Healthy Habits on Vacation

I can hardly fathom the fact that July is already here. Holy cow. I feel like this year is flying! I swear it will be Christmas before we know it. Now that summer is well under way, many of us have vacations planned and maybe even a fun holiday weekend trip coming up. I’ve also just returned from my week in paradise so I figured this would be the perfect time to share my tips and tricks on enjoying your time on vacation, while maintaining just a few healthy habits!

As most of you probably noticed from my Instagram story spamming, I spent last week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! Full disclosure, I spent the entire week doing a whole lot of nothing but eating and drinking. Yep, me, the health and fitness blogger, eating and drinking almost anything and everything I wanted for a whole seven days. And guess what? It was the best week ever.

Isn’t every vacation the best week ever? For me, yes and no. In all honesty this was probably the very first vacation I’ve been on in the past 6 or 7 years that I wholeheartedly let myself enjoy my vacation, in every sense of the word. I didn’t track a single calorie in MFP, I didn’t freak out if I didn’t make it to the gym for the day or do a normal workout, and I didn’t pass things up left and right because I was concerned about the macros. While some of you might be thinking, I never worry about those things on vacation, it’s vacation! I did, for a long time. Needless to say, I’m thankful to have finally made it to a place in my journey where I can be flexible and enjoy every moment of weeks like these. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, #memoriesovermacros!

I feel like many people are often times one of two ways on vacation. Either you feel like you have to stay on track, be healthy, track your foods, hit your macros, pass up all the good stuff in fear of losing all your “progress” etc., OR you take a “three sheets to the wind” kind of approach and have no regard for anything but the good stuff. I’m not saying either way is wrong, vacation is vacation, however you want to define it! However, for me, it was important to learn to find a balance so that I could learn to enjoy vacation in a healthy way and not have anxiety over what I was eating. It might sound silly, but I know I am not the only one who struggles with that.

While I enjoyed every moment of this vacation, in true Aubrey form, I did try to keep myself somewhat in check while I was gone. Not because I felt like I had to, but because health and fitness is a lifestyle for me. Some of the habits I’ve formed along this journey are things I will carry with me forever, regardless of being on vacation or not. Today I’m sharing with you a couple of tips to help you keep yourself just a tiny bit on track, while enjoying your vacation at the same time, so that you too can learn to have a healthy vacation balance!

  • Pick a few days and spend 20 minutes being active – full on workouts are not necessary!
    • I truly did not spend one day on vacation doing a full on gym workout like I normally would at home. After doing about half a normal workout in the resort gym, I realized how silly that was when the beach was just steps away. I spent almost every morning either walking on the beach, and a few mornings doing a quick 15 minute circuit workout with what I had around me (ie: stairs, resistance bands, patio furniture, etc.). Just being active for a few minutes each day will leave you feeling refreshed and energized!

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  • Walk when you can!
    • I stayed at a resort that provided golf carts to get from place to place on the resort property, but after realizing how long it took for golf carts to get to our room, we decided to take that as a sign that we should enjoy the beautiful scenery and weather, and walk wherever we could. I wore my Apple watch most  days, and I was so amazed that I surpassed 10k steps almost every single day! This is especially easy to do when you’re staying somewhere warm and with beautiful scenery, take advantage of it!
  • Take advantage of what’s fresh and in season where you are
    • This doesn’t always apply to every vacation you might be taking, but if it’s possible try to eat what’s in season and fresh in your area! If you’re going somewhere tropical, try all of the local fruits, vegetables, the fish, whatever you can find! I ate more fruit in 7 days than I probably have in all of 2017. The fresher you can find, the healthier it is!

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  • Eat as much protein as you can – especially early in the day!
    • Although I spent the week eating so many “fun” foods, I still tried to eat a lot of protein. This is one of those habits I was referring to. I’m used to eating a lot of protein, so much so that even when I’m not eating at home or eating my normal foods, I know my body is going to function better if it has some protein fueling it. Protein keeps you full, so it’s important to include a little protein at every meal if you can. In my case, I ate a ton of protein at breakfast so that if I wanted pasta at night, or something not so protein heavy, I didn’t feel bad about not choosing something with a lot of protein.

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  • Go for the buffets
    • This probably sounds kind of funny, but something I found so helpful on vacation. We opted for the breakfast buffet almost every single morning because it allowed us to get as much or as little of all the different things we wanted. We weren’t confined to what was on a menu, and we got to control exactly what went on our plates. Eating at a buffet also allowed me to eat a lot of protein, more so than I probably could have by eating off of a restaurant menu. It also allowed us to try every baked good that was served, which was a huge plus. By morning #3, we had down to a science which donuts were made with sugar, and which weren’t … if you’ve been to Mexico, you know what I’m talking about.

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  • When drinking alcohol, stick to the clear stuff!
    • I did my fair share of drinking last week, but I did my best to stick to my rule of thumb I shared in a previous post, which is to stick to clear liquors – not all the sugary stuff. While I did enjoy a few lime daquiris and a couple frozen margaritas (it’s Mexico, I had to) for the most part I tried to stick to vodka sodas and vodka Sprite Zeroes. For me personally, the frozen cocktails are too sweet and they really upsets my stomach, so it wasn’t hard to say no for the most part. But for those of you who love them, stick to a couple and balance it out with a couple clear drinks in between!

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  • Stay hydrated!
    • Staying hydrated is important regardless of whether you’re on vacation or not. However, on vacation it’s even more critical. Your body needs a ton of water, especially when you’re drinking more alcohol than usual, eating more sugar and salt than you normally would, etc. For a lot of us, vacation also means spending excessive time in the sun, which causes us to sweat, which causes our bodies to need even more water than normal. A good rule of thumb for me is to always bring my own water bottle when I’m traveling. That way it’s always with me; on the plane, in my hotel room, at the beach, at the pool, etc. That also means there’s never an excuse for me to not be drinking water!

Whether you’re going to be traveling this summer, or any time of year, I hope some of these tips are helpful to you! As always, thanks for reading! Check back this weekend for a quick and easy healthy side dish perfect for a Fourth of July cookout!

XO, A

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