I love vacation vibes and taking a break from my routine of working, cooking, cleaning, and so on. Unplugging from daily life, spending time with close family and friends, and exploring other cultures and cuisines are good for our health and happiness. But taking a break from your eating and exercise routine can cause your clothes to feel snug. And even if you aren’t recharging on a beach or in a European city somewhere, long summer weekends can put you in a vacation mindset for months! Read on to learn some tips for dealing with the lazy days of summer so you can feel your best once September rolls around.
1. Eat in season. Summer offers plenty of fresh produce to love, like farm fresh tomatoes, blueberries, corn, watermelon, peaches, apricots, and zucchini. Take advantage of the abundance since these seasonal finds are at their peak flavor now. A couple of my favorite super-easy summery dishes: Watermelon and feta (which is great as a snack or meal starter); grilled corn (or a lightened up Mexican street corn made with Greek yogurt, feta, a squirt of lime, chili powder, fresh or powdered garlic, and chopped scallions); grilled peach halves with a dollop of almond butter; and fresh strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinegar. When you make your produce a little more enticing, you may find you’ll eat more of it.
2. Keep a pair of comfortable shoes with you. I almost always travel in sneakers since they take up more room than I want to spare in my suitcase, but I like to have them on trips so I can sneak in a long walk whenever possible. But even just taking a barefoot stroll on the beach has benefits. Find ways to move I throughout your vacation to help you offset some of the heavier dining you’ll be doing.
3. Pass on sugary sips. Most of us don’t need the extra sugar in sweetened iced coffee and tea drinks, lemonade, or sugary cocktails. Skip these in favor of water or seltzer. Or find other ways to flavor your H2), like fresh mint (also great in iced tea), mashed berries, or a squirt of lemon or lime. When it comes to cocktails, your best bets are going to be simple: beer, wine, or liquor mixed with club soda. I know it’s hard, but limit the amount, too. Up to two drinks a day for men and one for women is considered the healthy range.
4. Don’t turn a vacation into a food free-for-all. The, “hey, I’m on vacation” mentality primes you to say “yes” to foods you might not ordinarily eat, like a homemade ice cream cone, some French fries on the boardwalk, or fried clams at the beach house. It’s fine to have a meal like that, but don’t let one meal spiral into the whole week (or the whole summer). Part of being on vacation is being more flexible when the situation calls for it, but there are other things outside of food that help you stay in the vacation frame of mind. It might not be necessary to have an ice cream cone each day when you can look around and enjoy the view, the company, and other special things about your trip.