Tips to Stay Balanced on Vacation

I’m under the belief that we all need breaks.  Breaks from work.  Breaks from adulting.  Breaks from the normal.  Breaks from exercise.  Breaks from meal prep.  Breaks from cooking.  Breaks from our kids (joking, not joking). The list goes on….and on….and on.  Breaks are good.  But sometimes, depending on who we are, taking a break can lead us down a rabbit hole.  Like: “I’m going to take a break from it all on vacation and just eat what I want when I want how I want” But: “Yeah, I’ve been back from vacation for a month, and I keep saying I’ll start eating healthier and moving more tomorrow but I don’t because …. (fill in the blank).”

It happens to us all.  It happens to me.  That’s why, this last vacation I focused more on a good balance.  I took a break from the normal routine, but I also didn’t start going down the rabbit hole.  For me, there is an endless number of cookies down that rabbit hole.  What is it for you?

Anyway, that’s what led me to think what I could share with you all that kept me feeling good.  See, usually, on vacation I tend to feel bloated, and if I’m honest, a little constipated, real talk here people.  However, not this time.  This time it felt great!  Which led me to consider living a little more this way all together 😉.  So, here it goes:

Keep Moving, But No Need to “Train”:  

I use vacation as a time to take a break from the normal exercise routine.  I try to make sure I’m getting enough sleep, so early mornings are usually out, which leads me to explore the day more.  How did I keep moving?  It all depends!  Weather permitting, I get the family on a hike, a bike ride, a walk, or maybe just some play time outdoors.  All of which are simple, economical, and easy to do no matter where you go, plus you get to see a little bit more of wherever you are.  I took a few other days to work in some yoga and a short HIIT but only because I wanted to and I knew it would help me shake off some of those travel blahs that can make me feel sluggish.

Eat Out, But Not ALL:

This saying is twofold.  First, restaurants tend to serve portions that are twice the amount a normal human being needs/requires. Second, if you have the option to cook with family or friends while on vacation, do so and enjoy the memory!  We ate out A LOT!  I won’t lie, I LOVED IT!  This mama loves taking a break from cooking and doing dishes!   As much as I love cooking, I LOVE taking a break from it.  Knowing that restaurants often serve portions double the size, I often left much on my plate, depending on what I ordered.  But I also tried to order the things I knew would keep me feeling good and not bloated!  For me, that meant lots of greens, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  I cut back on the grains this trip and avoided the dairy – I noticed was that I didn’t bloat AND I didn’t get constipated!  Success!  Again, real talk people.  Plus, we did cook some with family, and ate some good hearty healthy meals together while enjoying a beer and good conversation.

Drink Up, And DRINK A LOT: 

No, not alcohol.  Any sort of travel can be toxic to our bodies and leave us dehydrated!  This can lead to bloat, hunger cues, constipation, headaches, and the travel “blahs.”  That’s why you need to drink water!!  Before we got to our hotel, we stopped at a grocery store where I stocked up on a case of bottled water.  On our travels we each had a giant bottle!  You need more when you are travelling.  You need more if you’re drinking alcohol.  You need more if you are eating things you might not normally eat.  So, just make sure you drink lots of water!  For more on how much to drink check out my previous blog.

Have granola, will travel: 

Okay, so, I don’t believe you have to travel with your own food.  But I did.  My dad asked me to make him some dark chocolate granola.  I obliged.  So then I made some date granola for myself and traveled with it.  Our hotel had a free continental style breakfast (croissants, bread, bagels, oatmeal, cereals, coffee, and fruit).  Knowing I was going to see if staying light on the grains (mostly breads, rice and pastas) would keep me feeling lighter, I wanted to travel with my own granola as an experiment.  Don’t worry, I know that oats are a grain, but my granola is filled with nuts and dates too.  And it doesn’t bloat me or constipate me, FYI.   I’d have a small coffee cup filled with granola and almond milk (provided by the hotel breakfast) paired with a hot lemon water.  It did the trick!  Now, you can’t always travel with your own granola, but this time it was perfect!

Seek and Ye Shall Find: 

My kids are awesome!  We had lots of ice cream on this trip.  And any time we found a dairy free option the girls would say, “Mommy, they have dairy free!”  They adored that I would enjoy some ice cream and cookies with them.  I enjoyed it too!  If you have certain food sensitivities do some research before you travel.  See what restaurants or farmer’s markets are nearby so that you can pick up some of the things you can enjoy or even try something new.  This might be harder traveling out of country but not impossible.

Reminder – It’s All ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS: 

My aunt reminded me of something while we were visiting.  Of all the research done, of all the new things we discover about food and health, there is one COMMON and CONSISTENTLY OCCURRING theme: “Healthy relationships equals a healthier life.”  It doesn’t matter if you live in the US, Europe, South America, Asia, and so on.  The people and the communities that live long healthy lives stay active, live in balance and moderation, but mostly have quality relationships!  Most of the time, vacation is with family and or friends.  Put down the phones, don’t document everything, rather soak it in, listen, laugh, talk, play, and enjoy each other fully.  If relationships need repair, work to repair them, if someone needs support, support them, if you need a friend, call one.  Community, togetherness, camaraderie…it makes a difference.