To follow on from the ‘Building a Healthy Relationship with Food’ series, here’s a fantastic post about Intuitive Eating.
I head to Los Angeles on Monday and this is basically a post to show how I plan to avoid coming back from America the size of a small house . . . which seems a strong possibility.
Whilst I plan on fully embracing the local deep-fried cuisine, enjoying wines with lunch and sampling the buffets in Vegas, I’m hoping to avoid the usual over-indulgence that resulted in me gaining 4kg after a 3 week holiday in New Zealand late last year.
After doing a bit of research on the topic and reading a few blogs and articles with various tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle on holidays, I’ve gathered together a few principles and habits that I’ll aim to maintain for the duration of my trip to ensure I don’t fall off the wagon completely:
Drink plenty of water every single day
By buying a litre bottle of water I’ll aim to drink at least 3 of them each day.
Walk wherever you can
Pretty self explanatory. This is an easy one for me on holidays as I find I walk way more than I usually do in my desk job.
Aim to do one bike/hike/run activity in each city that also incorporates local culture and scenery
This is a great idea to combine being active whilst also being fun. Quite often it’s free to do things like this too, an added bonus! Do some research before you go and find out what activities are available where you’re going. In LA I’ve already researched that I want to do Runyon and the hike up past the Hollywood sign. In San Francisco I’m planning on riding across the Golden Gate Bridge and exploring the park on the other side.
Find a couple of short and easy workouts to do in your hotel room or outside
If they are short and simple you’re more likely to do them! Adriene Mishler has some short, sharp and sweet travel yoga sequences on her YouTube channel for which I’ll only need a towel.
Otherwise I found this little gem on Pinterest which goes for the duration of Kanye West’s ‘Power’ – boom!
Utilise the hotel sauna if they have one
This is the perfect opportunity to detox from the excessive alcohol and rich foods I’ll be consuming. Unwind and sweat it out!
Always start the day with a big and healthy breakfast
I don’t mind being a bit naughty at lunch or dinner, but breakfast is make it or break it time for me. Start the day right and do breakfast properly. It’s also worth doing a bit of investigating and trying to find a place that does good green smoothies nearby. One or two of these for breakfast a week will make a huge difference! Paleo-friendly places are also a great option to look for.
Don’t skip meals and be smart when snacking
Empty calories from snack foods are a sure way to set you up for a nasty shock when you come home and if you skip meals you’re sure to snack.
As we will be spending a bit of time driving on this holiday the urge to snack will be inevitable. To cater for this I plan to visit local markets or green grocers where possible and have some nuts or fruit on hand.
Use a smaller plate when eating at a buffet
Why not trick your brain into thinking you haven’t held back whilst still avoiding that painful stuffed and guilty feeling at the end of a buffet sitting. I’m a sucker for a buffet and always surprise my partner with how much I can physically put away so this trick will be extremely beneficial!
Order a side of vegetables with your meal and always eat them first
This is good if you’re meal comes only with chips. In fact don’t be scared to go vegetarian once a day to ensure you’re getting in your daily dose of vegetables.
And finally . . . listen to your body
Snap out of the ‘I’m on holidays so it’s ok’ way of thinking and instead focus on what you actually feel like eating or doing. I find I often eat things I don’t actually want to on holidays just because I feel like I’ll be missing out or because I haven’t tried it before. This then results in me not actually being satisfied at all and feeling guilty for my over-indulgence. How is that fun?
Listen to your body and what it’s craving. Feeling a bit bloated and clogged up? Avoid the gluten and have some warm water with lemon or Apple Cider Vinegar or a peppermint tea.
Feeling really tired? Avoid the caffeine drinks and drink more water and eat an apple instead. Maybe even avoid the bar and go to bed earlier that night. Don’t be afraid of missing out on something and therefore forsaking your health. After all, what if you got sick and then ruined the rest of your holiday?
Then again, if you’re feeling fine and that big ol’ beef burger and beer combo is looking pretty darn delicious then don’t be afraid to enjoy it! I certainly won’t . . .
It took me a long time to work up the courage to attempt yoga. I’ve always struggled with flexibility. Visions of myself struggling in ballet class as an 8 year old tend to haunt me whenever I attempt the sit and reach test or to even try and touch my toes. The thought of attending a yoga class and attempting to turn myself into a human pretzel in front of others was pretty much terrifying. As a result I pretty much ignored flexibility and stretching all together . . which was obviously a bad choice!
That is until I discovered the YouTube channel ‘Yoga with Adriene’. I’m just going to come right out and say that I have a huge girl crush on Adriene Mishler. She is beautiful, funny, witty and just devine! Her channel has literally every type of Yoga you could ask for. Beginner’s yoga, yoga for weight-loss, yoga for your butt and thighs, yoga for core strength, yoga at your desk and even individual videos devoted to particular poses in case there’s a particular one you just can’t get the hang of. One of my personal favourites is the ‘Yoga for Hangovers’ video, she has literally thought of everything! Not to mention her motto is ‘find what feels good’ which focuses on encouraging you to move and experiment with the poses instead of just cranking into them and trying to hold for minutes at a time.
Since attempting a few beginner’s videos and her 30 Days of Yoga challenge over the past few months I have noticed:
- Improved flexibility
- Less back pain
- Better focus and less stress
- Better sleeping patterns
- Reduced cellulite around my butt and thighs
- Increased strength in my core
- Better tone in my arms
Of course it’s natural to be sceptical as to how well you can learn and practice yoga at home and without the face to face instruction of a teacher, however I can assure you Adriene’s videos are extremely informative and clearly articulated. Quite often I am able to simply listen to the video and not worry about straining my neck between my downward dog pose to see what move she is attempting next!
I will, however, be looking to start trying to attend a yoga class every couple of weeks or so now that I am more confident in the basics and to supplement my at-home practice to ensure I’m not doing anything too wrong.
If you’re looking to get into yoga or use it to supplement your existing fitness regime I highly recommend taking the following steps to get started:
- Buy a good quality yoga mat (I have a mat from Lorna Jane with an inspirational quote on it that I absolute love)
- Ensure you have a space and time to do your yoga where you will be the least interrupted (I try and do in the morning in the lounge room before my partner and housemate get up)
- Attempt the videos in the ‘Yoga for Beginners’ playlist a couple of times each
- Attempt the 30 Days of Yoga challenge
- Reap the rewards!
To find the above mentioned videos and playlists go to