Balancing Health & Fun While Vacationing

October 23, 2017

¡Estoy de vacaciones! Jayne, my roommate, and I are on a ten day holiday in Spain - traveling through Seville, Granada, Córdoba and Barcelona. Traveling to Spain has been my life dream since I was very young. I’m not quite sure why but I’ve always taken a fancy to Hispanic/Spanish culture.

 

I obsessively watched the movie Selena when I was little & was obsessed with Spanish class through middle school and high school. I was actually studying to be a Spanish teacher before I switched majors to Nutrition! Spanish, Spain and its culture are truly a life passion... right after Running and Nutrition!

 

 

 

 

Today I went to Granada after spending yesterday afternoon in Seville. So far the experience has been utter perfection. No one speaks English and I’ve had every opportunity to speak Spanish. Geeze Louise, Spanish accents are sooo beautiful. I am envious of every woman I’ve met here and her beautiful accent.

Anyway, while I am on this trip of a lifetime, you know there will be much food to be had. I’ve considered this a lot. How do I balance this perhaps-once-in-a-lifetime experience and my healthy lifestyle? For those who follow me, you know that Nutrition is not merely a scientific pursuit for me, I am truly a foodie through and through. The pleasure of consuming a delicious meal and having an authentic experience is extremely important to me. That said, feeling energetic and healthy everyday is also a prime priority.

Here’s what I’ve decided on:

1. Protect my immune system with probiotics. I’m taking Garden of Life’s Once Daily Probiotics everyday, sometimes twice a day.


2. Stay active. I’ve promised myself to do a minimum of 50 push-ups daily (#pushuppromise). Push-ups are tiring, involve many muscle groups and can easily busted out in my air bnb while my roommate showers. I’m also wearing my Garmin Watch most of the time to track my steps. It motivates me to make healthier choices when I know I’ve walked 12 miles that day.

I’ve also signed up for a nine mile running tour in Barcelona!! I’m so excited to combine running (along the water too!) with my trip to Spain. Unfortunately, I don’t feel courageous enough to run by myself while I’m here, but I’ve been walking enough to feel okay about that.
 


3. Make indulgent choices that are totally worth it.

When I was in the airport in Newark before my trip, I was totally tempted to nosh on some M&Ms. They’re one of my fave candies, I never eat them, and technically I was on vacay. But... I decided it totally wasn’t worth it. I could eat m&ms any old day if I really wanted, and there would be nothing life changing about the experience.

In contrast, today I helped myself to café con leche at breakfast. I never like to drink my calories and exclusively drink my coffee black (no sugar, no milk), but today I wanted to have an authentic Spanish experience... so I did. It was truly delicious and I’m so glad I enjoyed a steaming cup of cafe con leche before my trip to Granada this morning. That said, I’ll probably stick to black coffee the rest of the trip because I have a ton of indulgent eating experiences planned!!!

4. Carry snacks with me. I brought Ostrim sticks, Busy Bars & OatMega bars with me. These high protein, low carb snacks are perfect for when I’m out touring Spain for hours and skip a meal. Last thing I want is to arrive at a restaurant loaded with Spanish goodies half-dead with hunger and inhale everything on the menu. I want to arrive hungry and leave satisfied. Snacks make this goal easy to accomplish.

 


5. Enjoy my vacation guilt-free. This is the most important rule of all. My healthy routine is waiting for me in the USA and I know that I’ll easily be able to jump back into routine when I get back... if things get a little crazy while I’m here in Spain, I refuse to have any guilt. I’ll shrug my shoulders, make healthier choices next time, I know I need to SLAY it in the gym come November. But, let’s be serious, imma slay it in the gym either way because #strongissexy.

Hope this entry inspired any fellow health-conscious travelers to relax and enjoy their trip! There’s too many wonderful things to see, foods to eat and experiences to be had to dwell in guilt, self-loathing or regret. <3
 

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©2017 by Serena Marie RD. Images by Ralf Graebner