Vacations are necessary breaks from real life–even staycations, which are becoming more and more popular. If you’re lucky enough, vacations come a few different times a year. But sun or snow, relaxing or adventurous, we all get off our normal track when we’re away from home and having a good time. And nothing is worse than feeling guilty about indulging on vacation or slacking on exercising while you recharge for everyday life. Part of living a healthy lifestyle is balancing healthy choices with treats and rest days. Usually, vacations are filled with indulgences, so here are a few tips to get you back on your game post-vacay.
Clean eating meals and snacks
Enough chips and booze already, try dropping processed food, excessive gluten and alcohol for 5-7 days after you’ve returned home. Here are a few ideas for meals and snacks you can feel great about:
– Breakfast: Power smoothie with protein and chia seeds (Blend 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt with 1 banana, ½ cup chopped berries of your choice, ice, soy milk, one scoop of protein powder and a tablespoon of chia seeds or hemp seeds.)
– Lunch: Small cup of vegetable soup (homemade preferably) and a half turkey sandwich topped with any veggies you like and hummus spread or a veggie wrap (Use extra steamed vegetables from dinner idea below and make a wrap using hummus, fresh lettuce and sprouts.)
– Dinner: Spaghetti squash with veggies, olives and grilled chicken (Bake a spaghetti squash as directed on the label. Chop and steam your favorite fresh or [plain] frozen vegetables. I love carrots, broccoli, onions and garlic, tomatoes and mushrooms. Also, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a ½ cup of low-sodium chicken broth to make a light sauce. Grill boneless, skinless chicken breast with a minimal salt and a dash of pepper. Top the pulled spaghetti squash with the veggies, chicken and add a few chopped olives, if desired. This dish makes great lunch leftovers, too!)
– Snack ideas: carrots and hummus, one small apple and ¼ cup raw almonds, hard boiled eggs, banana split down the center with almond butter spread on top and a sprinkling of coconut flakes
Exercising after a few days off
Try this easy workout before jumping back into your normal routine at the gym. It will help minimize soreness and give you the motivation to get back into your regular swing at the gym.
– Short circuit of lunges or squats (body weight only), dumbbell shoulder presses, 10-15 push-ups and one of each, lower and upper ab exercise. Repeat this circuit 2x.
– Next, go for a 20-minute walk on the treadmill at an incline of 7% and 3.6 speed. This is intense enough to give you a good sweat and get your heartrate up, but you shouldn’t be overly sore.
– A long stretch post-workout.