How to Handle Vacation Eating

Happy Friday everyone!

Abbi over at Higher Miles posted a couple questions for those of us who joined the Distance Dreamers feature on her blog. Here are my responses

What is your best running memory/experience?
One of my best running experience is completing the Boilermaker 15K in July 2010. As of today, this race was the longest distance I’ve ever ran in my life (9.5 miles). I never in a million years thought I’d be running a 15K. It was a challenging race, but I finished, running the entire thing (only stopping for a few seconds to walk through some water stations near the end). I set a goal for myself and reached it, and that in itself is amazing. 😀

What is your worst running memory/experience?
So far I’ve never had any terrible experiences while running. But I went for a 6 mile run in the 85 degree heat one evening after work, ran four miles and ended up getting goosebumps and chills and almost had a panic attack. I had to cut my run short because of this. I felt like I was letting myself down, even though in reality I was doing the best I could at the time. I had not hydrated properly before running, and learned my lesson!

Anywho, I mentioned in a previous post that I’m going away this weekend…but I didn’t say where. New York City! Chris and I are taking the train to NYC this morning and staying for the weekend! I’m so excited! I love the city, but don’t get to go as often as I would like. We’re planning on going to a concert, seeing a broadway show, and eating lots of delcious food. It will be like a mini vacation. 🙂 We’re planning on eating out every meal, which can be dangerous, if you aren’t careful!

On the Brooklyn Bridge in Dec. 09

I wrote up a few tips on how I handle vacation eating when I’m trying to watch the calories. I had to deal with this in the past: I took a week vacation to Florida (February 2009) the year I was in the process of losing weight. It was a struggle but I managed not to gain any weight on the trip. I must have had super will-power back then! 😉

Me on vacation in 2009; 55 lbs lost!

Here are some helpful tips to get through your vacation without sabotaging your healthy eating habits

Go grocery shopping, if possible.
I was lucky enough to be staying with my aunt and uncle for the week, and there was a grocery store near by. I would go shopping with my mom and we bought a lot of the staple food items: Special K cereal, turkey from the deli, veggie burgers, sandwich thins, fiber plus bars, and light ice cream, etc. These foods were KEY when I was losing weight. For the meals we didn’t eat out, I would eat these foods and it helped me stay on track!

Pack heathy meals/snacks for on the go
I always made sure I had an apple or a granola bar in my purse for long car rides or trips to the theme park. I hate having to stop at rest areas where all they have are vending machines or a McDonalds. Food at theme parks is outrageously expensive and most of the time unhealthy, so I would also pack a lunch for myself so I wouldn’t be tempted to order a fried chicken sandwich that came with fries.
Brendan & I at Universal Studios in Feb. 2010
Make healthy choices when dining out
Do your research! I almost always looked at the menu online of the restaurant we planned on eating at. It helps, a lot! That way I had a plan of what I would order when we got there. I tried to stick with wraps or sandwiches, with the dressing on the side, without mayo or cheese. Also, I would ask if I could substitute fries for vegetables or a side salad. Chances are, you can! If I wanted dessert that day, I would order a salad for my meal, that way I wouldn’t feel guilty if I wanted a slice of cheesecake! I’m the kind of person who would happily eat a salad for dinner, if it means I can have dessert. 🙂
Sushi from Sushi Samba in Miami!

Try to fit in some exercise.
I know, it can be HARD to find the time to exercise when on vacation. Fortunately, when I was at Daytona Beach, I had time one morning to go for a run. I had always wanted to run on the beach, so one morning I woke up early and headed out.

Daytona Beach the morning of my run

It was gorgeous! It was also very peaceful and I’m really glad I made the decision to do it! I also went on walks with my parents around my aunt’s neighborhood. Even if you don’t have time to get in a run, a brisk walk can be just as good. 🙂

I hope these tips are helpful to those of you looking to stay on track during your vacation! (Even though summer is almost over, this post is kind of late…) But sticking to these rules prevented me from gaining any weight and going overboard while on vacation, which can be really easy to do if you aren’t careful!

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  1. Hope you are having a blast in NYC! These are some great tips. I always try and go grocery store shopping and bring a cooler if we are driving. Flying is a different story though. I check online for nutrition facts prior to heading out

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