Summer is almost over which may mean one of two things to you:
It means nothing because you work your ass off all year long and summer doesn’t change anything more than your wardrobe options.
2. You have a family or you work in the school system which means you are planning the last vacation before your slow summer routine takes a massive shift.
Either way, you would benefit from learning how to take fun vacations without destroying your health and fitness momentum. Below are my guidelines for how I party it up on vacay without undoing a month’s worth of hard work.
1. The morning is the most important time of the day.
Destructive pattern: Eat all the foods you don’t normally eat at home. Hit up that buffet and come back to the table with enough food for a week’s worth of breakfast, including five mystery pastries that are dried out but you eat them anyway, because, why not?! You are on vacation!
Instead do this: Your intentions are most powerful in the morning – make an intention for what you want the day to truly be about (adventure and relaxation vs. eat fest). Think about how you want to feel at the end of the day, or better yet, the next morning as you wake up and put your bathing suit on!
Exercise first thing in the morning or else the odds are it ain’t happening. But you don’t have to go to the gym, you are on vacation! Do something relative to the trip that is active (walk/run on the beach, go for a hike, etc..)
Eat a healthy breakfast to set yourself up for the rest of the day. Amongst the buffet, there are always eggs and fresh fruit. Hardboiled eggs are the best choice because there is added oil in the omelets (and who knows if they are real eggs to begin with but even powdered pseudo-eggs are better than a bagel and shmear). Save the treats for lunch when your metabolism is most fired up and you can burn it off!
2. Choose one: booze or sugar or NONE!
Destructive pattern: Live it up baby! Day drinking is the best! Now you have the drunchies, and your food ethics and morals have evaporated like a fart into thin air. Eat now, pay later
Instead do this: If you want to drink, don’t do the desserts – it just too much sugar.
Sugar will weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to acquire travel related “bugs”. Sugar causes fatigue, and who wants to feel crappy on vacation!? If you choose the dessert AND the booze, take a few bites of the dessert. Just “taste” it, don’t eat the whole thing. Take two bites and throw your fork across the room. Just kidding, but seriously, drop it on the floor.
3. Press the reset button, not the tap out button.
Destructive pattern: You are leaving your work and problems behind, why not leave your diet behind too? Free yourself! Prison awaits you when you get home to reality.
Instead do this: We tend to look at things as black or white. Once we start eating off the wagon, the thought crosses our mind “eff it, I’m on vacation and I already messed up, I’ll just detox when I get back home.” Tap out! Instead of tapping out, press the reset button for the next meal and commit to yourself that you will reset and eat in a loving way to your body. You stay tapped in (to mind-body consciousness) and have a better experience while you are away.
4. Anything that is too rigid breaks!
Destructive pattern: Perhaps you swing the other way and try to be too rigid while you are on vacation out of fear of what may happen if you loosen the reigns. After a seven day yoga retreat full of super-healthy vegetarian meals (no treats!), I left the Austin airport and headed straight to a burger and fries.
Instead do this: Allowing yourself some leeway to have a little bit of this or a few bites of that while vacationing will prevent the pendulum swing once your are back in the real world. If you go too far at one meal, take a few minutes and think about what triggered you and how to overcome that resistance at the next eating opportunity. Tasting everything, especially in another country, is a great way to fully enjoy different cuisine. Eating everything not nailed down will guarantee you returning home feeling sick, bloated and toxic.
There’s always opportunities to learn, grow and heal your relationship with food - either in your week to week routine or on vacation.
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