Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tips for Staying Healthy on Vacation

Summer is in the air! We’ve been having the most unsettled weather with short but severe thunderstorms almost every day this week. It’s been just so darn muggy and humid and it’s only the beginning of June! Maybe this means we are in store for a wicked summer….actually that would be just fine with me, I love the heat!

So we are getting ready to leave for the Outer Banks this weekend with my sister-in-law and her husband. Toly and I have never been to the OB , but many of our friends have and they all seem to enjoy it. We are planning on spending a few days (coming back on Wednesday) but we really don’t have any solid plans. Just plain old relaxing on the beach, catching crabs, some fishing, and lots of good eating and drinking: what a real vacation should be.

Kath did tell me about a great little spot for hiking, biking, walking and other outdoor sports called Jockeys Ridge. I think we may try to spend a day there, but other than that, we really don’t have any other idea of things to do or places to see.

Have any of you ever been to the Outer Banks? Do you have any suggestions for things to do, places to eat, or what to expect?

I am really looking forward to a nice vacation and just having some time to unwind. The everyday agenda is getting a little monotonous so I’m thinking beach is just what I need to break up the routine.

I took off work on Friday so I could have time to pack, get a well needed pedicure, and clean the house a bit. As you may know, I am a complete list girl. I make lists for everything, so of course I have already begun on my packing lists. I am planning on bringing an array of healthy snacks and other staple items so that I am prepared. Many people become anxious or worried before going on vacation and feel that it is too difficult to manage your normal healthy eating habits when you are away from home. Um, not true! So long as you plan ahead and are prepared, you can completely stick to your routines, the key is to BE PREPARED! (Gosh, I sound like a boy scout)

Here are my tips for Staying Healthy on Vacation…..

1. Make a list-
Write down the central items that you include in your daily diet (like cereals, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, peanut butter) and if you are able to bring them than do! For me, I know that I will need soy milk, cereal, cottage cheese, and tons of fruit. Even though we are planning on stopping at a store or two while we are there, I can’t be sure that they will carry certain items that I am use to, so if I can bring them, I will.

2. Stock up on healthy non-perishables- Bars, nuts, dried fruits…these are great to carry with you at all times. When you are on vacation, your eating habits are a bit out of the normal routine. You may find yourself not eating breakfast until 10am when you are use to eating at 6am or eating a huge lunch and ice cream for dinner or not eating a lunch and consuming a gigantic dinner. You can’t be sure when hunger will strike, so when it does, it’s important to have something on hand at all times to conquer this.

3. Plan to be Active- Bring your gear with you. Don’t forget your sneakers and work out clothes. There is always an opportunity to get in a good run or walk or any kind of work out for that matter. If you don’t think there will be much time in the day to plan for exercise, choose to carve out a time when you know you will be able to get it in, like early in the morning before everyone wakes up. One of my absolute favorite things to do at the beach is to wake up at dawn and go for a run on the sand. It’s AMAZING and I actually look forward to this “me” time. Hey, it’s your vacation too, so don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself.

4. Splurge a little- Okay this is important. You are on vacation, have a good time, eat amazing foods, try new things, and don’t beat yourself up for feeling like you “over-did” it. Sure, you may indulge a little more than you normally would at home, but that’s okay. Seriously, who wants to go on vacation and not enjoy a little alcohol, some ice cream, or wonderful meals out? Eating is such a vital part of the pleasure in going away because it allows us to try new things and spice up our typical behaviors. That doesn’t mean you have to eat yourself into a junk food stupor, but it does mean that you are entitled to a little extravagance on the menu.

5. Don’t Beat Yourself Up- So you drank a little too much or ate a little more than you knew you probably should have. It’s OKAY! Just tell yourself, no big deal, and move on. You will jump right back into your normal routine when you come home, and I promise, you didn’t do any permanent damage. A few days of splurging will not reserve the weeks, months or years you’ve spent maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So long as you started the trip with a good healthy regiment, you will have no trouble getting back into that mindset.

I will try to remember to photograph my stash of what I will be bringing and show you guys on Friday. I’m also planning on making some blueberry muffins to bring, but with my past experiences with baking, that idea could quickly fail. We’ll see how it goes! ;)

After work, Toly and I were supposed to go the gym to lift, but he informed me that he wasn't feeling up to it. I don't really like to go lift by myself so I decided to do my own strength routine at home. Here are the stats….

20 min of ET (Level 5)
30 Push-ups
50 Dumbell Row Backs
50 Bicycle crunches
25 Reverse crunches
60 sec of holding plank pose

It was a great 30 min workout!

Dinner was next on the agenda.

Creamy Crab and Corn Chowder

I have made this a few times before and it has become a favorite for me and Toly. I used the recipe from Cookinglight and added a few tweaks along the way.


2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
3 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed red potato (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk (I used 1 cup of light coconut milk and 1 cup of 1% milk)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn (I also added chopped asparagus)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt


Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add potato; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, thyme, pepper, nutmeg, corn, and broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in crab, parsley, and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I served the soup with crusty whole wheat bread with a quick bruchetta topping of tomatoes, fresh basil, atrichokes, capers, and balsamic. I also remembered about the watermelon I purchased a few days ago and figured we should probably start to work on consuming this fast! So, some nice juicy melon slices went along side too!

One more day until my vacation starts. Oh it’s so close I can taste it!

Hope you had a wonderful Wednesday.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't forget that you asked me about the Outer Banks. Sorry! Honestly though, when we were there we were so pooped all we did was lay on the beach (which was empty btw) and go out to eat. LOL. we also hung out in the bed and breakfast where we were staying. Do you know where you are staying?

    There is a really chill cafe/surf shop...I think it's called the Pit? I'll get back to you on that.

    As for tips on staying healthy on vacation, I just did a post about that... you can check it out... :) Have a great trip, sorry for the marathon post.