In honor of summertime, here are some of my secrets on how to stay slim and energized during your vacation. Contrary to popular belief, the foods we have access to on vacation are often extremely fresh, delicious, and sometimes are even better than the ones we can get at home! Locally grown fruit and produce can be very exciting, so take advantage of it. Don’t let a week-long vacation get you feeling bloated, blotchy or anything but beautiful! I invite you to embrace the following guidelines on your next journey away from home.
The key to success on vacation starts before you step foot outside your front door. Make sure to bring a couple staple items on vacation with you… namely a sweetener (xyitol or stevia), so you can add your own sweetness as needed if the need arises. I also bring along a ton of dulse sea vegetable (the chunks not the flakes), so I can add it to beef up the mineral content of my salads. I eat it like chips. You can also bring some flax seed crackers for a high protein high fiber snack that serves as a great accent to any snack or meal. You can find these items at your local health market.
Traveling can be stressful, and therefore can lead to unwise food choices. Don’t let anything get in the way of you and your health! Feel free to look at my tips for traveling.
Once you’re on vacation, start your morning with a brisk 30-minute walk. Walking is one of the most underrated and yet one of the most effective exercises. The oxygen that you get early in the morning will give you an extra oomph and it will increase your blood circulation, opening up channels of energy in our bodies. Going on a morning stroll will also set your digestive system into motion and you will start your day cleansed and renewed. It gets you feeling good, so you’ll be less likely to get in a rut and say, “I’m on vacation, I’ll just eat whatever I want!” Most importantly, it will get you up and out before those notorious big Continental or buffet breakfasts can tempt you, which will bring your whole day down like a sack of concrete in your stomach. Big breakfasts waste copious amounts of energy, and tie up digestion for hours. Eating heavy, big breakfasts is a great way to get fat.
If your accommodation has a mini fridge, check out your local market and stock up on a head of kale or spinach, avocados, and local fruit like mangoes and bananas for plenty of midday snacks (I find that I’m more prone to snacking when I’ve been in the sun all day). Quick and easy snacks are lettuce-wrapped avocados, tomatoes and sprouts. Or you could slice up an avocado on seed crackers. If you don’t have a fridge, you can still snack on all of the above sans tomato and lettuce. Either way, I encourage you to be creative and use the local culture and restaurants to inspire you!
Coconut Water: I can’t preach enough about this stuff! It is a powerful elixir and amazing (not to mention refreshing) drink in the hot sun. I am personally so glad that coconut water is becoming so widespread and easily accessible. The best part about vacationing is the access to these incredible sources of hydration and nutrients fresh. Coconut water gives you a ton of Beauty Minerals and is a natural detoxifier.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that there is never a shortage of fruit on vacation. An abundant fruit plate is ideal for breakfast and is a great snack on an empty stomach. Depending on where you stay, maybe they can make glowing green smoothies for you! I’ve been having a huge container every day with the local kale, spinach, parsley, mango and papaya. Always avoid fruit for dessert. As a general rule, wait 20 minutes after a snack or meal before ingesting fruit.
Chances are, you’ll be eating out on your vacation. No matter where you are, always start with a green salad, or double it if they’re tiny. Then practice Beauty Food Pairing. If a restaurant doesn’t have the right combination of foods, don’t be shy and ask to substitute!
On the menu is chicken and fingerling potatoes
Instead ask to substitute the potatoes for steamed veggies.
On the menu is pasta marinara and meatballs
Instead ask to substitute the meatballs for steamed veggies
As always, stay away from cream based pasta sauces (like a la vodka, or alfredo) and stick to the more simple stuff. That goes for soups and drinks as well. The simpler the better!
Make sure to bring along your Beauty Food Pairing cheat sheet. You can just photocopy it and stick it in your wallet. As long as you follow the “Light to Heavy” principle and practice Beauty Food Pairing, your body will stay light and energized no matter where in the world we you.
For more tips on eating out, check out my previous post.
If you want some dessert on vacation it’s okay, but make sure it isn’t an every night occurrence. I usually keep some semi-sweet dark chocolate on hand to nibble on to nip those after dinner cravings in the bud (though here in PR I find I don’t need it at all). Not to mention, dark chocolate is packed with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that protects against heart disease. Dark chocolate is healthier than other varieties because it has less sugar. Not to mention, chocolate is replete with mood enhancing hormones like phenethylamine and anandamide to be technical. For a craving ceasing dessert, try a piece of dark, organic chocolate with a glass of fine glass of red wine. Cacao should never be a daily food, however.
Speaking about red wine, think for a moment about the stereotypical vacation drink. I don’t know about you guys but for me, all I can imagine is a tray filled with daiquiris and piña coladas. For all your vaca drinks, avoid smoothies and blended drinks with high fructose corn syrup or rum. Instead of rum, opt for red wine or vodka. Red wine is packed with flavonoids and antioxidants and is the most nutrition rich alcohol you can put in your body. Second to red wine would be high quality vodka. Want a new summer spritzer? Try a grapefruit vodka. Grapefruit juice has a fat-burning enzyme that can help you digest starch and sugar better. Not to mention, it has essential minerals like folic acid, calcium and potassium.
I hope that these tips have you feeling healthy and energized on vacation. I know they sure make me do!
What’s your favorite healthy snack on vacation?