Healthy Hotel Traveling This Holiday Season

| Food
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(Photo: Laura Lea Bryant)

Hey Womanistas! Long time no see! I’ve been just slightly mildly busy with a house renovation and a move and, um, I got married! My husband and I spent a week at the beach in Amelia Island, Florida, and we capped it off with our nuptials on a perfectly clear 80 degree day.

As incredible and unforgettable as our week was, it was straight-up exhausting. It was hard to find time for sleep or rest, and most of our meals were family affairs at the hotel restaurants, with never-ending bread baskets and champagne a-plenty.

And yet, I still managed to come out of the week healthy and (relatively) energetic, because I followed some self-prescribed tips when I’m staying in a hotel. As the holiday season quickly approaches many of you will be traveling, visiting family and friends or perhaps partaking in a sunny beach vacation that involves some hotel living as well. If you are worried about staying on-track with healthy living, I have a few helpful tips and tricks to keep you on-track and away from the all-you-can-eat buffets!

Bring Snacks

I wish you could see the vehemence with which I am saying this. If you want to stick to a healthy diet while traveling, your best bet is to bring snacks with you. Avoid the $25 flatbread from the room service menu, and aim for something with my trifecta: fat, fiber and protein. Some of my fave packaged snacks are: Health Warrior Chia Bars, Alive and Radiant Cheesy Kale Chips, Nick’s Stick Grass-fed Beef Snacks, DIY trail mix of almonds, walnuts, mulberries and carob chips, apples/bananas and Justin’s almond or peanut butter packets.

Ignore Buffets

I know the buffet is singing its siren song to you in the morning (or all day), but you will likely eat significantly more from a buffet than a la carte. I always order off the menu and stick to what I’d normally have. Unless you’re in Paris, you don't need that mediocre croissant—save it for a pool-side cocktail or juicy steak. My go-to orders are: 2 eggs over easy with rye toast and a side of avocado, or oatmeal with nuts and berries, hold the brown sugar. I stir in a little pat of butter and some sea salt or one of my nut-butter packets and it’s delicious.


I know this might sound obvious, but it’s too easy when you're on vacation to keep your sneakers tucked in a dark corner of the suitcase. Finding some form of exercise will not only offset some of the inevitable indulging, it will help fight jet lag. If your hotel doesn't have a gym and the weather isn’t great, Womanista has some awesome at-home workouts you can complete from the comfort of your room. Bring your own water bottle with you to save money; I’m obsessed with Swell bottles right now!

Bring Home With You

Last but not least, trick yourself into feeling at home. Even in the most gorgeous hotel, sometimes it’s hard to adjust to a new space. For the best night’s sleep, I always bring a few things with me that signal to my brain “this is where you belong”: a cozy throw blanket, a pillowcase, a candle (if allowed), lavender essential oil, a noise machine and an eye mask. I also bring a natural supplement called Catecholacalm, which helps me relax and sleep. I promise these details are worth the effort!

I hope these personal pointers help you return from your next getaway feeling more refreshed and healthy than when you set out. Happy adventuring!

Laura Lea Bryant |

, LL Balanced Website

Laura Lea is a Certified Holistic Chef, writer and recipe developer. A Nashville native, Laura Lea received her degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. Her company, LL Balanced, focuses on providing easy, family-friendly and nutritious takes on comfort food.