Mindful Mama

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling: Part 1 – Newport, Rhode Island

Picture of the view of the Atlantic Ocean and Cliff Walk from the historic The Breakers mansion in Newport Rhode Island. built by the Vanderbilt Family.

My husband and I travel a lot. Fortunately, for both work and play. I love to travel, but I also love to be home or in southern California. I want to be more flexible, but I know in California I know I have a low stress home environment and I know I have access to the quality food I’m used to.

We have family all over the United States and we were lucky to take a week to visit family in Newport Rhode Island which also coincided with an exciting sporting endeavor for my husband’s main hobby. A week is a long time for me to be away from the things that make me comfortable: multiple Whole Foods stores, access to relatively healthy take-out and a mostly scent-free home.

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Before the trip begins

  • If you’re staying somewhere for more than 2 days, consider renting a house or AirBnB. We knew the latter would be our option in Newport so we scouted out a great one in a beautiful walkable area – near beaches and the mansions on Bellevue Ave.
    1. Lessen learned: If you like or need to cook, make sure you find one with a little kitchen!
  • Finding food: I was search for “organic” in Yelp for cities I travel too. This helped me spot Keenwah eatery. I checked out the menu and knew it would work out great for me.
  • Preparing snacks: Just in case stores nearby don’t have the exact Larabars or snacks I like [this month], I always pack enough to last me while I’m on my trip. This is no easy feat – I’m pretty sure this weighs down my backpack by a pound or 2.
  • Eat well and get pleanty of rest a few days before the trip – especially the night before.

First day of travel

  • Eat a great breakfast: I often haven’t slept well enough the night before the trip, so breakfast is extremely important to balance my stress levels and blood sugar. I tend to go heavy healthy fat like avocado (sometimes on toast) and chia pudding. If I haven’t gotten enough sleep, sometimes too much protein in the morning stresses me out so I won’t necessarily have eggs but I also eat fewer carbs to keep my blood sugar balanced.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate on the plane!
  • Eat a delicious, healthy, well-balanced meal when you land. Plan out your meal ahead of time so you don’t find yourself in a desperate search for food (most everyone feels the effects of lower blood sugar, they just might not realize it!). Eat food that you are used to eating. 
    • It’s probably not a good idea after a 5 hour flight to decide it’s ok to eat dinner at PF Chang’s for the first time in 1.5 years, because you’re only going to get a “healthy” veggie dish.

Second day on your Trip

  • Find the best breakfast you can. It should be similar to what you normally eat or better. Lower carb, enough protein and healthy fats works well for me. In Newport, I ate breakfast every day at Keenwah. The smoked salmon sandwich was excellent.
  • For lunch, keep things familiar and try to eat what you normally would for lunch. My normal lunch is a delicious healthy bowl filled with greens, cooked vegetables, beans or lentils, rice or quinoa and a little bit of meat or chicken.
    • Translating this to Newport: I found some great grab-and-go items at A market. It was like a mini Whole Foods. Needless to say I visited A Market on Bellevue Ave. They even had Synergy chia kombucha. My husband loves this chia drink too along with Go Raw Choco crisps.

      Picture of healthy food and healthy snacks from the natural and organic health food stores A Market in Newport Rhode Island.

      I tried to recreate the lunches I have on a normal day -normally a veggie packed bowl. At A Market on Bellevue Ave in Newport I was able to find fresh black bean dip, curry chicken salad, beat salad and chia kombucha.

Remainder of the trip:

  • Get the right breakfast every day to set yourself up for success.
  • Maintain or improve upon your healthy habits from home. If you have the time, take it to go on more or longer walks and runs. If you find yourself in Newport or surrounding areas, the Cliff Walk is a must or find a local beach. New England is beautiful!
  • Try to be flexible at dinner: choose the best dishes you can at restaurants. For most trips for us, dinner is a great time to catch up with family and friends when everyone is less busy from the day. I try very hard to not be high-maintenance and I try to be optimistic about being able to find great things anywhere we go to eat. (Also Keenwah closes before dinner 🙂 )
  • Find familiarity wherever you can: I was excited to learn we had a washing machine and dryer so I definitely picked up some unscented natural laundry detergent at A-Market

What to See and Do in Newport

Picture of the Breakers historic mansion in Newport Rhode Island, the Vanderbilt Mansion

View of the side of The Breakers, the Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Be sure to take an historic mansion tour if your visit Newport, RI.

  • Shop and walk along on Bellevue Ave and Thames St
    • Treat-yo-self to spa services at Hotel Viking
    • Grab some tea or coconut water at that coffee place
    • Find some hand-made natural skin care at Farmaesthetics
    • Catch a Yoga class at Yoga on Thames
  • Go sailing!
  • Explore the surrounding towns like the adorable village of Jamestown
  • Visit the beautiful local beaches
  • Find solace in the food at Keenwah and goods at A Market

Yay! That’s it! Isn’t traveling easy??!

Reality: I had so much fun, but….

  • My unscented natural laundry detergent didn’t matter much because the washing machine had recently been run by other guests with standard laundry detergent:(
  • I had trouble sleeping because the sheets smelled like detergent and I didn’t have the neck pillow from my bed at home.
  • No matter what I hate, I didn’t feel “normal”. Food is just cooked differently.
  • I had a mini, overly dramatic melt down on the long plane ride home. Lot’s of complaining to my husband about: eating only the half the veggies I normally do in a week, lack of beans and lentils in New England, eating 3 times the cheese I normally eat in a week…on the plane ridehome (because the only other option was very soy-y chicken).

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