. This means that even when I am struggling I am still learning valuable and helpful ideas that I can use later. The last trip I took I learned that when I see a monster cookie food truck I jaywalk to check out what cookies are available. I also learned that I am grateful my hometown doesn’t have monster cookie food trucks.
8. I use my travel time to nurture myself emotionally. I people watch and appreciate how wonderfully different people are in size, color, shape and other fabulous details. I remind myself how awesome it is that we aren’t all the same. I think I am starting to enjoy hair that is dyed on the ends in fun colors like purple.
9. I am unable to eat intuitively when I am overly hungry. Therefore I pack snacks much like the mother of a toddler. My favorite snacks are organic apples, dried cherries, and chocolate. I love those foods and often my travel meal choices tend to be a bit light in fruits. As for chocolate – it is a necessity.
10. Intuitive eating encourages eating in a pleasant environment. This can be a challenge on vacation since it often includes places that don’t bring me much joy like lines at the airport. However, I am often surprised how much I can enjoy a meal alone that includes people watching or the wonderful conversations with strangers or new acquaintances I meet on my travels.
by Sarah Gold, MS, RD, LDN
Intuitive Eating is a program developed by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD. Their book is Intuitive Eating. Their website: intuitiveeating.com
Sarah Gold is an intuitive eater, dietitian, chocolate lover, and dog lover,