A few months ago when my friend Erin told me she was going on vacation with the mindset of staying healthy along the way, I couldn’t contain my excitement! Staying fit and active on the road is something almost everyone struggles with, myself included. I asked her to write about her journey and how she vacations with style while staying slim…. now, she’s back and as always, looking banging! Here’s what Erin has to say about how she stays in shape on the road….
Don’t Vacate Your Healthy Lifestyle
by Erin Shaw
When I was a 22-year-old college student, I noticed something strange happening to me. I was growing – not up, but out. This bizarre moment was the moment that I realized that I was no longer a teenager with a metabolism functioning at light-speed, and I’d need to actually exercise and watch what I ate if I wanted to appear attractive to members of the opposite sex. (You mean I can’t eat an entire pizza anymore?) Sadly, not.
Shortly there after, I moved to New York City where I walked all twenty extra pounds off and returned to my “happy weight.” However, ever since that experience, I’ve been vigilant about staying healthy and never letting any kind of indulgence take things too far away from a healthy balanced existence. Wait, did I mention I’m a food writer? Yeah, it’s that much more difficult to keep things in check.
So you can imagine this summer, when I embarked on a two-month, foodie, road trip through the South, I was more than aware that I was entering into a battle of epic proportions to experience Southern food culture, without becoming Paula Dean, (before her diet and crazy racism scandal.)
Over the course of two months, I’d be spending extended time in Santa Fe, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston and Atlanta. (AKA homes of Chili, BBQ, Tex Mex, Cajun/Creole Cuisine, Soul Food and Southern Comfort Food) – not exactly a part of the country where people eat light.
Somehow I miraculously returned home weighing the same amount I did when I left, but the experience was not without its challenges.
So how is it done? How do we go on vacation and enjoy ourselves without killing all the work we did before we left? I know that summer vacation time is essentially over, but with Holiday travel looming in the not so distant future, I think these tips are still helpful.
Here are my tips for how to keep your vacation nibbles and sips off your hips!
Have a plan and stick to your gym regiment!
Before leaving I checked every city I’d be in to see if my gym had locations there. For the cities that did not have my gym, I looked online for gyms that offered guest passes, or studios like Pure Barre that offered short guest memberships. (Dallas Pure Barre offered me a week of unlimited classes for $45!) There is always time to squeeze in a half hour workout before exploring a new city. Don’t get lazy just because you’re on vacation. Even if you don’t work out every day, fit in workouts when you can to keep your energy up and your metabolism going strong!
Get out and move!
Most cities you might visit have great alternatives to driving around, or taking cabs and a lot of cities both domestic and international have easy Bike Share programs. Or find a company that will show you the sites in a pedestrian fashion. In New Orleans there are inexpensive walking tours and biking tours, and in Savannah (Tybee Island) I found beach cruiser rentals that were awesome for checking out the sunny, sandy terrain.
Drink plenty of water!
When on vacation (especially during warmer months,) staying hydrated is key! You will want to indulge in the foods and beverages that maybe, aren’t super figure-friendly. Drinking a ton of water will keep you from retaining water from all the sodium, and will also continue to flush toxins out of your body.
Watch your booze calories!
Most of the cities I visited in the South were big drinking towns, especially Savannah and NOLA, which both have open container laws and to-go cups from bars. Beer calories add up quickly, so if you’ve had a slower or more indulgent day, maybe opt for a gin and tonic or glass of red wine.
Stay in and cook!
Several of my stops included home rentals via airbnb or VRBO. Those were the stops where I’d find a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and cook or BBQ something healthy for myself for dinner. Take it from me, eating vacation cuisine is much more fun if it isn’t incessant. Give your body a break, so that when you do indulge it feels special and there’s less guilt.
Don’t be too hard on yourself!
Remember it is vacation; so if you have a few wild indulgent days, not beat yourself up. Food is meant to be enjoyed not feared, so enjoy the experience you’re traveling for. You can always do a juice cleanse when you get home!
THANK YOU, ERIN!
The Love Fit Life thinks YOU ROCK and wants to wish you the best of luck for your big move to New Orleans this fall. We’re thrilled that your fit chick road trip adventure has led you to a new home with countless excursions to come. Keep us posted on all things health and happiness as you settle in and continue to tackle this big beautiful world 🙂
To the places you’ll go, you skinny betch,
Rachel & Erin