Where MOST People Fail On Holidays.

We are now over a week into 2019 and I hope that you are already getting excited about this fresh, new year. While I don’t make “resolutions”, I do like a new year to remind me of what I value most: my health. Thing is, our bodies really don’t care what date is showing on the calendar. Every day, they have very specific needs, and I keep that in mind no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

This holiday season, Roger and I spent time in Cozumel, Mexico with my family. It was a wonderful chance to rest, repair, recharge and also enjoy some wonderful and exciting adventures! We were at an all-inclusive resort, and for most people, that means going “all in” on the free drinks, free food, and all-you-can-eat portions at any time of day.

But I am not most people.

I remember to treat my body with the kind of dignity and respect it deserves by nourishing it as often as possible…while still indulging here and there. And so, today, I thought I’d share with you my holiday philosophy around food, fitness and fun. Here goes!

  1. CROWD OUT THE JUNK: For starters, as a general rule (every day, not just on holidays) I seek out the greatest source of nutrition when making food choices. This way, I ensure that my body receives what it needs rather than solely what it wants in any given moment. Our brains are hardwired to crave salt, fat and sugar, so when it comes to holidays or all-you-can-eat buffets or celebrations where food is a main theme, what we normally find are options that favour those ingredients, rather than foods that truly nourish us. That said, no matter what, we can do our best to find nutrition. On vacation, I started every single meal with vegetables and/or fruit. I would make up a salad or enjoy steamed veggies or a few pieces of fruit before I went on to the rest of the meal. That way, I made sure I was eating my vitamins and filling up on the good stuff, leaving less room for indulgences.
  2. HYDRATE: As you likely know by now, I wake up every day and drink water. At home, we enjoy 16 ounces of warm lemon water upon waking. On vacation, we didn’t get to have our usual, but we started our days off with half a liter of fresh water. We simply asked for extra bottles of water so that each morning, we could wake up and hydrate. Just because we are on vacation, doesn’t mean our bodies don’t require hydration after sleeping all night.
  3. PROTEIN: With so many carb-heavy options like French toast, pancakes, potatoes, pasta, pastries, etc., it can be tempting to forget the protein and opt for sugary fare instead. Protein at breakfast sets us up for the whole day, so be sure to find a protein source at breakfast time. Personally, I like eggs, Greek yogurt, salmon, oatmeal, lean meats and beans. At each meal, I ask myself “Where is the protein?” and aim for about 20 grams of protein at each main meal. This isn’t hard to get. I have written about the power of protein a LOT on my blog, but here is a post that offers amounts. I am always mindful that my body thrives on protein, which also keeps me satiated for longer periods of time, and provides me with the sustained energy I need to take me on all sorts of adventures like swimming, playing, horse-back riding and working out.
  4. EXERCISE: Speaking of working out, Roger and I didn’t skip a single workout while we were away. It is such a wonderful way to start the day. I work out as much for my physical health as I do my mental health. It is truly amazing what happens to our mood when we move! I like combining cardio with weights, but choose whatever works for you. Feel free to change it up so you don’t get bored and watch your body and your life improve for the better. Our daily workouts allowed us to feel energized to enjoy the various activities we participated in, as well.
  5. INDULGE SMART: Of course, while we were away, Roger and I also indulged…but we did it in a way that enhanced our experience, rather than defining it. Meaning, we don’t agree with the common thought that “You need to gain 10 pounds on vacation to prove you had a good time/got your money’s worth”. Instead, we treat each day as an opportunity to show our bodies love. We treat them well, using all of the strategies above and then we carefully select what we will and won’t indulge in. For example, many days we enjoyed a virgin Piña Colada. Operative word being “A”, as in ONE. It was soooo sweet that I never actually even finished one, but enjoying a few sips was tasty and fun! When it came time for dessert, I would take a bite, and if it was absolutely delicious, I’d take another bite or two while enjoying a decaf coffee. But there were many desserts that were underwhelming to me, so I just didn’t bother. We often feel we HAVE to eat dessert to end a meal, but instead, a nice cup of coffee or herbal tea or even some fruit can be incredibly satisfying and won’t derail our health goals. I stay mindful that every single meal doesn’t have to be decadent, high-calorie, carb-heavy, sweet or saucy food! Most of my meals on holidays–just like at home–are salads, veggies, some protein and a few indulgences (like tacos with guacamole!). Again, our bodies don’t care what day it is or where we are in the world: they still need to be cared for.

I hope these tips help you the next time you go on vacation, or perhaps you will adopt some of these strategies into your everyday lifestyle. It really is important to remember that our bodies have very specific needs, and if we can do the things our bodies need us to do, they will respond in ways that leave us feeling healthy, vibrant, young and energized rather than unhealthy, drained, old and inflamed. I, for one, want to stay in the first camp for as long as possible.

I want the same for you.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. For those of you who struggled to “keep it clean” this holiday season, here is a post I wrote that shares my 7 Day Post-Vacation Detox. I hope it helps you get back on track quickly!

P.P.S. There is STILL TIME to register for my “One Bite At A Time” (OBAAT) Group Coaching Program that starts this Saturday, January 12th, 2019. Click here to learn more. If you like what you see, we will set up a phone call to ensure we are a good fit for one another. If you want to TRULY change the way you feel about yourself and your body, then I am confident I am the coach to help you achieve your goals.

P.P.P.S. If you haven’t already signed up, you might enjoy my 14 Days of Wellness. Simply enter your name and email address here. It’s free, with no diets, products, challenges or catches (you’ll just start getting a Tuesday email from me and you can unsubscribe at any time). I’d love to stay connected. xo

P.P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect socially on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram

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