I pride myself on being a Registered Dietitian, an Intuitive Eater and a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor too. I take my intuitive eating skills with me everywhere I go, including vacation. Yet, on vacation even the baseline intuitive eater can face challenges and here’s why.
We are out of our routine. Although there are no rules or rigidity to intuitive eating, we are waking up at different times, in places without access to our usual foods and sometimes on other people’s time clocks. Our bodies can be thrown off from jet lag or we could be sleeping more than we usually do. Being out of routine can sometimes throw off our hunger and fullness signals and can definitely throw off the type of food that is available to us.
The type of food available is different. As intuitive eaters, we learn to be flexible. Yet even being in a flexible mindset we have to adjust to being even more flexible when we are traveling, especially to another country. When I was in Thailand last year, I didn’t eat so many fresh vegetables (due to being afraid of getting sick from the water). Even when my body craved veggies, I couldn’t always provide them, and that was new to me.
We may find glorified foods. Yes! We make peace with all food, and in the grand scheme of things, the glorification of whatever we find on vacation is a lot less “charged” then it could be if there were various rules and restrictions at baseline from home. But fresh pasta and cheese in Italy – can really only be found in Italy – and as I took my first bite of fresh pasta and cheese on my recent vacation I was surprised to notice the special “charge” I felt attached to it. I was able to remind myself that I can still honor my fullness and listen to my body, but the glory did pop up!
We may have less control over food on menus and portions provided. We are human. Intuitive eaters overeat and that is OK! We don’t overeat BECAUSE we are on vacation but we may overeat on vacation just like we do at home, and, that my friend, is OK. On a recent trip, my husband and I went to one restaurant where there was no menu! Food came to our table according to the preferences of the family that owned the restaurant and the chef that was making the food. There was lots to try and no game plan to strategize how much room to save. Since I didn’t know what was coming, I did the best I could to honor my fullness and ended up overeating.... OH. WELL! NEXT. Same thing with plane meals. I have no control over what they serve me on the plane. I bring snacks just in case I don’t like the food, but I roll with it. If it’s decent, I eat it. Maybe I am not satiated from it, but we roll with the punches.
SO, we get home and we don’t have rules. Being an intuitive eater, when I get home from vacation not one single thing changes. I eat when I am hungry. I grocery shop like normal. I go out to eat like normal. I exercise like normal…. There is no post vacation detox. No punishments or restrictions, just back to life as usual.
Being out of our element when traveling, does impact our food because that’s part of our environment. It’s important to speak with your Registered Dietitian if you’re afraid of eating on vacation. Life’s too short to miss out on experiencing the place you’re traveling to due to food rules and restrictions!
As a registered dietitian and a certified intuitive eating counselor, let me help you to enjoy your vacation even more by improving your relationship with food!
Call 954.655.8543 or email JuliENERGYnutrition@gmail.com to schedule your appointment, today!