If you are planning to take a trip or vacation while in recovery, I know how difficult it can be. There can be many variables to consider for your trip. However, traveling during this time is possible with a little planning and support. Check out below tips for traveling in eating disorder recovery.
Pack food for your travels
Think “back up” food. Whether you are flying, riding in a car, or taking a train, bringing shelf-stable items that travel well can be a game changer. It is helpful to have these options on hand as we can face many obstacles while traveling such as trip delays or have limited access to food. By keeping items on hand, we are more likely to stay nourished despite what travel throws at us. Some items you can bring are granola bars, chips, trail mix, shakes, and more. You can work with an eating disorder dietitian to help you explore more options that meet your needs.
Practice flexibility with food
You may find eating different foods throughout your trip to be daunting. However, this can be a great time to practice flexibility with meals. We may eat different foods or have a different meal schedule when traveling and that is okay. Avoiding looking at menus ahead of time can be helpful to help us not fixate on the meals ahead of us. Take one meal at a time.
Pack comfortable clothes
Clothes that you can easily move in and are comfortable are essential not only during our travel but everyday. Having clothes that are also weather appropriate is important. Ask a support person to help you pack clothes that feel good on your body and will be comfortable depending on where you are traveling.
Set boundaries with others and yourself
Whether you are traveling alone or with others, boundaries can help us protect our recovery. You can set boundaries with yourself such as “I am going to eat __ meals and snacks each day.” Boundaries with those we travel with are also important such as not discussing food during mealtimes.
Plan with your team
Discussing your travel plans with a dietitian can help you explore the best options for your recovery. We can provide feedback and help create additional layers of support while you are gone. If you would like support in your recovery, please contact us for a free discovery call.
In addition to the above tips for traveling in eating disorder recovery, potentially the most important piece of advice is to remember the purpose behind your vacation. Maybe it is to reconnect with loved ones or friends, explore a new place, or take some time for yourself. It is possible for you to protect your recovery during this time and have a memorable trip.
Courage to Nourish is a group of eating disorder specialized dietitians. We have in person locations in Alexandria, Virginia, Columbia, Maryland. and College Park, Maryland. We offer virtual services across the state of Maryland. Virginia, Washington DC. Pennsylvania, and Colorado. We offer individual nutrition therapy. As well as support groups. We would love to guide you in building a better relationship with food.
I am a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping those in recovery. I have worked in both an intensive outpatient and a partial hospitalization setting where I have been able to help clients from all backgrounds develop a healthier relationship with food. I practice based on the philosophy that “all foods fit” and want to help clients create a sustainable and joyful experience with food and movement. I specialize in binge eating disorder recovery and enjoy working with clients to establish peace with food. I am a fat positive and anti-diet dietitian working from a Health At Every Size © and Intuitive Eating model.