Healthy Holidays?!? Not gaining 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and the NYE countdown? YES, it is possible! With a few simple guidelines to follow during the holiday season, it can happen (I’m living proof as years ago I finally learned how to navigate the holidays without “Lose weight & get into my best shape!” at the top of my New Years resolution list come NYE) and you’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite holiday treats, social events and more…while keeping your fitness in check, too!


We’ve worked hard all year to strengthen, build and sculpt our physiques (and I’m sure we’ve all heard the words bikini season or “getting ready for summer” right?) so don’t let your hard work go to waste just because you’re off on holiday and don’t have your regular gym and kitchen handy. What’s the point of working so hard to show off your results in your new bikini if you’re going to be right back at your starting point when you get back from your trip? I want you all to feel great AND keep those hard earned results year round…while enjoying your holiday, too, of course!


The last few years I’ve been on the go for work (plus some holiday trips) and traveling more than I ever imagined I would. That being said, I’ve certainly created some healthy fit travel habits that are now second nature to me so whenever I return from a trip I don’t feel frustrated and as though I’ve “undone” all of my hard work on my health & fitness. Gone are the days where I get back from a trip with jet lag and an extra 10 pounds on me (let’s face it, we’ve probably all been there at least once before!). In fact, I recently returned from a trip that had me away for two and a half weeks and I returned in the exact same fitness shape as I’d left.


But how?! Am I talking about staying on a strict diet or working out for hours each day while you’re away? Heck no! I’m talking about enjoying your trip, staying active (though not necessarily in the gym) while you are there or out of your normal routine, not throwing all of your healthy habits out the window, making sure you enjoy your fair share of sweet treats or local cuisine and more. Yes, ladies! You can have your holiday, enjoy yourself and keep your fitness in check, too!




No matter if i’m traveling for a quick weekend work trip or will be gone for two weeks, I always travel with a few staple items. Not only are these incredibly helpful to have on hand as a healthy snack, it’s an economical choice as well because you aren’t forced to buy every snack/meal out when on the go! Here are the items you’ll always find in my carry-on:



  • Protein bars, with my top pick being FitJoy bars (I bring 1, sometimes 2 as a “just in case” option for each day I’m traveling)
  • Oats as a quick carb source (you can always whip up a cup of oats using the coffee maker in the hotel room or stopping at a coffee shop and asking for a cup of hot water)
  • Protein powder (mix that protein powder in with the oats for a quick and easy meal option…I’ve done this during a flight, at a coffee shop, using the coffee maker of kettle in my hotel room, you name it)
  • Almonds, pistachios, walnuts (I’ll buy single serve packets to help with portion control but a large bag of any of these are great to travel with- just mind the portion size!)
  • Individual packets of peanut butter or almond butter



Tips for dining out (these can be implemented year-round, of course, but are especially helpful during holidays):


Tempted by the room service menu or dessert options at the restaurant? We’ve all been there! If I find that there are items that I can eat anywhere, any time of the year, then I skip them. I don’t deprive myself, but I’ll opt for items that are authentic to the place I’m visiting (a bit of gelato each day while in Italy was a necessity, but the brownies or cookies spotted on room service menus? I skipped ‘em) or that I don’t have regular access to.


When dining out, eat your staples first, then move on to the other items. What I mean by this is, you likely always eat some source of healthy protein, probably some heart healthy fats, veggies and more, right? Start your meal off with the healthier options but leave some room for other items you wouldn’t always have- just eat them last so you’ll be less likely to overeat these items since you’ll already have had some healthier options first. For example, when dining out I will order a giant chicken breast salad topped with avocado…eat most of that first and then have a slice or two of pizza or share a pasta dish with someone at the table, maybe a glass of wine but I always try to get some of the healthier options in first.


Other nutrition tips to keep in mind:


Remember that the food we eat literally does fuel us! I’m sure you all notice that when you fuel your body with healthy options the majority of the time, you simply feel better, right? I know I notice a distinct difference in my overall energy levels (especially when traveling and combating jet lag) when the majority of my meals come from healthy food options opposed to when I just pick up foods out of convenience or decide to try every random item on the menu. The last thing I want to do is feel completely zapped on my vacation!


I recently went on a vacation where I had a slightly more relaxed approach to dining out than usual during my travels. Even though nothing was off limits (I adhere to an “everything in moderation” approach with food year-round, nothing extreme), I know that how I fuel my body each day has a profound effect on how I feel, my energy levels, and more. I consistently feel better all around when I still get in protein, veggies, fruits and loads of water, so I always make sure to get some of those in each day (or as many days as possible) when on holiday. I also made sure to enjoy foods I don’t have regular access to (gelato, fresh pasta, pizza from different regions of Italy and more) so that I wasn’t depriving myself of truly experiencing the holiday and traveling around a new country. I ate foods I knew provided solid fuel and then I added other more indulgent options in throughout the day too.




Don’t have access to a gym on your trip? Don’t worry! The last thing I want is for you to spend your holidays stressing about gym access or not being able to do your “normal” routine. In fact, I recommend that you embrace this break from routine and try something new to challenge your body (and mind) with your workouts. Not sure where to start? Here are some of my favorite ways to take your fitness on the go, no gym necessary:


Do what you can and don’t focus on what you can’t or don’t have access to. Too often people think that if they don’t have access to their normal gym or equipment, what’s the point? Ditch the all or nothing mentality and instead make every bit count. I don’t want you to spend countless hours on holiday working out, but even a quick 10 minute circuit in your hotel room helps keep you body and mind in the habit of being active, gym or no gym.


Make the most of your surroundings. Get outside, explore on foot. Don’t worry if you’re not a runner- just get outside and walk, or do a walk/jog/run combo while you’re sight-seeing in the area. This allows you to see more of the city you’re in and probably stumble upon some sights you wouldn’t typically see, all while workin’ on your fitness.


Keep it simple/ when traveling don’t stress if your hotel doesn’t have a gym. Most of the time the hotels that have a gym also come with an increased price tag and it’s typically not worth it. Instead of stressing about a hotel with a gym or searching for a gym nearby (unless you truly love trying out new gyms when you travel), just be prepared and bring a couple of my favorite fit travel items that you can use right there in your hotel room or take with your outside to a nearby park or beach. A few things I always travel with or use on a regular basis for home workouts, too (and don’t worry ladies, they hardly take up any precious space in your luggage and weigh less than 1 pound total):


  • Mini band (not just for squats! You can incorporate these for lower and upper body, plus as a way to make basic bodyweight exercises more challenging and more!)
  • A powerband (great for resistance training & keeping your strength up without gym access! You can use these anywhere from a hotel room, outdoors at a park, loop the band around a tree branch for leverage and more to get total body training in wherever you are)
  • Sliders- another tool that will add a challenge and increase the level of resistance to any exercise you add it to! Lunges, mt climbers, push-ups, abs…add a slider at your feet or on your hands and you’ll take the challenge to a whole new level!


Not sure where to start with the fit travel equipment options listed above? Again, with a quick search of the #fittravel hash tag on Instagram, you’ll be able to find nearly every workout option I’ve ever posted. Loads of practical tips and exercises that can be done anywhere. Most of these are of me while on the go for work and you’ll note that I’m using my bodyweight, a resistance band of some sort of a step/bench I’ve found while out for a twirl to explore. I’m having fun, exploring my surroundings (and seeing more sights than I typically would if I’d spent time and money hunting down a nearby gym) and working on my fitness while on the tips spreads


If you’re on vacay or spending the holidays with good friends or family, make a fitness pact to help hold one another accountable: yes you’re going to enjoy the heck out of your vacay, eat some goodies & more, but make sure you move first! Even if it’s just a quick 10-15 min workout to start the day, commit to staying active (either through an active holiday that has you walking around exploring all day or a quick bodyweight or band workout using the equipment I’ve listed above).

Traveling with friends or family? Have fun and build your own workout with my “Pick 3” option! Pick your top 3 exercises and have your friend do the same…put these together for a 6 exercise circuit that you guys can do anywhere- then do it! For example, I may select burpees, lateral shuffles and walking lunges as my 3 exercises and my friend may opt for tricep push-ups, jump squats and plank jacks. Perform 1 set of each exercise back to back for your circuit and go for as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes or less.


Last, but certainly not least…ENJOY YOURSELF!!!!


Still not sure how to implement the tips below or worried that these ideas may cut into your holiday fun? Check Instagram for the hash tag #fittravel and you’ll find hundreds of my posts from the last few years, all filled with an array of exercise options, meal ideas, nutrition tips and more on how to maximize your fitness (and fun!) my #fittravel way. The occasional glass of wine, slice of pizza and gelato included!