It's summer, and one of the best parts about summer is taking a vacation! Last year, we took a big trip to San Francisco. This summer, we are taking two little trips. As we have been preparing to go away, I have been thinking about how I can maintain a healthy lifestyle while away from home.
Here's the thing. I eat A LOT. I can't go more than 3 hours without eating. This is probably because I workout a lot, which usually makes me more hungry. Also, I think my metabolism is humming a long pretty well at this point because I feed my body with (mostly) nutritious foods. So if I'm eating mostly healthy stuff, it takes a ton of food to get myself up to 2200 calories a day, which is what I normally eat.
With a 4 day, 3 night beach vacation looming ahead, I am already thinking about how to make sure I stay on a healthy path during the trip. I do not want to be eating 2200 calories worth of crap each day. At the beach, there are so many yummy temptations, and while I do want to indulge in them some of the time, (It's vacation!) I don't want to come home feeling disgusting.
So how does one maintain a healthy lifestyle on vacation?
The best way to set yourself up for success is to PLAN.
**Plan to have healthy food choices available.
- I make sure I have healthy snacks in the car so that a drive thru and rest stop pizza are not my only options.
My favorite things to have in the car:
chicken breast (either a sandwich or just plain!)
small Tupperware container of Greek yogurt mixed with fruit
chocolate covered coffee beans (for the antioxidants, I swear!!!!)
- I pack healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack items for in the hotel room. I'm sure we'll go out for breakfast at least one morning, but we'll be probably be eating lunch right on the beach. If the healthy, yummy option is available right there in my cooler, I will be sure to grab that instead of heading for the boardwalk or ice cream truck. (Ice cream is best after dinner, anyway!)
My favorite vacation breakfast/lunch/snack items:
chicken breast (I eat a lot of chicken breast!)
oatmeal w/ protein powder
Special K Protein Plus cereal w/ skim milk
turkey sandwiches with hummus
**Plan to workout or at least do something active each day of vacation.
- This is not hard for me to do at all. First of all, I LOVE working out, so I would never even want to skip a session. Second, my favorite thing to do at the beach is run, and that is EASY to plan- just pack my running clothes and shoes and I'm good to go! However, because of an injury I'm trying to stave off, I will not be doing much running at the beach. Probably only 3 miles on one of the days. Which means I will be packing my kettle bell, jump rope, and 10lb dumbbells so I can find a spot on the sand to do some circuits. Honestly, I'd bring my stability ball too, but my husband already thinks I'm crazy for doing kettle bell swings in the Holiday Inn parking lot on our last trip so I don't want to push it...
My workout schedule for vacation:
Wed: full body weight training at Planet Fitness before we hit the road
Thurs: circuits on the beach in Atlantic City, 3 mile run
Fri: circuits on the beach in OCNJ
Saturday: upper body weight training at Planet Fitness when we get back home, spinning intervals
(I would love to just run, run, run on the beach all those days but I gotta run smart!)
**Indulge when it's worth it!
- For me, eating healthy throughout the day makes me feel great. I don't mind eating my normal “boring” foods for breakfast and lunch. Those foods give me a lot of energy for my training, and just make me feel good! But on vacation, I love indulging at dinnertime. I love getting dressed up and going out to eat. I'll have a fancy drink, a yummy dinner, even dessert! That's where I like to splurge. And I totally plan to!
So now my friends, I know I am not the only one who plans out their food and workout schedule for vacation. Or maybe I am, and you're all sitting at your computers snickering at me to just let go of control for one little vacation? But like I said, I do like to indulge- that's one of the great parts about vacation! But I don't want to indulge all day or I will feel like crap.
Okay, I am back from vacation and I'm going to grade myself on my healthy and not-so-healthy behaviors on vacation!
- Besides eating a piece of French toast one morning at breakfast, I ate the healthy foods I brought along on the trip for breakfast and lunch. I love French toast, though, so it was worth it! Other than that, I ate chicken breast, fruit, Greek yogurt, proatmeal (oatmeal with protein powder mixed in), and my cereal. Oh, and a sausage egg white sandwich from Dunkin' Donuts. It was from their "smart" menu. It's very healthy except for the sodium content!
- I did every workout I planned. Woohoo! I knew that would be easy, though. I love training.
- We did a TON of walking over the course of the three days we were gone. I was more active on vacation than I would have been at home.
- I ate my fair share of junk for dinner and dessert. Wednesday night it was pizza, 3 mixed drinks, a huge cinnamon bun that my husband only managed to get one bite of, and Pringles. Thursday it was another slice of pizza and a huge Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard. (Not an actual Blizzard because it wasn't from DQ, but it was the equivalent.)
- I felt guilty about what I ate. And that is the biggest con of all. I planned to indulge at dinner and dessert, I did indulge, but then instead of just owning it, I felt guilt. Why can't I just eat what I want on vacation and not feel bad about it afterwards?
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle on vacation?
Do you ever feel guilty about indulging?
Do you ever feel guilty about indulging?