I’ve come back…I’ll be blogging every now and then about my life along with some THM-recipes sprinkled in from time to time.
This is a lengthy post, but worth the read if you are a traveler like myself!! I hope you take time to read what I have to share from my heart!
It is no secret that I travel a lot!! My husband works at a small Bible college and among the many hats he wears, he is also the Public Relations (PR) director.
I, personally, have been traveling for our Bible college for 16 years…as a student singing in a group, then moving on up the ladder (so to speak) to my husband and I becoming representatives and taking our singing groups to different churches and church camps all summer. Our groups travel most weekends in the school year as well, so we keep rather busy, but we love what we do and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
This ministry that we are involved in has been awesome and I’ve learned so much over the past 16 years. As a girl who never traveled more than 3 hrs away from home (and that was once a year for family vacation), it was definitely an eye-opener to see the rest of the country -or atleast most of it- once I was involved with the PR groups. I’ve been to most of the states now and have enjoyed each and every one!
I have always LOVED singing! As a side note: I remember singing my very first solo at church when I was around 5 years old. All went well… EXCEPT for the American flag that was “supposed” to be standing in its normal spot behind the pulpit…someone bumped it and it was falling right towards me. The preacher caught it as I was singing. It didn’t phase me a bit! I just kept right on singing my little heart out.
Back to traveling…when I started my Trim Healthy Mama journey (a couple years ago) I knew it would be a bit more challenging to eat on-plan food every single day. You see, we eat in people’s homes and in the dining hall of many church camps. While there are fabulous cooks all around the country, the food isn’t always THM-friendly.
I was overwhelmed at first, thinking “I’m going to starve because I just can’t eat that way anymore”. You can’t be rude and not take the food your hostess makes for you. I didn’t want to eat that way, but finally, a peace came over me. I know this is what God called my husband and I to do and I was going to just do my very best at it! Yes, there were days when I couldn’t eat 100% on plan, but I found that by giving myself grace (since I had no choice), I felt a lot better. Grace did not give me liberty to eat whatever I wanted and large portions of off-plan food…it just helped me to realize that I don’t have to feel guilty for what I cannot help.
Now, my little travel talk is not meant to be depressing…I hope no one has taken it that way! This is just a part of my life and I wanted to share that I’ve had struggles in the past trying to incorporate THM with our traveling schedule. Did I feel like giving up sometimes? Sure! Did I give up?…You better believe I did NOT! I have and will keep plugging away at this. After all, this is a lifestyle, right?!!
I have several traveling tips that I thought may help someone else in their THM journey. Whether you travel a lot like me, or maybe you’re just taking a vacation or a day trip, these tips could be just the thing you need to stay on plan!
Traveling Tips for the Trim Healthy Mama
- ALWAYS carry a water bottle with you. I cannot stress this point enough!! I know this seems extremely simple, but you wouldn’t believe how many people do not do this. Keeping yourself hydrated is very important while traveling (though it may require more rest stops along the way) 🙂
- Keep healthy snacks available. Since we don’t carry a cooler in our summer travels, it’s hard for me to keep any kind of chocolate or “melty” snacks in our van or even in my purse. That would not be pretty on a hot day –melted chocolate is not fun to scrub out of a carpet or clothes. Here are some of my favorite snacks to enjoy while traveling: almond butter, apples, cashews, packets of tuna, applesauce pouches (if my boys don’t eat them first), collagen for my coffee, turkey jerky, quest bars (only if I’m desperate) and my low carb granola (recipe here).
- Fast food IS an option. Yes, you can find THM-friendly food at a fast food restaurant! If it is your only choice, then make the best of it…get a burger without the bun, salads, chili, grilled chicken, etc.
- Take necessary THM items. I wish I could take all of my THM products when I leave my house for several weeks, but for the most part, I can handle my travels without most of them. There are a few things I will NOT leave the house without. Collagen is #1 on my necessary item list. I take 2 Tablespoons every single day in my coffee or tea, and have done this for over a year. Wherever I am (someone’s house or campground), I WILL find a way to get my collagen in! I do this simply because it is the only product I’ve tried that I’ve received good results for my thin hair. There are new hairs growing all over my head ever since taking Collagen. Love that stuff! Another necessary item is a squeeze bottle of liquid Stevia, like Skinny Girl or Pyure brands. I often use coconut or caramel flavored Sweet Drops as well. I keep this in my purse at all times to sweeten my tea or coffee. You could also take packets of stevia as another option. These next items are not THM-related, but thought I’d throw them in here anyhow…take vitamin C and hand sanitizer!!! I meet and greet A LOT of people every day during our travels; that means a lot of hand shaking, chatting with people, hugging friends we haven’t seen in a while. All of this is good, but there are still germs lurking around every corner. Though I don’t consider myself a germophobe, I still like to be careful and keep myself and my little family as healthy as can be!
- Move whenever you can. If you don’t have a choice to always stay on plan while traveling (like myself), then whenever you get a chance, exercise. I go to a church camp every year that has a huge dirt road loop around the grounds. I figured it to be about 1/3 of a mile to walk one time around. So when I’m there I make it a point to walk around the loop a few times a day if I can. If I’m not too tired before bed (late nights are not unusual), I will do a few simple exercises as well in our room.
- Don’t eat late in the evening. It is very typical for the pop/snack stand to be open in the late evenings on the campgrounds. It is so tempting at times to eat something since supper was 4 hours beforehand. Resist the deep fried, fatty foods!!! This would be a great time to go to your room and eat a thm snack you brought with you.
- Last, but certainly not least…Be as consistent as possible and GIVE YOURSELF GRACE!!! Like I already mentioned, grace is not something to be abused. I like to think of grace as something I can rely on when I am doing my best, but simply cannot fulfill my THM lifestyle at a meal that’s been prepared for me. I have found that if I put myself in bondage over what I’m eating, I will not be a very happy person. I will, in fact, be discouraged and feel as though it’s too difficult to do. In the past I’ve even felt like people were watching me eat a plate of lasagna or mashed potatoes thinking “wow, she’s not really serious about THM”…but you know what, I don’t feel that way anymore. I do not feel guilty for eating off-plan food when I have no other choice! Mind you, I do eat small portions of this kind of food when it is served to me and guess what…I still lose weight after my summer travels are finished!!! (I know in the back of my mind that my little THM kitchen is always waiting for me back home, so that keeps me inspired!)
I feel like I gave you a little look into my life of travels…Be inspired and stay encouraged no matter what stage you are at in your THM journey. I hope this list of tips helps some of you that travel in the same fashion as I do. I realize when making this list that I’m referring to how I travel, because most of you probably don’t stay at people’s houses or campgrounds every night when you travel or go on vacation…so take this and use it however you can! If this has helped anyone, I’d appreciate hearing from you in the comments below!