You stop worrying about being ‘on track’. You let go of obsessive thoughts about food and your body. Stop letting advertising and marketing dictate how you feel about your 'summer' body. You enjoy this special time.
I spent a long Memorial Day weekend in Florida and the trip started in Orlando. My fiancé wanted to take me to this vegan restaurant that I had looked at the menu for and remembered that it wasn’t exactly super healthy vegan food. I have been trying to lose a little bit of weight and didn’t want to mess that up, so I told him that we should look somewhere else for a dinner spot. Then I realized that I was doing it again, I was missing out on an opportunity because I was too preoccupied with calories. We went to Dixie Dharma at Market on South and it was the cutest little spot. He got a fried green tomato sandwich with a side of collard greens and I had both of their taco offerings, my favorite was the Nopales taco. Valhalla Bakery is also situated inside of Market on South, and I couldn’t pass up vegan dessert! Danny got the key lime pie and I had a lemon bar (literally the most delicious lemon bar I have EVER had, but I didn’t care for the Key Lime Pie only because I don’t like KLP anyway)
Tips for a mindful vacation
- Come prepared with snacks – I flew with a large bag of snacks including bananas and apples, That’s It bars, protein bars, almond butter packets, oatmeal and date balls. I was never hungry in between meals, on beach days or when there just weren’t vegan options available.
- Stay somewhere that has a kitchen – I have said it before and I will say it again, I love Airbnb. This offers you the option of staying somewhere that has a workable kitchen so you can pick up groceries nearby and make as many meals as you wish. I typically do this with breakfast and/or lunch depending on what restaurant options are available where I am traveling. Use this link if you don't have an Airbnb account to save some money off your first stay: www.airbnb.com/c/kaitlynr312
- Bring a reusable water bottle – I always have a water bottle. When I fly, I fly with it empty and then just fill it up at a water fountain. If I am driving then I will bring multiple filled water bottles and then just fill them back up when I get to the destination. This way I never have to worry about staying hydrated!
- Enjoy what you choose - if there isn’t a restaurant or food item that you really want to splurge on, don’t. But the feelings we put on ourselves of restriction, shame and guilt while on or right after a vacation are absurd. ENJOY your time. But don’t feel like you have to splurge on things that aren’t worth it to you. While it’s totally fine to be indulgent on vacation, you can still stop when full (or not). You can order 2 tacos instead of 4 (or not). You can stick to a rule of thumb for alcohol consumption (or not).
- Eat local - find locally owned spots to support! This will usually be your best bet for healthy options and you will be supporting a person rather than a company! I love finding vegan spots this way on Happy Cow and I particularly love smoothie and juice bars.
- Get active- take long walks, go hiking, go swimming, take advantage of the free gym, find a local yoga studio. I always feel better when I move my body, it doesn’t have to be every day of the trip but doing something to get active is a great way to honor your body and still make the best of your trip. (or maybe you want to use your vacation as a rest period, and that is totally cool, too. Our bodies need time to rest and repair, so if you have been working out consistently and feel you want a break, take it!)
Whether you travel for pleasure once a year or multiple times a year, you are allowed to enjoy them all. Don’t restrict and punish yourself for enjoying one of the most fun and delicious parts of any culture – the food! I know I can be pretty hard on myself, feeling like I 'back tracked' but honestly? I wouldn't trade the memories and experiences and tasty food for the ~5-10 pounds extra. Life is so much more important than a dress size or number on a scale, its about feeling your most free, your most happy...your most you.