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Vacation is all about letting loose and having fun, leaving all your cares behind. For many people, it also means leaving your healthy diet behind. It can be hard to pass up sugary cocktails with cute umbrellas, smores over the campfire, or deep-fried anything. Once you leave the ease and routine of preparing healthy meals at home for hotels, campgrounds, or condos, it’s more convenient to eat out and frankly more fun to play tourist and leave diet restrictions behind.
There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence now and then, and there’s no better time than vacation. Unfortunately, throwing all nutrition-savvy caution to the wind and eating what everyone else is eating gives you the same results as everyone else – bloating, weight gain, and even uninvited guests like parasites with their unpleasant symptoms. The good news is with a little careful planning, you can keep your bikini body, enjoy the local cuisine, and not feel like you need a vacation after your vacation.
Have you ever heard “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” This is true as true on vacation as it is at home. Menu planning apps make it so easy to plan your meals and snacks before you even leave, and keep track on your phone or computer while you’re gone. You can plan to include local cuisine and your favorite indulgences, and the best thing about it is you don’t have to feel guilty when treats are in your plan and accounted for!
With menu planning, you’ll only buy exactly what you need so you’re not stuck with leftovers or food you have to discard before the trip home. If you are driving to your destination and will be able to cook where you’re going, you can bring meal prep packs already assembled with spices included and just add meat when you get there (or bring frozen if going a short distance), which saves time and budget. And if you’re the chief cook, these pre-made meals save you time while on vacation so you actually get a vacation, too!
Whether you have a short car ride or long flight, chances are you’ll need a snack. Save yourself from questionable gas station fare or pricey airport fare and bring your own healthy snacks. If you’re driving, insulated reuseable water bottles are great for smoothies, iced herbal teas, and cran-water. Healthy crackers, raw grassfed cheese cut into bite-sized pieces, homemade granola or energy bars, and small containers of unsweetened almond butter to dip celery or apples in, or even organic tortilla chips and no sugar added organic salsa are all great alternatives to what you’ll find on the road.
Start your day off right with a protein-packed breakfast to keep hunger and cravings at bay. Studies show that people lose more weight (and keep it off) when most of their calories come in the first half of the day. Continental breakfasts at hotels are full of processed foods and sugary treats, but if you look carefully, you can usually find hard-boiled eggs and fresh fruit. If they have unsweetened oatmeal, add your favorite whey protein to it. If you can, bring a small immersion blender, your favorite protein powder, and pre-made smoothie packs and make protein-packed morning smoothies to start your day.
To avoid the vacation bloat, keep sugar low and choose gluten free options for bread and alcohol whenever possible. Many people don’t realize alcohol acts like sugar in the body and causes bloating much like eating dessert does. Also, many forms of alcohol, especially beer, are fermented grains containing gluten and cause water retention, inflammation, gas, and belly bloat.
Don’t leave your good judgment behind when ordering food and drinks in a restaurant while on vacation. Choose wisely. For instance, if the local seafood is famous, forego the fried versions and choose steamed or grilled. If portions are large, share a meal with a friend, or if you have refrigeration, have them bag up half the meal to take with for later. If you can’t resist your favorite childhood treat at a family gathering, set yourself up for success and have a protein-packed smoothie to fill you up before you go so you can keep portion sizes small and not overindulge.
Make sure you have a game plan for what you’ll do if you’re travelling with friends who like to party or are on a cruise where sugary cocktails and decadent desserts seem almost too good to pass up. When you swim up to that bar, for instance, and really want to have a drink, choose gluten free, non-GMO vodka like Tito’s or a potato vodka, with sparkling water and lime instead of wine or cocktails. Replace sweet drinks with sparkling water and unsweetened cranberry juice with a touch of stevia for sweetness. Sprinkle Flora-Key on fresh berries for a lightly sweet “dessert” after meals. Or pour a little coconut cream over frozen berries for an ice cream-like dessert.
Clean water is an issue whether you travel high into the mountains or to the heart of the city. Our lakes and rivers aren’t as pristine as they seem and our municipal water supplies are tainted even in the best cities. Travelling can dehydrate you because of heat, increased activity, and dry, climate-controlled air. Drinking enough water is key to staying healthy and active while on vacation. Many styles of portable water filters like straws and water bottles are on the market to provide you with clean water as you travel. Bottled water is another alternative, as long as the bottles don’t overheat and leach plastic into the water and you know the brand you’ve chosen isn’t just filtered tap water.
Vacation is often a time for sightseeing, and you can use that extra exercise to your advantage when the urge to splurge is irresistible. Take that evening stroll along the beach, swim in the hotel pool with your kids, and find reasons to be more active and burn off the extra calories you’ve consumed. Your waistline, your stress level, and your health in general will thank you.
Traveling to remote areas and vacations out of the country are the places where we think of parasites being a risk. The truth is parasites are a fact of life everywhere. That restaurant salad you just ate or the local water you just drank could be contaminated with parasites. Any raw food or inadequately filtered water (or ice) puts you at risk for parasite exposure, even in the nicest towns.
Anytime you travel, take Para-Key and Verma-Plus with you and take half the regular dose while you’re on vacation, especially if you’re out in the wilderness or out of the country. Take 40 billion CFUs of probiotics in divided doses at least 2 hours away from the Para-Key to keep your healthy bacteria populations high and fend off uninvited guests. And avoid constipation at all costs – take magnesium to bowel tolerance and get things moving if travel has you bound up.
Let’s face it – life happens. You’re having such a good time on vacation you just want to forget about eating healthy and cut loose this one time. Or maybe you’re at a camp or retreat where there’s only one option for meals and you can’t opt out. If that bottle of wine or decadent dessert caught your eye or you’re just eating too many carbs, Y-C Cleanse and a good probiotic can help. Bring them with you on vacation and start them as soon as you can after you splurge to avoid the bloat and yeast overgrowth.