Maintaining Healthy Habits on Vacation

Co-written with Sam Poccia, Nutrition Enthusiast

Summer’s finally here and we’re all looking forward to sunshine, outdoor activities, and of course, vacation. We’re excited to take time to rest and relax after a long winter. Although, it’s important to remember that relaxing does not mean we no longer make healthy choices. We can continue take care of our bodies while on vacation with just a little preparation. Here are some tips to keep you on a healthy track, even during vacation!

vacation 4Once you arrive at your destination you’re ready to leave life behind, but not your healthy habits. Remember, eating healthy on vacation starts before you even leave the driveway. Plan ahead by deciding which snacks you will bring with you or if there is a local grocery store to pick up healthy snacks. Purchase fruit that is seasonal or local to the destination you are visiting.

Start your day with a routine for a healthy breakfast. Too often this meal is skipped and leads to more eating of mindless calories later in the day. Always combine lean proteins or healthy fats with a whole grain or a piece of fruit. Add a leafy, green veggie such as spinach or kale to an omelet or a smoothie to keep you feeling full throughout the day.

Exercise doesn’t get left behind when you are on vacation. Look into health clubs, gyms, or group activities in the area that will keep you moving. Hiking, biking and walking are excellent ways to see the sites but still be active. If you want to lounge by the beach for the day, I can’t blame you, but try to exercise first thing in the morning.

When it comes to dining out, research shows that we almost always consume more calories than we would if we were eating a home cooked meal. If you know where you eating check out the menu online ahead of time and get familiar with the options. Start the meal by asking the waiter not to bring the bread basket to the table and instead opt for a salad or clear veggie packed soup. Sashimi and tar tars are often fine choices too. By ordering an appetizer it allows you to fill up on a healthy choice and gives you time, and a partially full stomach, to then decide what you will have as your entrée. When ordering your entrée protein, such as meats or fish ask for any sauces on the side and if the item can be cooked in water or in a small amount of heart healthy oil, think canola or olive. For those of drinking age, choose to have a drink with dinner or a small dessert, but not both.

Vacation3Hydration, Hydration, Hydration, especially during those summer months. Our bodies depend on water to keep us functioning properly by flushing out toxins, carrying nutrients to our cells and maintaining energy levels.i Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go on your vacation to not only guarantee you get enough water but also to remind you to drink it. Make water more flavorful by adding fresh fruit such as cut up strawberries, lemons and raspberries.

Finally, it’s important to treat yourself in moderation. I like to tell clients to follow the 80/20 rule, if you eat healthy 80% of the time than the occasional ice cream cone won’t derail you, as long as you get back on track for the next sunny day! Enjoy!

Skylar’s Bottom Line:

  1. Plan ahead and pack your own snacks
  2. Keep a routine by eating a heart healthy breakfast
  3. Make smart choice when dining out
  4. Exercise at least 4/7 vacation days-this includes hiking, walking and biking
  5. Drink plenty of water
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