Catherine Burns

Healthy long-haul travel tips

  • Healthy alternative: Pret A Manger offers a way to eat more healthy foods when flying on the British Airways flight from the UK to Bermuda

Iím sitting in the car writing this in between appointments, looking at my to-do list and wondering how the hell Iím going to get it done.

Iím on the British Airways flight tonight for my cousinís wedding, so itís all in a good cause, but man the pre-vacation logistics are a challenge!

Iíve packed six pairs of shoes for a seven-day trip ó thatís seems reasonable, yes?

In with the shoes I have some collagen, but I didnít want to bring the whole container, so itís basically white powder in a Ziplock bag. (What could possibly go wrong?)

Then, there are GoMacro bars and probiotics and about 45 outfits, of which Iíll probably wear three.

This is a kid-free trip and while Iíll miss them like mad, itís kinda liberating not to be overrun with all the paraphernalia that goes hand-in-hand with parenting.

Thereís nothing quite as excitable as a mom about to go on a plane by herself. Movie on, glass of wine and relax!

At the moment, though, the prospect of relaxation seems a long way off.

In between prepping work, the children for all their activities (with their fantastically capable dad so no worries there ...) and the house/bunnies/cats for a maybe tropical storm/hurricane, I had time for a minor meltdown.

Iíd woken up feeling horrendous (like being hungover, but without the fun party) and must have had some little bug or been hit by food allergies somewhere along the way.

I was in Supermart having an out-of-body experience and generally wondering what on earth I was going to do, when in walked two of my ďmommy friendsĒ.

A quick pep talk and some empathy from them and I felt so much better. Then, a conversation on WhatsApp with another girlfriend and I was good to go.

Sometimes you just need your circle to give you a quick hug and tell you that you can do it. Even when you feel like crap.

Given the First World nature of these superficial problems, I feel bad about complaining. Lifeís good, workís good and I know Iím lucky.

On the work side, being busy is a good thing and with both Nutrifit and Beat the Couch on the horizon, things have stepped up a notch.

We start Nutrifit (our six-week nutrition intensive) September 20 and Beat the Couch (our beginnersí running programme) September 27.

All the details are online so please check them out at natural.bm. Iíd love to work with you.

Phone calls are tricky while Iím away. Although you can call anytime ó Iím always happy to talk nutrition or running ó just ideally not at the very moment the bride says ďI doĒ.

Iíll have access to e-mail every day though, so do let me know if you have any questions.

This trip is a little nutty as the first five nights Iím in five different places.

Thereís also a lot of celebrating and catching up thrown in, so the wine and treat level gets elevated in a major way.

Between that and the on-the-go nature of being away from home, itís sometimes tricky to stay eating healthy.

Iím asked all the time how I do it, so if youíd like some tips, see below!

1, Take it easy on yourself, but ask yourself this Ö.

Life is for living and itís okay to overindulge every now and then, especially when youíre getting together with family and friends and you donít want to kill the vibe by being strict.

However, whether youíre drinking cocktails or eating cake (or whatever it might be) ask yourself, is it worth it?

If what youíre eating or drinking is amazingly delicious then go for it, enjoy it and donít feel guilty about it. But donít waste your time on things that are average, or because they are the only option. They are never the only option.

2, Always, always, pack water and snacks

Wherever you go, always take water and throw a few healthy snacks in your bag. That way, if youíre starving and the ďonlyĒ option is total crap, then you have a standby at the ready.

I love the GoMacro bars (high protein versions) and KIND bars (nut & spice versions, which are lower in sugar).

I also love the snack-size Eden Organic pistachios, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

The Justinís dark chocolate peanut butter cups are good for if you need something sweet too. Supermart has all of those except GoMacro, which youíll find at Lindoís in Devonshire.

3, Side salad or green veg

During Nutrifit, I teach that for the average adult, approximately ľ of your plate should be protein, ľ carbs and Ĺ non-starchy salad or vegetables (note that carrots, for example, are a starchy vegetable so they would count as carb in this instance instead of a vegetable).

Most restaurant meals will throw your ratios way off, so always order extra salad or green veg on the side. If your carb and protein portions are too big, pack up the rest or just leave it.

Lots of us have been conditioned to clean our plates, told that leaving food is a waste, but I would argue that itís more damaging to routinely eat more than we need.

4, Plan for the plane

Airline food is awful. Hyper-processed with a thousand weird ingredients!

Pack an avocado, some fruit, nuts and dark chocolate to tide you over. Throw in a protein bar (GoMacro) and then just drink the wine!

If Iím travelling from the UK to Bermuda I always stop at Pret A Manger at Gatwick for green juice, salad, fruit pots, chocolate chia pudding, dark chocolate, nuts, dried mango Ö. Is that enough?

ē Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda