How I Stayed on Track During Vacation

This was the first year that I worked toward my goals even while on vacation. For me, the word “vacation” used to be synonymous with “free-for-all” – you know, plenty of boardwalk munchies, big lunches, and ice cream trips in the evening after mini-golf. I was always pretty active while traveling, but my poor food choices would negate any of those efforts.

Indulging sounded fun at the time, but I’d end up coming home feeling sluggish and bloated, wishing I’d had two (or three) less trips to Grotto’s Pizza.

Truthfully, there was a bit less temptation due to COVID. We didn’t do any boardwalk browsing, which eliminated the enticing smells of fried foods, pizza joints, and homemade ice cream wafting across the crowd. But most of my success was due to a few mindset changes.

The best part is that I felt more satisfied on vacation this year. I didn’t feel deprived at all – quite the opposite. Here’s what worked for me and helped keep me on track.

Planning something active each day.

I think the best way to explore a new place is to take a run (or bike ride) through. You see so much more while running then you’d ever see in a car or on a bus.

Maybe you won’t cover as much ground, but you’re sure to pick up the true vibe of a city – the salty air, the coolness of shade under a big tree, yummy food smells wafting from a local restaurant, a snip of casual conversation.

Each day we tried a new way to stay active. Between a beach run on the sand (I forgot how hard that is), a bike ride through Cape Henlopen State Park (highly recommend), and a run through town, I felt like I’d earned any dinner I chose to have that day.

Cooking at our rental house.

We booked the cutest beach house this year: yellow, airy, dog-friendly, and fully equipped with a kitchen, pots, pans, and a full-size fridge.

Instead of eating most of our meals out, we planned ahead and had healthy food ready – hardboiled eggs, nuts, fresh fruits, lean proteins. A little bit of planning – and choosing a rental with a full kitchen – made healthy choices much easier.

Controlled portions at breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, but I didn’t go crazy and overeat this year. I kept my food minimal during the day and saved my appetite for a satisfying dinner. This allowed me to look forward to dinner and savor it more.

Branching out and enjoying fresh, local foods for dinner.

I’m not the most adventurous eater (just ask my husband) but I’m trying to change that. Instead of the usual beach pizza and wing joints, I tried some new local favorites: mussels diablo, crab cakes, ahi tuna, and Hawaiian-style shrimp tacos on lettuce leaves.

Each meal was fresh, unique, and satisfying. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying pizza at the beach, but I realized I had more fun trying new foods.

How do you stay on track during vacation? Let me know in the comments! If you enjoyed this post, follow along on Instagram @pearlsandbarbells and click the “subscribe” button. Have a good day everyone!

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