Happiness/ Travel

Working out & eating healthy–or not–on vacation

When I go on vacation, I don’t drastically switch up my eating habits or workouts, but I also give myself a little more leeway to indulge and relax. I truly enjoy working out so when I’m on vacation, I love running to explore a town, trying a local yoga studio, or sometimes working out longer than I normally do without time constraints I have on a normal week. 

If you saw my post about last week’s workouts, you’ll see that I actually worked out every day while I was at Kure Beach except the day we drove home. I ran most days; it was soooo humid but flat! One day I attended a barre class at the local rec center taught by a friend that I actually met on my last trip to Kure. We raced against each other at a local 5K (where I PR’d!), and we’ve kept in touch. That’s a perfect example of why I love running and love running on vacation! Instant friends. 🙂

I also checked out a local yoga studio, Salty Dog Yoga.

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The class was a gentle flow and while I knew it wouldn’t be as vigorous as I probably wanted, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to do yoga overlooking the ocean! The class was held in this cool gazebo-type thing on the dunes.

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It was such a beautiful morning. 

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Another day, I guided myself through a yoga practice on the porch. 

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It was like doing hot yoga with the humidity. 🙂 I worked up a good sweat! 

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As far as food goes, I balanced healthy eating with a bit of unhealthy. 🙂 I started most mornings with Leapin’ Lemurs. Yep, we’re adults up in here. 

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And I made myself an Americano every morning. 

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After our workouts, John and I would make a huge green smoothie with tons of greens and protein powder. (When we travel to places by car, we typically pack a lot of things, like protein, the Vitamix, nuts, quinoa, espresso, flax oil – more or less depending on the length of the trip. For this week-long trip, we brought a lot of things with us. 

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Before we headed out to the beach each afternoon, we typically ate a quinoa bowl with sprouted mungbeans. John made a big batch of quinoa and sprouted the mungbeans the day we got to the beach, so we could toss together quick lunches every day. We drizzled it with hemp oil and sprinkled with walnuts. (I’ve asked John to write a post about how and why he sprouts mungbeans!) Somedays we went out for lunch too.

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I hard-boiled eggs a few days to munch on in the afternoons at the beach. But mostly, we ate Cape Cod Chips and drank Omission beer and Corona Lights each afternoon. We had really good wine on a few nights. 

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And some nights, I made a gin & tonic. (This Q tonic is the best.tonic.water.ever, FYI. I got it at Whole Foods.)

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And on our last day, we started our morning with a walk along the beach before heading into this diner around 7:30 for omelets, grits and fruit. Nothing fancy, but just a laid-back diner with great service. 

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I wouldn’t normally eat Leaping Lemurs for breakfast everyday (too processed, too much sugar…I save them for dessert!) and I don’t normally drink beer every single day and eat ALL the Cape Cod chips, but for me, part of being on vacation is doing things I don’t normally do. The “healthy” things I did do – working out, eating green smoothies, etc. – were things I really wanted to do. I genuinely like green smoothies and I love the quinoa bowls. 

After a week of “off” eating, I came back from the beach 6 lbs heavier, which is quite a bit of weight on my small frame (I’m 5’1″), and feeling pretty sluggish. I don’t typically put on weight when I travel, but I definitely ate more than usual on this trip! (Like I mentioned, ALL the Cape Cod chips… :D) I’m not that worried about the extra weight since I know how to get it off. I came home relaxed and happy, even after seeing the number on the scale. And that’s a HUGE improvement for me emotionally. I used to have a terrible relationship with the scale and eventually had to get rid of it for a while. But I’ve brought the scale back, for a few reasons, which I’ll address in another post. 

The moral of the story: life is too short to not be enjoyed, especially on vacation. Eat the chips! Drink the wine! Moderation kind of goes out the window for me on some trips, and other trips I eat really, really healthy because the healthy options are so good and easily available (like in Portlan!d). Sometimes I’m really active on trips, walking all day, and other times I’m planting my butt on the beach. And that’s ok with me. 

How do you approach healthy eating/working out while on vacation?

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  • Reply

    I usually find the pounds I pack on after a vacation or weekend away are due to drinking because I will usually have at least 2-3 drinks per day on vacation (usually just beer and wine but still the calories add up!) I can usually take it off again with a couple days of good eating and I’m sure you will too!

  • Reply
    Kim @FITsique

    Looks like a wonderful trip! I do that as well on vacations, I pack a lot of food and try to eat healthy for all of my meals. I will usually pick one meal a day to eat out on to enjoy the local dining and relax a little because, hey after all its vacation!

  • Reply
    Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.com

    Ok, I am not a chip person, but their Old Bay chips…. I don’t know if I should thank or hate my sister’s boyfriend for introducing me to those oh mu yum!

    I would love to read about John’s sprouted mungbeans. As a lentil lover (actually I am eating them right now haha) the picture if nothing else looks super appetizing!

    Running on vacation is one of my absolute favorite things! There is no better way to get to know a new place as “real” person as opposed to an outsider than running it!

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

    I totally agree with you!! Sometimes it’s hard coming home and seeing a higher number on the scale but I know when I go back to my normal moderation and balance, everything will work out!

  • Reply

    i could totally go for a gin & tonic right now. that quinoa lunch looks awesome!when i’m on vaca i try to be more active — not necessarily exercise, but walk more, move around more, explore.

  • Reply

    I love to really enjoy myself on vacation! I tend to go overboard a bit with the treats and the drinks. I like to get some exercise in too and usually go for a run or two. I haven’t tried taking a class while traveling, next time we do I think I’ll have to follow your example and check out a local yoga studio.

  • Reply
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run

    curious why the scale is back 🙂

  • Reply

    I have the same attitude you do w/ regard to eating & exercising while on vacation. If I get some exercise in, great – if not, that’s ok, too. I’m a pretty active person, though (& I love to exercise!), so odds are that I will do a little something while away. My activities while on vacation are typically pretty active anyway (hiking, biking, etc.). I also think vacation is a great time to indulge, & I often come home w/ my clothes feeling a bit tighter than when I left. (I don’t own a scale & never will.) I don’t let that bother me, though – I know a week of good eats & exercise will get me right back to where I started. 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs

    My husband & I love to go to NYC for our trips. We usually go for 5 days, and try to cram as much of the city in as we can! While we don’t do formal workouts while we’re there, we do TONS of walking — the only time we’re not moving around is when we’re sitting down to eat, and when we’re watching a show/musical at night! So even though we’re not “working out”, we’re still being fairly active.

    On the food front, I like to eat well for breakfast & lunch, and then allow a little room for splurging at dinner. And if I come home with a little extra weight, so be it! It’s worth it 🙂

  • Reply

    Love this! Life is way too short to be strict on holidays. Seems like your approach is similar to me- healthy eats with some fun eats mixed in, definetely a few drinks and a workout pretty much every day. Suprisingly, I find when I go away in the winter (which has been Hawaii the past couple years), I actually leave feeling healthier. I think it’s just because of all the fresh produce and fish I’m able to eat, being outside all day, extra sun vs. being at home stuck indoors because it’s cold and eating boring winter foods.
    FYI: if you love Q tonic… Look for Fever Tree or Fentimans tonic! And they complement that rangpur gin so well.

  • Reply

    What a great post-vacation perspective…I will remember this next time I overindulge.

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