Hi Loves! Happy Tuesday!
Can you believe we are already half-way through the summer? Living in the mid-atlantic area, we have the opportunity to really appreciate all four seasons, and while each season always offers up something special, sometimes I just wish we could press the pause button, ya know? These last couple months have been so wonderful, but I seek comfort in knowing there’s heaps of memories left to be made!
I spent the weekend before last in Charleston, SC on a lil’ girls weekend getaway, with my three college besties. Charleston is my absolute FAV city here in the US. I guarantee that everyone who has visited this progressive southern charm of a city would agree it’s pretty fab- the killer restaurants, endless store fronts, alluring beaches, and of course the sublime ambiance that blankets the city’s historic architecture. The “Holy City” has certainly left an indelible footprint on my heart. I graduated from the College of Charleston, and it seems almost impossible to ignore the faint whisper of my 21-year-old blissful self as soon as I touch down in the city. Strolling along all those uneven bricks, my soul tends to rejuvenate a bit, and is simultaneously touched with that same unyielding sense of purpose I found so easily during my college years. I also met my husband while in school, and then subsequently got married there, so perhaps it’s also the gentle bite of the romance bug that also has my heart tied to this lovely town ; ) OK, enough gushing about Chucktown. If you haven’t been, seriously- you are missing out. Go soon, mmmkkaayyy!?
This story has a point, I promise. Over the last couple months, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from health coaching clients, friends, and fam about how to stay in their healthy mindset when they go away on vacay. I totally get it. At home, it can be easier to find your wellness groove. You have certain go-to meals, trails you like to run or walk, Barre classes you frequent, gym memberships, etc. Also, if you’re like me, you may only drink a glass of wine here or there when you go out to dinner. And then you go away…away from your healthy comfort zones. Ya know, the ones that you rely to keep you in check back at home?
The good news? Comfort zones suck. They offer no opportunity for growth, and rarely offer any enjoyment. They are totally boring, right?
I thought about this a lot prior to my mini vacation, and decided to make my trip a challenge. The goal? To come up with some simple tips to not only help y’all stay healthy on your vacays, but also make them much more fun! So here’s what I came up with:
- Remember this is a vacation from your life at home. It’s an opportunity to explore new and exciting places… or even reconnect with old ones you miss so much throughout the year (hey, Charleston). This is NOT a vacation from being kind to yourself, your body, or your health.
- Scope out all the healthy options available in your destination prior to going. You probably already checked out food spots, resorts, activities, etc anyways. So get psyched about all the sweet local health joints- is there a local farmers market? A new green smoothie bar? An all organic restaurant? p.s I found ALL THREE of these in Charleston. Side note- our good friends own a great lil’ spot called The Daily down there- epic coffee and green smoothies galore (and tons of other rad stuff). Check it out.
- Take advantage off all the exercise opportunities unique to your vacay’s locale! Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try Stand-up Paddle boarding, but you live in a landlocked zone… or take a spin class at a particular franchise not available back home. I often travel down the road to Washington, DC to see my best friend, and my first request is always to attend a Soul Cycle class (PSA: Soul Cycle, come to Baltimore. I’m begging you.). Does your vacation spot offer any drop in yoga classes in a public park or beach? Rent bikes with your friends to see the city! Try running a famous bridge! The possibilities are endless, and actually might be a lot more fun than your usual go-to gym routine. By the way, I equate the word “routine” with Snoozefest.
- BRING healthy snacks! It is easy to lose track of time while you are playing Dora the Explorer. Avoid waiting until you are starving to eat, and then out of desperation, grabbing the closest slice of pizza you pass. I bring a few bags of almonds and cashews to carry around in my bag. Some other great snacks to bring in your suitcase for the trip- some avocados (I do this all the time!) and a couple apples. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my body functions optimally on 5 smaller meals a day. Going on vacation doesn’t change that!
- Avoid the all you can eat buffet bars. One, because… gross. I feel like they should be called the “Germ Bar” with all those people getting hand-sy with the food. Second, you do NOT need to feed yourself to to the point of being a cinnamon roll busting out of its package. Besides, it also will totally kill your extra energy. So order a regular size portion off the menu, por favor : )
- When in doubt, center your meals at restaurants around high quality protein (fish, grass fed beef, etc) and veggies. Skip the fries, bread, etc. Ya know what fries taste like in France? I know, because I’ve been. They taste like fries in America. You’re not missing out, promise! Instead, get psyched about trying healthy local cuisine. Is there a particular fish specialty? An exotic fruit? P.S. In France, I was all about the mussels.
- Here comes one of my favorites, maybe because it’s the topic I get asked about most frequently. BOOZE. At home, I’m honestly not a big drinker. I usually have a glass of wine or two if we go out to dinner, which generally happens once a week. I realize that even for someone like me, when you go on vacation, and you’re all the sudden eating out for almost every meal, this can be a real challenge. Here’s my suggestion: Just don’t go crazy. If you’d like to enjoy a glass of wine at dinner, or a cocktail on the beach, go ahead… but give yourself a limit before you start. I took this challenge in Charleston, and let myself have a glass of wine every other dinner out. We actually headed out to the bar scene almost every night, and I can promise you that I still danced like Beyoncé all night, even while sipping seltzer water and lime. And I didn’t have a hangover the next day (bonus). My other suggestion for drinking- stay clear from all those sugary, GMO filled, artificial colored signature drinks offered up on the menu. Go for an antioxidant rich glass of red wine, or even a simple tequila, soda water and lime.
So, what do y’all think? Pretty easy, right? I’d love to hear how you challenge yourself to stay healthy on vacation! Our next stop is a wedding in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida in August… send me your recs, please!