Whoo-hooo! It’s vacation time or at least vacation planning time, with summer just around the corner. How exciting . . . . or maybe not if you are one of the many who put on the pounds while away from home.
I’ve got mind-blowing news for you! Going on vacation does not mean you have to come back fatter, heavier and feeling like crap! I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s totally true. Same goes for any kind of trip-takings or travelling in general. Getting fat and flabby while on the road and away from your “normal routine” is not inevitable. That stuff only happens because you choose to make it happen. It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s no rule that says you have to take a vacation from your fitness and healthy eating when you step away from home and your “regular life”. Trust me. I am THE ULTIMATE EXPERT on this topic. And that expert status does not mean I’ve read a bunch of books or gotten my PhD in Vacationing or anything like that. It means I live what I’m talking about and have been for years. So there! I’m worth listening to on this one.
I travel a lot – short trips, long trips, in the US and abroad. And I maintain my fit, healthy, happy lifestyle the whole time. I eat what I want. I never feel deprived or left out. I do what I want. I have a great time and enjoy myself and I never come home feeling like shit. My fitness and health don’t lapse at all. That’s what I call Freal-Style Vacationing. Here’s what I mean by that.
Eating healthy (and vegan), as well as working out and being active aren’t just things I do. They aren’t things I have to do or things I make myself do just so I can make this 47 year old body look good in a bikini . They are my truths, things that I love and that I consider part of my life, part of who I am. Non-negotiables! I take them along with me on vacation and every single place I go.
I hear people talk about “just taking a break” from working out, eating healthy, and watching their portions while on vacation. They say stuff like, “I’m on vacation! I’m just going to cut loose for awhile. I need a break from all that stuff.” What the F*%#???
I just want to ask them, “So does that mean you are going to take a vacation from brushing your teeth or sleeping, or taking a shower while on your trip?” No fricken way, right? That’s just nasty! Vacations have a way of showing us what we’re really made of, what’s a real part of our lives and what’s “extra.” If you feel the urge to escape from healthy eating and being active and exercising while on vacation, then those things aren’t Freal in your life and you might want to deal with that shit going on in your head.
So here are my secrets to having a supremely, magnificent FREAL vacation and coming home just as strong, fit, healthy, and happy as can be.
Food: Shauna and I eat according to the same standards as we do at home because it makes us feel good – and by “good” I mean strong, healthy and nourished. So we do a bit of scouting ahead, Google-style, to get an idea of the healthy, yummy, vegan-friendly restaurants in the area we are visiting. We hit up the local market when we arrive so we are ready with healthy snacks and breakfast makings (since finding a healthy, breakfast that is nice and small always seems to be the toughest thing to get a hold of on the road).
Exercise: First and foremost, we plan active vacations. We DO stuff all day long – hike, walk, ride bikes, swim, snorkel, climb, etc. Let’s face it, sitting on your ass all day (or lounging around by the pool) is boring! We bring our running shoes and clothes and do a run in the place we’re visiting. Running is fun away from home and an excellent way to see the place.
I know. You want details. You want examples. And your request has been heard. In April, we spent 4 days in Arizona. Here’s what it looked like.
|Sunday||Arrived in Phoenix, drove to Sedona and bought granola ad dried blueberries at the healthy grocery store. After lunch did a 3 hour hike with climbing at Devil’s Bridge.||Yummy kale and quinoa bowl and a tiny dark chocolate and pecan square at ChocolaTree for lunch. Dinner: Split a veggie burrito, chips and salsa at Oaxaca then had a homemade brownie we’d brought from home.|
|Monday||4 mile trail run before breakfast.After breakfast, 3 hours of hiking with some climbing near Cathedral Rock.Drove 3 hours to Page. Bought groceries in Page because there was not even ONE healthy restaurant in that town.||We split a buckwheat waffle for breakfast from ChocolaTree.Lunch: Split a veggie sandwich with Sun Chips at Sedona Memories Café and a homemade brownie.Made our own veggie wraps for dinner with a side of organic corn tortilla chips and a few (very tiny) cinnamon cookies by Lucy’s (only healthy ones we could find).|
|Tuesday||7 hours of guided hiking in slot canyons (Cardiac Canyon and Canyon X) with Overland Canyon Tours. Involved lots of sand and climbing.Did our own late afternoon 1.5 mile hike to Paria Rimrocks in Utah.One more 1.5 mile hike. This time to Horseshoe Bend at sunset.
|Granola and dried blueberries for breakfast.Snack was 1/2 a Bobo’s Oat Bar. Veggie sandwich and Sun Chips for lunch provided by Overland Tours. Afternoon snack was a Pecan Lara Bar.Dinner was another veggie wrap, tortilla chips and cinnamon cookies.|
|Wednesday||After breakfast, drove back to Sedona.Rain came so after lunch we drove to Phoenix, stopping twice for mini hikes (Montezuma’s Castle and Black Canyon Trail).After dinner I did a 30s workout in my room at the hostel (30 of each: pushups, lunge knee taps, sit up and reach, tricep dips, and kick out transitions)||Granola and dried blueberries for breakfast.Lunch: a falafel pita and sweet potato fries at Pita Fresh and split a peanut butter cookie by Alternative Baking Co.In Phoenix we hit up Sweet Tomatoes (new name for Souplantation) to-go salad bar and made more veggie wraps with pretzel chips for dinner. Split a double chocolate cookie from ABC.|
|Thursday||Caught an early morning flight home. As soon as we got home I did a 7 mile run before lunch time.||Last time for granola and dried blueberries for breakfast. Linch at home: made a kale and quinoa bowl (also has cauliflower and sundried tomatoes in it with an orange sesame dressing).|
This is the way I vacation and it works. Now you have everything you need to know to vacation freal-style. Do it on your next trip and you’ll be thanking me when you get home.