Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How To: Enjoy Holidays Without Stacking On The Kilos


Holidays don't always mean eating out and consuming stodge continuously. On my recent mini-break I tried to be on my best behaviour and managed to come up with awesome healthy meals.

Tips when travelling:

- Find an apartment/room with cooking facilities or at the very least a fridge. That way you can be in control of your meals and still splash out on a few indulgent meals. Remember balance is key!

- I take protein powder with me to use for my snacks. It means I tend to stick to 3 bigger meals with a little  filler (aka the protein powder) in between. It gets through security easily and can be stored in an air tight container.

- Explore your surroundings. Know what you have access to and then it'll be easier to stick to a healthy eating plan. Even the worst restaurants have a healthy option, you just have to find it (salad and steak, fish and veg's. Eggs at breakfast). If you want to keep your exercise routine, source a gym or try a few body weight exercises that you can do in your apartment. The Tabata app (available for Iphone) is one of my favourites. All you do is select at least 5-6 various full body exercises (think jump lunges, burpees, power step ups, clap push ups, one legged tricep dips, mountain climbers and so on.), start the timer and you'll do 20 secs high intensity then receive 10 secs rest. The app/timer will repeat this 8 times and then you will move on to the next exercise. These workouts burn loads of fat and will take less than 30 mins. Perfect first thing in the morning!

- Drink plenty of water, no excuses. Have a drink bottle with you at all times. On holidays you tend to move around sightseeing, so don't forget the H2O

- Try to shop locally and eat local produce. There are many farmers markets/organic markets around. The best part of staying in a new area is seeing what interesting foods it has to offer. Even if it's a different type of food or veg, try it.

- Watch the booze. Many people come undone on holidays because of their excessive drinking habits. Remember every beer, wine or cocktail will need to lunged, squatted, ran, jumped or sweated off. My little trick is the wine spritzer (lots of ice, half mineral water and 1/4-1/2 wine), don't forget to have a few waters in between your drinks also. I still can enjoy a beer or champagne here and there but the excessiveness is not there because I use my mantra "I can have it, if I really want it". This mantra works well on holidays and doesn't mean I feel guilty for every bite or sip I have. That to me is NOT a holiday.

- Exercise! It doesn't have to be intense, a walk or a swim is acceptable. It's a holiday after all not bootcamp. Remember that all holidays do come to an end and you don't want to come back only to start right back from the beginning. If you are travelling with no-exercisers (those annoying friends!) why not help them get motivated and show them your fitness routine. Trust me they won't hate you they will appreciate the advice. It may just be the kick up the ass they need.

- Relax! That's the main goal of a holiday right? Sleep well and often. A snooze on the beach or a nana nap will do your hormone/stress levels the world of good. Don't feel guilty, you deserve a break. I love nothing more on holiday then just to chill out and have no early morning wake up calls. Who doesn't love a sleep in? I still aim to keep my regular sleeping patterns (as best I can) with regards to when I go to sleep. I want to feel refreshed and full of beans in the morning not tired and cranky.

Follow these tips along with these meal ideas and the only excess baggage you'll have is the shopping you haul home not the kilos!

Here's a healthy, quick Mexican meal I whipped up:



Salad: Green beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, coriander and fresh lime juice

Meat: Chicken and beef pieces marinated in taco mix (See you can cheat! Just add a few more spices if available like sweet smoked paprika, coriander seeds ground and chilli. A tsp of each will be plenty). Grilled meats together till cooked and serve with salad plus a dollop of sour cream . 


Seafood on the BBQ. Prawns just drizzled with a little oil and 1/4 glass white wine (the alcohol will burn off as you cook them). Scallops BBQ with fresh lemon zest, juice and chilli. Plus fresh oysters. Easy and quick!



Great snack option: Crushed roasted walnuts with a few slivers of brie. This way you dodge the crackers and get right to the good bits. Exercise restraint but still indulge.



Eating out: Omelette's are an excellent choice at Cafes. Add a few extras such as: fetta, pine nuts, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and smoked salmon for some extra flavour.


A super easy (fat loss breakfast!) that can be made in your apartment: A grilled chicken thigh with  salad (remember our slaw from this awesome salad?) Plus a few added strips of capsicum and 2 tbsp of roasted walnuts.

Have you got any tips to avoid holiday weight gain?


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