Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
May 25, 2011    

Vacation time

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Amy Culver

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Vacation time

As I'm sure you've realized by now, while you are struggling with eating healthy, life goes on.

I have mentioned many times that in order to be successful, "dieting" is not what you want.  You want to create a healthy lifestyle that you can commit to for the rest of your life.  This means that you will likely have more life to live, so, you might as well start figuring out how to maintain that healthy lifestyle now.

With that, let's consider our upcoming vacation time; summer is nearly upon us.

It's not impossible to lose weight while traveling, but it is difficult.  I have done it once or twice for specific reasons, but unless you have a difficult goal to meet, I don't recommend trying to do it.  However, it is very possible to maintain your weight, or at least to minimize your weight gain, during vacation time.  It's very easy to maintain healthy eating habits while you are traveling.

If you are driving, eating healthy can be a bit easier because you are less limited in what you can bring along.  When we take driving vacations, we always pack a cooler.  Grocery stores are easy to find, which makes replenishing supplies a simple matter.  When we travel this way, breakfast and lunch are prepared by us, leaving only our dinner calories a mystery.

When we're traveling, we take along cereal and milk in the cooler.  If you have kids (or even if you don't) it's a great excuse to buy those fun little boxes of cereal.  We will often stay at places that include a simple breakfast.  These generally provide fresh fruit and/or low-fat yogurt.  For lunch, I make sandwiches and add fruit and crackers.  I usually pack a box of sandwich bags and make our sandwiches in the morning before we head out, but you can also just make them when you stop for lunch.  For a recent long weekend trip to the Grand Canyon, I found grownup style Lunchables on sale.  We had those each day with some no-sugar-added fruit cups.  They were great and I didn't have to prepare anything.

Aside from the ability to plan your own menu, making your own lunches allows you to eat whenever and wherever you want to.  We have been able to enjoy our lunch from many beautiful and memorable spots, the Christ of the Mines shrine in Silverado, CO and the snowy (in June!) Continental Divide, are just a couple of examples.  And eating your own pre-prepared lunch will save you a lot of time!  It takes about 30 minutes, and that's being leisurely, rather than 1-2 hours at a restaurant.  Breakfast is also quick, a few minutes in the room before we hit the road.  Each of us can eat while the other is showering and off we go.

If you are taking a plane somewhere, you still have options.  You can pack a collapsible cooler bag and bring along some Ziploc freezer bags to fill with ice, or even purchase an inexpensive Styrofoam cooler to use. 

Taking care of your breakfasts and lunches this way will allow your dinner each night to be much more enjoyable.  Dinner becomes the meal that you don't have to think too much about.  It's the end of the day and you can relax and enjoy whatever you want, knowing that you made good choices for breakfast and lunch. 

And don't forget all the money you will save – you can use it for lots of souvenirs!


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