Raise your hand if your eating habits went on vacation when you did only to result in coming home feeling heavy, sick, and a little depressed. Think about it for a second. It sounds totally absurd. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and rejuvenating. If you come home feeling guilty and stressed, then the vacation didn’t do its job. But don’t fret, if you’ve put off your trip until the last few weeks of summer, I’ve got some tips that will have you coming home feeling happy and healthy!
- Embrace the power of portions! With portion size in mind, you can truly have whatever you want. Just not too much. By giving priority to putting fresh fruits and veggies on the plate, you’ll fill up on nutrients and fiber but not on calories. So a few bites of a high calorie dessert you “can’t resist” can fit in while you are on vacation.
- Moderate. Moderate. Moderate. I tell people to “choose between.” If you’re in the mood for a rich breakfast like pancakes, have a pancake with a couple egg whites and then for lunch have some healthy greens with grilled fish. Choose a glass of wine with dinner or dessert, but not both. Alcohol lowers the inhibitions and once you’ve had a few, resisting the “munchies” is like staying away from a BOGO shoe sale – IT AIN’T HAPPENING!
- Rethink convenience foods. Fresh fruits are nature’s convenience food. Fruits like oranges, bananas, and apples come in their own packaging (how’s that for going green?). Road tripping? Bring a cooler of fresh fruit, 2% mozzarella string cheese, grape tomatoes, Fig Newtons, hard boiled eggs, and whole wheat crackers with a small schmear of natural peanut butter. Be sure to eat a balanced meal before you hit the road and then rely on the cooler for healthy noshes between destinations. If you are full, you won’t feel tempted by the roadside fast food.
- Don’t be “the rationalizer.” You know who I’m talking about… the person who says “I’m on vacation so I don’t care.” “Just one more.” Bottom line: you can have fun and nourish yourself at the same time. If you’re out for a week, pick one or two truly “carefree” food days and balance them out with some extra activity. But don’t sign up for a week of overdoing it. The emotional fallout you may feel when you come home is not worth the few days of food frenzy.
August 19th, 2009