"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Modern Day American Vacation: Healthy style

Hello all! So this is my first “guest post” if that’s what you would like to call it. I’ve been approached by a friendly fellow internet blog-reader/blogger and asked to co-write a little bit about healthy vacationing for the modern day American family, so - here goes! 

Most of Americans seek vacations as a time to do and eat whatever they want, and vacation destinations cater right to that need. All-inclusive beach resorts, cruise ship 24/7 buffets, etc. But the consequences aren’t as desirable, for you and your family. So let’s think about some different options for the modern day vacationing American family!

I’m a simple person and have spent my childhood and what’s begun of my adulthood with both some simple vacations (beach, camping) and a little more luxurious vacations (cruise ships, Disney world, etc.) So I will try and cater my tips towards both types of vacationers.

Take Breaks for Your Health on Family Vacations
I've gone on a number of trips over the years. I've always managed to splurge a little too much and found myself dreading the scale when I got home. That's why I started planning exercise and healthy eating habits even when I'm going on vacation for my family and me. It's important to give yourself a little room to splurge, but I always want to make sure that I'm not going overboard. These are some helpful ways that I have managed to keep off the pounds when traveling. My family loves the water. Paddleboats are one of the best ways to explore and also burn off some calories. You never know what kind of adventures you'll find when out on the lake too. Kids love to feed ducks, and it's also great just to view some beautiful scenery. It's engaging for your muscles, and if you get your family into it, you'll have burned off a ton of calories from that all-you-can-breakfast you had earlier.

I luckily live near the shore and have not gone one summer without some type of beach vacation, long or short. On our beach vacations, my parents have always had a golden rule for eating: We get one meal out, and that’s usually dinner. We pack enough food for the week for the beach house to eat pancakes, waffles, smoothies, cereal, etc., for breakfast, and some loaves of bread, deli meat and some chips for lunches. We also buy lots of fruit in bulk and snack on that, with lots of water. If you choose to stay in a hotel rather than a beach house, look for a hotel that offers a fridge or a kitchen suite so you can accommodate these types of “DIY” meals on vacation rather than relying on restaurants for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. 

Find the Right Hotel
There are some valuable hotel packages out there that offer fitness centers as part of the amenities. These hotels are the best value because you can always take a break or plan an afternoon where you get in some cardio and strength training in between the amusement parks. For our upcoming trip to Orlando, it was important that we find a hotel with a quality gym. With so many places to stay, the process proved to be a bit overwhelming.  

 With all my trips to Disney, I usually come out even- weight wise. I do recommend looking into renting a time share or a hotel with kitchen suite to make breakfast yourself rather than relying on Disney hotels. Although expensive, I do recommend the Disney dining plan for the rest of your needs. For the basic plan, you are allotted one snack, one counter service (fast food), and one table service (full-service). All Disney restaurants, fast food or not, strive to always offer healthy choices for you and your children, so that’s all up to you. Perhaps strive to order healthy options for lunch at the counter service (grilled chicken, fresh fruit, water) and then order whatever you want for dinner. After all, it is your vacation J .This type of high protein lunch will keep you going strong all day, you’re going to need it in Disney!

Drink Lots of Water
One thing I have been able to do on vacations is to replace most of my drinks with water, no matter what the vacation. I bring water bottles along on road trips and try to buy a cheap pack of water for my family before we go to the hotel. This way we're not always in need of drinks and looking for something quick such as a soda. It's also important to stay hydrated, and water truly helps the best. 

As for cruise ships…..oh, boy. Buffets everywhere you turn. This puts all of the decision making on you. Perhaps discuss a plan with your ship-mate vacationers or your family before you board on what your food intake will be like. Perhaps you can pick in advance what days you plan on doing the buffet and which days you won’t. When you do go to the buffet, try and stick to a 2 plate rule. One for your entrée and one for your dessert. Try and adapt the mindset that buffet should not stuff you to the point you must roll out of the restaurant, but should merely just offer you many choices to make your whole family happy. Two plates!
Speaking of All-You-Can-Eat
I try to avoid buffets whenever possible, but when you're on vacation, it's inevitable that your family will want to head out to the nearest lunch or dinner buffet. I stay healthy by only filling my plate once, and while I may pick up a few treats, I try to stay away from the really rich foods. In addition, the next day I always go for lighter, vegetable meals to balance out the food that I eat at the buffet.


Despite these tips, it really is all up to you in the end. You probably wouldn’t be reading this entry if you weren’t at least a little concerned for your food choices and overall health. So take these tips to mind and go forth making your own smart choices!
With love,
WNB and guest co-writer, Kendra.


Unknown said...

very impressive post! thanks alot for making it readable!

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Unknown said...

Great post, really needed to be said for a long time now.

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