Advice: Healthy (Beach) Vacation Without Deprivation

I am just back from a 4 night, 5 day vacation in Ibiza, Spain. This place is renowned for all-night partying and Moet day-drinking on day-beds (say that 5 times fast). Sounds amazing, right? It was. However, I’m one of those (possibly rare) people that have a hard time “letting go” a hundred percent. I worry too much about the after. You know what I’m talking about- that post-vacation sadness (like Summertime Sadness, but shorter and more intense). Therefore, I try to maintain some of my good habits as a preventative measure.

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Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

This is not to say that I ate veggies out of the sun and only stayed out until 2 am. (Because let’s be real, people don’t start going out in Ibiza until 2 am.)

Below are some Morning to Early-Morning Tips and Tricks that I practice while on Vacation to maintain my health (and sanity):

1. Breakfast Buffet: I LOVE buffets. I’m indecisive;  I get giddy over all the options. But no one wants to go to the beach bloated, so I ignore the simple carbs (pastries, bread, cereals) and dairy (cheese and sugary yogurts). Literally, I don’t even look at them. And instead opt for fruit (there is usually a plethora) and protein (eggs, smoked salmon, or unsweetened Greek yogurt). Buffets rarely have foods that you can’t find when you’re at home. So I eat light, knowing that more #eeeeeats goodness is to come.

2. Beach Drinks: Everyone has a different drink preference. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, so sugary cocktails aren’t really my thing. I love mojitos, so I’ll ask for a lightly sweetened version. My go-to drink is tequila and lime. On the beach, I’ll make it a tequila soda with lime (for that extra hydration). And a non-negotiable is DRINK A LOT OF WATER. It’s a given, but sometimes when you’re lying out for hours at a time you can forget to hydrate to compensate for how much you’re sweating.

3. Beach Eats: Eating in a bikini is great motivation to opt for the salad instead of the burger. HOWEVER, fries or nachos never seem to “count” as real food when eaten outside of a formal dining setting. My advice? When the fries come (because someone always orders them), take that time to take in your surroundings. Breathe in, breathe out. Go for a swim in the Mediterranean. Problem, solved. The days that I was eating on the beach, I had a lot of seafood. Eating local is always a safe bet wherever you are. Hello, Mediterranean diet benefits anyone?

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4. Exercise: This is the one part of my “routine” that always falls off the wagon/boat during a beach vacation. Thankfully, dancing can take the place of cardio. In fact, vigorous dancing can burn up to 443 calories/hour. So don’t be shy, you’re on vacation, move that body! If you are in dire need of a real sweat session or heavy-weight lifting, most hotels have gyms. And they’re usually empty in vacation spots because, well, most people are just vacating.

5. Late Night Snacks: My sister forewarned me that I would be hungry when we got back from Pacha/Amnesia Clubs at 6 am. She was not wrong. So I prepped by picking up trail mix, rice cakes, apples, and coconut water. The trick to eating well when (slightly) inebriated and physical tired (dancing!) is to give yourself no option but to eat well. I bought snacks before my night commenced. This seems counterintuitive, but it’s better than picking up a King Cone and a bag of Lays at the Supermarket on the way back to your hotel. My trick to avoid hangovers is WATER and two Advil. I try and chug a liter of water for every drink.

6. Plane Rides: Healthy traveling should be simple, but eating out of boredom always happens. I bring oatmeal packets, unsalted nuts, apples, and drink lots of water. Sometime, I’ll even bring mint tea packets for the plane. If you ask, flight attendants will be kind enough to bring you some hot water. Peppermint soothes the stomach and aids digestion.

This advice is just that – no need to follow everything or be strict with yourself. Most of these habits are second nature to me. But I always let myself off the hook a little when there’s an amazing seafood paella or a fun cocktail that you just have to have while you’re in Ibiza.

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