8 Tips for Getting Back on Track After a Vacation

I think we can all agree that vacations are definitely a much-needed break from the daily grind.  However, when it comes to maintaining healthy living during a vacation week, I think that’s an area up for debate.  Should you try to stick to healthy meals and a workout schedule?  Or should you just relax, have fun, and “indulge” because you are on vacation and that’s what vacations are for?  I’ve had getaways where I’ve tried to stick to my normal lifestyle, but I also have had plenty of “I’m going to eat whatever the heck I want” kind of trips as well.

Lobsters after lobstering I think finding a nice balance is ideal, because if you are someone who has worked extremely hard to lose weight and get to where you are, you don’t want to throw it all away with one week of indulgence.  During this past week in Maine, I managed to get a couple of workouts in and walk a LOT, but it certainly wasn’t up to my usual standard.  And as far as food goes, I’ll post about all the delicious meals we ate in my Weekly Eats post this week, but I definitely did not get my usual amount of greens.  And I most certainly had my fair share of splurges.  Don’t get me wrong, splurging for me still doesn’t entail fried food (usually), tons of desserts every night, or even huge breakfasts and lunches; however I did indulge in some very cheesy/bready meals, ice cream, one late night quesadilla fest, and I had at least a few alcoholic bevvies every single day.

Beers

Needless to say, after six days of not cooking my own meals, being up later than usual, waking up later than usual, not getting my usual amount of workouts in, eating more sweets than usual, and drinking every day (phew!), my body is just OFF.  My sleep cycle is off so I feel like I have no energy.  I don’t feel as confident in my own skin as I normally do because I just feel bleh.  When we got home, I had zero desire to cook or do any type of Sunday food prep for the week.  However, I know if I don’t get back into the swing of things as soon as possible, I’ll just end up making excuses for myself and causing more damage.  I also don’t want my lack of motivation to turn into some unhealthy habits.

Cucumber Martini

That being said, I wanted to share with you guys 8 of my tips for getting back on track after an indulgent vacation!

Hydrate
Drink LOTS of water.  We got home on Saturday night, and I swear I spent all of Sunday and Monday chugging water.  I do not and will never try any other type of “detox” or “cleanse,” so water it is for me.  Being hydrated helps me feel as though my vacation toxins are exiting my system, and this is usually the first thing that helps me feel better.

Sweat
Hitting the gym is probably the last thing you feel like doing, but again, you don’t want to build unhealthy habits by staying on the couch once you get home.  Instead of dwelling on how many workouts you didn’t do, visualize how AWESOME your workouts will be now that you’ve given your body some rest for a week.  Make a plan, and then do it.  Whether sweating for you means taking a group exercise class, going for a walk, lifting heavy… it doesn’t matter.  Just do it.  A good sweat (or a few) is sometimes all it takes for me to feel better.

Sweat

Get to the Store
Like I said before, food prep was the last thing I wanted to do after getting home from Maine.  But I knew that if we didn’t plan our meals this week and get to the store on Sunday, then it would be more meals out (and more money spent!).  Once you are at the store, fill your cart with rainbow colors — lots of greens, reds, yellows, etc.  Incorporating lots of fruits and veggies into your first week back will just help you feel better!

Grocery Shopping

Get to Bed Early
This is so important for getting your sleep cycle back on track!  Even if it’s getting to bed 15 minutes earlier each night you are home until you are back to your normal bedtime, that will help.  Don’t forget making healthy choices and decisions is much easier when you are well rested and have the energy to think.

Eat at Home
Think about how easy it was to splurge when out to eat, and then decide not to do it (at least for a little while).  This week I told myself I’m not
going out to eat or to any bars until the weekend.  This weekend is also my company picnic, which is notorious for its crazy amount of food, so I’m going to try to be mindful of my intake there as well.  Until then, though?  Home cooked it is!

Get Inspired
Use your social media networks for motivation!  Doing a little blog reading and Instagram/Facebook/Twitter stalking helped inspire me to try a few new healthy recipes this week.  I’m always bound to find some type of new workout or motivational quote to get my butt back in gear!

Achieve Your Goals

Don’t Obsess
Don’t weigh yourself.  If you can feel that you’ve gained a few pounds, what is seeing the number on the scale going to do for you?   Maybe you are someone who needs to see that higher number to get motivated, but I certainly am not.  Don’t beat yourself up about making some bad choices.  I could sit here and regret every bite that I ate, but wasn’t the food part of my experience?  Focus on the future and move on.

Plan Your Next Trip
Finally, if you are feeling down about being home, start thinking about your next trip!  Give yourself a new goal to work toward.  Maybe it’s keeping up a bathing suit body for a winter getaway somewhere warm.  Sometimes just having that next vacation in the back of your mind can help as well. 

What do you guys think?  Do you try to keep up healthy living on the road or do you splurge during vacation?  What are your tips for getting back on track with a healthy lifestyle after you get home?

P.S.  Happy birthday to my bestie today!

Getting Back on Track + Christmas Tree Brownies

Two things that don’t go together!

Are you guys working today or do you have the day/week off?  Obviously I’m not EXCITED to be back in the office, but I have never been so happy for Christmas to be over in my life.  And I must say it feels nice to be back into the swing of things.  At least it will for a few days until Tim and I take off for our New Years getaway.

I am pretty pumped for my packed breakfast and lunch today of cottage cheese, veggies, and fruit.  While I’ve tried to be good over the past few holiday celebration days, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped.  Which is okay – it’s the holidays and I don’t eat like this year round!  I definitely did better limiting myself and eating in moderation throughout the rest of the season, but from Friday through yesterday?  Not so much.

Today I will slowly come out of my food coma with the following meal and workout plan:

  • Breakfast:  Low-fat cottage cheese with cinnamon
  • Snack:  Banana
  • Lunch:  Mixed greens with shredded carrots, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and low-fat shredded mozzarella with a Chobani raspberry yogurt on the side
  • Snack:  Apple
  • Workout:  Two a Day Tuesday – taking Kix, teaching Circuit
  • Dinner:  Shrimp and veggie stir fry

And now that I’ve motivated all of you to get back on track after holiday indulgence, I’ll post an unhealthy recipe.

I know, I know, I’m so mean.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about all the wonderful recipes I made for the different Christmas events of the weekend.  I’ll be posting them throughout the week.  I know these probably would have helped to have posted BEFORE the holidays, but there was just no way that was going to happen.  Maybe next year.  They’ll at least make a nice “What You Can Make for the Holidays” post next season.

Some are healthy, some are not.

First up?

Christmas Tree Brownies
(Not healthy)

Recipe inspired by Betty Crocker

Ingredients

  • 1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil, and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 2 or 3 drops green food color
  • 2/3 cup vanilla frosting from a 16 oz container
  • Miniature candy canes (unwrapped)
  • Red and green decorating sprinkles

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).
  2. Line 9-inch square pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan.  Grease bottom only of foil with cooking spray or shortening. —>  I used a 9 x 13 baking pan and just greased the pan instead of using foil
  3. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box.
  4. Cool completely, about 1.5 hours.
  5. Remove brownie from pan by lifting foil; peel foil away.
  6. Cut brownies into triangles.
  7. Stir food color into frosting.  Spoon frosting into small resealable food-storage plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut off tiny bottom corner of bag.  Squeeze bag to pipe frosting over brownies.
  8. Sprinkle with decors.
  9. Break off curved end of candy cane; insert straight piece into bottoms of triangles to make tree trunks.

I got so many compliments on these!

Kate was right, I definitely loved making Christmas tree shaped food this season.  She was referring to the Christmas Tree Pita appetizers I brought to my uncle’s birthday party a few weeks ago.  Our other friend from work ended up replicating those for a work event last week!  And as promised, were a huge crowd pleaser.

Anyways, I brought the brownies to Shannon’s party on Friday night.  Because Shannon always has the best display of desserts, I wanted to bring my cutest one there.  Most people at the party thought that Shannon made the brownies, and I took that as the utmost compliment!  Look, they fit right in with the rest of Shannon’s treats!  Check another crowd pleaser off the list.

Did you make any cute desserts for the holidays this year?  What are your plans for a post-holiday get back on track day?

I’m out.