Healthy Travel Tips – Q&A with Melanie Bomba

Even those with the best food and fitness routine at home often let it slip as soon as they’re living out of a suitcase. We talked to Motion Fitness and Cafe founder Melanie Bomba to get her healthy travel tips on how we can enjoy ourselves abroad, and still come home fitting into our clothes.

I think for most of us it’s normal to come back from a holiday with a few extra kilos. Do you have any advice to help us avoid this while still getting to experience the food culture of a place?

• Do exercise daily in your holidays
• Move after eating – taking a walk helps the metabolism and digestion, especially heavier food
• Have a protein rich breakfast
• Drink an espresso after your meals
• Try any food but don’t have a full portion.
• Share big portion and desserts with your family or friends.
• Don’t drink alcohol/sodas/juice/shakes during eating meals
• Don’t drink too many juices or smoothies. Use these as a snack or even as a meal replacement.
• Drink more water

For people travelling to Bali, what are some local healthier Indonesian specialities?

The traditional Indonesian food is/was good, lots of vegetable, fish, rice and fruits. The fast food industry has ruined much of it, but at villages inland, you can still find the women making ground spices and herb mixes from scratch and not using artificial enhancers such as MSG loaded packages.

As we travel, it is nice to taste the different flavours and also okay if we sometimes have a day off from the clean eating we do at home. It is just a short time and should not do any damage. Another option is to have a cleaner day after a bad eating day.

I like the Gado Gado, a traditional Indonesian dish based on vegetable, egg and peanut sauce, or just fresh made fish with river spinach and I love the Balinese sambal.

How do you motivate your clients to keep up their exercise routine on the road?

I give them photos or videos with easy to follow exercise, mostly with their own body weight or the elastic band. Endurance training as swimming, running, tennis or fast walking – everybody will find their own thing if the commitment is there.

It’s also great is to use a fitness tracker and aim for reaching a daily activity goal, and if not reached….no dinner hahaha!

I also like to try new exercises during my holidays and have had good experiences where I’ve even come better back than when I left because of the new impact to the body.

Check out our Motion Fitness blog or newsletter. My special travel exercise program is there, and it’s a whole body work out.

What are your thoughts on eating on in transit? Is there anything redeemable about airplane food? Or should we avoid it entirely?

Get prepared if you a fussy/clean eater as I am you have to. You will find in my bag boiled eggs, motion bars, apple, almonds, Fisherman’s friends. I also recommend choosing your plane meal beforehand.

The food at lots of airports is much better today, so you might find something to eat, which is not over cooked or for hours lying in the bar.

The airplane food, honestly I believe they try their best. I just hate all the packaging, but you can choose between many different dishes as vegan or for diabetic people. I don’t eat the desserts, as they are overloaded with sugar and fat. I drink just water but have the red wine as it makes me tired. The question is, do we always have to eat full meals?

You can detox in that time or as me snacking the right things. I did a kind of detox flight a couple of times…it can be a day where you just drink water and have some tomato juice. Think about it. ☺

Do you have any jet lag tips?

I always work out after I arrive at any destination. I work out even at the airport. During the flight, there is a lot of pressure, and the body cannot absorb all the water. I react very strongly to this, so I love to sweat and always feel much cleaner afterwards. If it’s around, I use a sauna too. Of course drinking lots of water. Flushing the body and eat light the first two days after arrival.

Before flying, I like to get a vitamin IV and when coming back to Bali I do the same again. I get the L-Carnitine [Slim Fitness Booster] as well as it gives me power and I’m less hungry. Usually directly next day I do the IV as I start teaching classes immediately and can’t feel tired to long but also here the exercise helps me.

The theme for your Motion Café Fitness Food weekly this month is Travel, how did this inspire your menu?

The menu is low GI but rich in protein and healthy fat, balanced in vitamins, minerals and fibre. By eating this way, people can lower their sugar cravings. The menu is satisfying while still having a lower amount of calories than the usual meals people eat. The right combination of nutrition is the key for no cravings at all.

This is what Motion Café’s Fitness Food makes the perfect intro for a holiday.

Finally, where are your favourite places to visit?

Europe is my favourite spot with all their diversity it has to give. I love the Atlantic coast from Holland to Portugal.

France will always be close to my heart, and I’m always impressed that in over 20 years it has not changed much. I know the small villages so well and the flair of the old small little wine or cheese shops…the language. This is followed by Portugal. The Portuguese people are incredible, and Lisbon is one of my favourite towns. I love the simple food so much. Can’t wait to travel there again.