The dichotomy between preparing our bodies for summer and what we’re happy to do to them as soon as we’ve checked in at the airport is almost amusing. Juice detoxes, facials and endless yoga are soon replaced with sangria, a thousand trips around the buffet bar and hours tanning by the pool. It seems that sun and temporary amnesia go together, sigh. Then again, isn’t the whole point of getting away, to get away from it all? Well, it doesn’t need to be black and white. Here’s how to live it up without completely giving up your healthy lifestyle.
START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON
There’s certain parameters for alcohol and those stay in place even when you’re in the departures lounge: a mimosa is acceptable for brunch, champagne any hour after lunch and hard spirits should only be consumed post-supper, in-flight or if you’ve suffered a lengthy delay. You wouldn’t hit up your local at 8 am in the morning for a G&T (or maybe you would…), so don’t pre-drink before your early morning flight. The same goes for food – if fast food is usually a no-go, don’t introduce it before you get on an eight-hour flight. The key here is preparation. Pack a bento box the night before chock full of protein, leafy greens and avocado, ditch the coffee after boarding and drink plenty of water.
MAKE YOUR FOOD ROUTES
If you’re anything like us, city breaks can soon become one giant banquet – and with so many foodie options to take in on every street corner, it would be rude not to eat out for every meal of the day. Why make it mindless, though – with a little bit of careful planning and some help from Google Maps you can build walking tours to every area of the city. Research all the hotspots you want to visit and start planning your itinerary around meal times. Before you know it, you’ll have walked 10K and really earnt that extra gelato (we don’t judge). Think of it as a walking meditation... with food.
Here’s the kicker, with ice cream, gelato and frozen yoghurt – they all contain lots of milk, cream and sugar. On holiday, one scoop a day isn’t truly terrible, but anymore and you’re in dangerous territory. All-inclusive deals are an enabler of this habit, but it’s just not OK to go through a pint of ice cream every day for a fortnight. This is where you need to think of the calorie/enjoyment trade off. If you love it, eat it, but if it’s not your favourite, then give it a second thought. Lollies are often made from real fruit or coconut water and are a lighter choice than a sundae or milkshake.
CONSISTENCY IS KING
Listen to your body. I know, being gluten intolerant while on the Italian Riviera isn’t ideal, but complex as the body is, it doesn’t know when it to turn on and off those sensitivities. The thought process is do now, deal with it later, but is that bowl of pasta really worth missing the sun the following morning because it’s wreaked havoc on your mood and energy? As best you can, stick to your usual diet. And if you just can’t resist, pepper in those casual food dalliances sparingly and mindfully.