After a 3 night 4 day trip to Austin, TX I am excited to share with you how I turned a vacation into a “health-cation”. Before I left I decided to challenge myself or treat myself to a healthier style vacation. Most times I go on vacation it is all about splurge splurge splurge. I will over eat, over indulge, and feel horrible (mentally and physically) by the time I get home. Well I am happy to report that these past days were filled with exercise, delicious foods, and yes just a little bit of pizza.
I approached this trip with an 80/20 mentality. For example – Eat clean all day so I can have ice cream at night or have pizza for lunch and no alcohol that day. I am sure that there were things I could have done better, but all in all this trip was by far the healthiest vacation I have ever taken. Here are some tips I learned along the way.
- Review the menu before choosing the spot to ensure there are healthy options.
- Choose a meal that has protein, healthy fats, and lots of veggies.
- Ask for dressing on the side.
- Avoid FRIED foods – stick with grilled protein sources.
- Switch out sides of fries for extra veggies.
- Don’t feel guilty for asking for substitutions on meals or asking how things are cooked. Just be pleasant and see what is available. ** be smart about where you go -ex: Don’t go to a BBQ joint and ask for no BBQ sauce as it could offend the chef or just annoy everyone in general **
- Drink lots of water.
- Plan out alcoholic drinks. Try to not exceed 2 drinks a day and drink water in between each glass. I stuck with a skinny version of a margarita ( Tequila, lime juice, and a tiny drop of agave).
- Avoid sugar heavy drinks. If you are going to drink something “healthier” try vodka soda with a lime or a light beer.
- Did I mention WATER?
- If there is a specific cocktail you want ask the bartender if they can make a lighter or skinny version of it.
- If you are trying to avoid alcohol completely, but feel pressure from people you are vacationing with ask for a seltzer with lime or lemon and nobody is the wiser!
- Explore the city or town you are visiting. ( as long as it is safe)
- Look for a local workout class or studio and try something new. Sometimes if you let them know you are from out of town and are a first timer they may let you work out for free or discounted rate. (I attended the grand opening of Soul Cycle in Downtown Austin and it was the HARDEST spin class I have ever taken!)
- Use the hotel gym if they have one. ( I was lucky to have a nice gym in the hotel I stayed at and I used it every day! Just 20-30 minutes in the AM before the day begins will keep you motivated.)
- If you do not have access to a gym there are tons of body weight HIIT workouts you can do anywhere.
- Dance (If you are going out for the night with friends try to fit in some cardio! Sure you have a few drinks in you but at least your burning calories dancing.)
- Walk walk walk ( I walked an average of 5 miles each day I was in Austin. Avoid using cabs or uber if you can walk to where you want to go.)
- Depending on the city or place you are staying you may be able to rent a bike to tour the city. We did this on our last day and rode around for over 2 hours. (This was especially nice after an overindulgent breakfast *cough pancakes cough*)
I hope these tips and ideas help you out on your next vacation. Even small changes can make a huge difference during your time away from home.
Many of us tend to feel that we “deserve” to over eat and “worked hard” to indulge on unhealthy choices when we go on vacations. I think we have it all wrong. It is because we work hard that we deserve to treat our bodies better.