How to Make Healthy Food Choices on Vacation!

Y’all! I just got back from a reeaaaaaaaalllllly fun trip to Florida. I went to Universal Studios for two days, then to a wedding on a boat in Clearwater Beach! What a blast!

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Need less to say, I was eating out a lot. Here are my top tips for eating out on the road:

  •  Plan ahead. Look at menus, bring healthy snacks (like apples, carrots, salmon jerky, nuts, etc.), decide where you’ll eat in advance, and about what time you’ll go. Having a plan helps you stick to it, and takes the guessing (and worrying) out of the equation.
  • Don’t wait until you’re really hungry to make a food decision. This goes along with the above tip. If you’re prepared, you’re less likely to binge on churros!
  • Seek out vegetables. I know it’s possible since I just had some GREAT meals, at a theme park, that had a lot of vegetables. One meal even came with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and peas. And they were big portions too!
  • Seek out grilled protein. Sure, it’s easy to grab those chicken strips and fries, but there are better options. I even had a smoked, pulled chicken salad at The Three Broomsticks (Harry Potter fans know the reference, I’m sure). It was sooooo good, and reasonably priced.
  • Think about how you’ll feel afterwards. Say you want to go for the pizza dipped in ranch dressing. Will that make your gut feel like a brick? Maybe that’s not the best option when you’re about to go on a ride that spins you around and flips you upside down…
  • Avoid snacking. Every fifty-ish feet in theme parks there’s another vendor selling something. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Those dippin’ dots probably won’t satisfy you if you are.
  • Plan for GFG’s (guilt free grubs). I saw a key lime cheesecake in the window of a bakery, and knew I had to try it. I made a mental note, then came back to have it when I was more hungry, and then enjoyed the heck out of it! In places like a theme park, the food will still be there later. Do you really need to eat it RIGHT now? Plus, if you know you’ll be enjoying a delicious snack later, it could help you eat more healthy foods leading up to it.
  • Eat less frequently. I usually eat three square meals a day and no snacks. This trip, I stuck to two meals. Mostly because I wanted to ride as many rides as I could, but also because I knew the meals would probably be higher in calories than I was used to. I knew that fewer meals containing higher calories would still put me at an appropriate amount of energy intake for my movement needs those days.
  • Carry a water bottle, and continue to drink plenty of water (yep, it’s there under my sweatshirt in the first picture!). There were tons of drinking fountains all over the theme park, and when we sat down to eat at a restaurant, the servers even filled my bottle with ice. How nice! You may even need more water than normal if you’re outside a lot in the sun!
  • Have fun!!! Try new foods, or the local cuisine!

BONUS: I gained NO weight, and felt comfortable (not bloated and gross) the whole trip. I’d call that a win!

So, there you have it!

ACTION STEP: Next time you’re out of town on vacation, pick one or more of these tips to implement. Then tell me which one you tried and how it went!

Small Changes Lead to Big Changes!

“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”
—Jim Rohn

Can you relate to this quote in any way? What about in regards to fitness and nutrition?

For me, it simplifies the journey that is fitness and nutrition.

I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years that have had successful weight loss. Of course, I always ask, “What did you do to lose the weight?” More times than not, these people made small changes over a period of time that collectively made a big impact. They usually changed one thing at a time, and focused on the big picture instead of quick fixes. Now you know why this quote speaks to me so much!

Here are some of the most common habits that people incorporated to become healthier and lose the weight for good (you didn’t think I would keep these a secret, right?):

  • Went for a walk after dinner.
  • Took the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator/moving sidewalks.
  • Ate breakfast.
  • Carried a water bottle with them, and ended up drinking more water.
  • Read food labels and became aware of what a serving size really is.
  • Ate on smaller plates.
  • Added one-four servings of vegetables to daily intake.
  • Took more time to eat, and stopped before they were full.
  • Got better sleep.
  • Sat down and ate at a table for meals.
  • Drank a glass of water before each meal.
  • Ate protein at every meal.
  • Had a workout buddy, or community of friends to talk to about health.
  • Kept a journal about fitness/nutrition/gratitude, or anything you like to write about.
  • Swapped diet coke for green tea.
  • Packed their lunch instead of eating out every day. (BONUS: money saver!)
  • Made a commitment to workout, then stuck to it (hire a coach if you need accountability).
  • Rode a bike/walked to work.
  • Meditated for ten minutes a day.
  • Ate one salad a day.
  • Cooked more, or prepared meals ahead of time.

What about the other side of the coin? Do you do some of these?

  • Mindlessly snack after dinner, even when you aren’t hungry.
  • Go back for seconds at meals, even when you’re full.
  • Sit at work all day, then sit more at home.
  • Stay up late, or only sleep for a few hours a night.
  • Order take out/fast food several nights a week.
  • Skip breakfast or lunch, then overeat at dinner.
  • Skip workouts.
  • Eat in the car.
  • Eat whatever is available without thinking about it.
  • Eat in front of the TV/computer.
  • Hide food.
  • Eat out majority of meals.
  • Hardly drinking any water during the day.
  • Stress about things out of your control.
  • Avoid grocery shopping, and opting for convenience foods.
  • Snack throughout the day on goodies that co-workers bring in with them.
  • Make excuses about why nothing works for you.
  • Blame others for your situation.
  • Think about yourself negatively, or talk down about yourself to others.

Small to Big

Studies show that changing one habit at a time is what elicits the best results. Trying to do too much at once can become overwhelming, and can lead to us giving up because a lot of change at one time can be hard.

Imagine what would happen if you slowly swapped unhealthy habits for healthy ones. How do you think you would look and feel? Seriously, close your eyes and think about it. I’ll wait…

ACTION STEP: What is one habit that you can start today to get you going in the right direction?

Tuna Cakes!

Want an easy, fast, healthy dinner? Try these! And, it’s less expensive than the crab version! These are great for those days when you’ve just had so much crab that you’re kind of over it. Crab can get soooo boring meal after meal after meal… 🙂

2 cans of tuna
2 eggs
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 green onion stalks, finely chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup oats (old fashioned, quick cooking, gluten free, whatever)
1 tsp coconut oil

Combine all the ingredients except for the coconut oil in a large bowl, and mix it up.
Warm the coconut oil in a large sauce pan, and wait for the pan to get hot.
Spoon the tuna cake mixture onto the greased pan, and form into five even sized cakes.
*NOTE: the tuna cake ingredients will not stick together very well before it’s cooked. As the cakes cook, they will stick together.
Let the cakes cook for 5-7 minutes on one side. Do not try to move them, they need to set up.
CAREFULLY flip the cakes over and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

This serves two. ENJOY!!!

Tuna Cakes

And, again, I understand my photography is HORRIBLE! I can only be good at so many things…