Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My 100th Blog Post - Vacationing With a Healthy Lifestyle

It’s been a busy few weeks in our household, as we leave for a family vacation in less than 5 days.

I am an obsessive list maker when it comes to traveling.  It has served me well.  Planning and packing for a family of four + 2 dogs, can be daunting, but I have it down to a fine art.

Our biggest challenge is food and what we are going to eat.  We have the luxury of driving, so we can bring a lot of food with us.  Our hotel has a refrigerator and a microwave.  We will also bring an ice chest, as ice is plentiful (and free) at the hotel. 

We will not spend our hard earned money for meals at theme parks.  The one exception will be a special dinner the first night, one with a spectacular view. 

Not only will that economically drain us, the selections are often less than desirable and not compatible with our lifestyle choices.  What's the point of buying a $5 Hot Dog?  What's so special about that?  It's convenient, and that's not special nor appetizing.  I think I would rather spend $5 on something else, that can create a lasting memory, not indigestion. 

Living a fit and healthy life is a lifestyle, it isn’t about “let’s take a vacation and eat anything I want!  I can just work out more when I get home”

Is that a lifestyle?  No, that is a temporary mindset that will not provide long term benefits.

Yes, we will have little treats along the way.  Who can go to Disneyland without eating a Mickey Ice Cream Bar?  But, the meals will be very different.  We will go back to our hotel and prepare our own food, and it is our choice.  It gives a break from the day and a chance to have an hour or two of quiet time with the family. 

  • Fresh produce and vegetables with us for sandwiches and salads.
  • Pre-made pasta and put in bags – heats right up in the microwave
  • Cans of tuna to make sandwiches or a salad
  • Pre-cooked Chicken Breasts, air-sealed in bags and heated in a microwave
  • Baker Potatoes for Baked Potatoes
  • Bottled Water.  Keeps us hydrated and less calories, of course
  • For snacks, I will carry a supply of PowerBars, Clif Bars and Larabar Bars, etc
  • For crunchy snacks – we will have pretzels

You see, our meals will be pretty much the same as if we were at home.  Knowing I cannot get out for a long run during this time (I don’t know the area and I am NOT running 13 miles on a treadmill!) – I will also have to work around my workout.  Bringing Therabands, light weights and a workout DVD.  I will find a way to get a workout in most days – and of course, walking the dogs every night.

Out of curiosity, I will ear my pedometer to see how many steps I will take during a long day at Disney.  That should be fun to see. 

Vacation isn’t a “vacation” from a lifestyle – we can enjoy our vacation, the vacation is not about the food.  We will make our memories in the activities, not focusing on making the food the memory, because it’s not.  

My hope is that I don’t gain any weight during the vacation – but I anticipate I will gain a pound or two.  I am okay with that.  But, I will not gain 15 lbs, as many have done on their vacations. 

I don’t work out to offset bad eating habits.  I work out as a part of our lifestyle choice to live as healthy and happy as we can today, next week and for the rest of our lives.  

Our bodies are 80% of what we eat, and 20% of how we workout. 

What do you do during your vacations to ensure you don’t lose fitness or gain weight?

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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  1. Somehow I really can't help it, I always get weight when I'm on vacation :(

  2. I am agree with your this line.
    Our biggest challenge is food and what we are going to eat.You said I work out as a part of our lifestyle choice to live as healthy and happy as we can today, next week and for the rest of our lives.How it can be possible

  3. @Marina: I agree with you. I also gain a lot of weight whenever I have my vacation.

    Thanks for sharing the tips on how I can avoid it. Good Job!

  4. I am really impressed with the way you organize your get away times. I have a very different mindset, where I think "i am on holidays, I will treat myself" but your thoughts made me think. You are right, why to pay for a hotdog $5 and suffer for indigestion? I will take a very different approach when I am on holidays, thanks to your brainwashing article :-)


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