All you have to gain is memories

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My husband and I just got back from an amazing weekend away with long time friends, and came back with memories of nonstop laughter and fun. What we didn’t come back with, though, was the familiar feeling of heaviness that one sometimes gets towards the end of vacations. Lounging in the son, coupled with overindulgences of any kind, can be a recipe for disaster. We work so hard to get our bodies in “vacation ready” shape, yet so easily backslide into habits of eating processed foods, drinking too much and not exercising. Not to mention how hard it can be to get back into a clean eating/exercise routine while also catching up on housework, work…all that “real life” stuff. But vacations are one of the best parts of our year, and can be enjoyed without complete loss of our health goals. Here’s how:

1. Always plan a workout the day before and the day after your vacation. Put it in your calendar and just do it. Even if it’s just 10 minutes. But get it done.
2. Look up restaurants in the area before you go. Or, better yet, choose accomodations with a kitchen of some sort, so you can plan healthy meals (and save some money too).
3. Whether eating out or cooking in, incorporate fruits and/or vegetables, protein and water into every meal. I’m not telling you not to enjoy some ice cream or area specialties, but fill up on healthy stuff first. And water. Always water.
4. Plan some type of active activity for every day of vacation. Hiking, family bike rides, swimming or a walk on the beach. Whatever it is, build it into your day. Trust me, you’ll still have plenty of time to lounge on the beach with a good book and a (low calorie) drink in your hand.
5. I’m the last person to tell you not to enjoy a cocktail or two on vacation. But choose wisely…look up calories of typical drinks before you make your decision or stock up on ingredients. There are plenty of ways to cut calories without missing out on all the fun. And drink water after every drink (alcohol, coffee…).
6. Speaking of drinks…when you’re enjoying before or after dinner drinks with friends, choose healthy snacks. Veggies and hummus, fruit plate, veggies or whole wheat crackers with salsa, grilled shrimp or chicken skewers… If making dessert, make enough for 1 serving per person. Leftover dessert is never a good idea.

When we look back on our most memorable vacations, what we remember is laughing with friends, trying a new adventure, watching beautiful sunsets. When we remember that vacations are enjoyed, whether we do so healthfully or not, it’s easier to make choices that are aligned with the lifestyle we want to embrace.

Wishing everyone in my life an amazing summer filled with laughter, love and beautiful sunsets.

xoxo,
Jess

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Positively wonderful!

I’ve had some great conversations with clients lately about goal setting, and one thing that I’m left struggling with is…how do we stay on track when we haven’t met our goals? Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about setting goals…especially those of the realistic, short-term (and easily rewarded)variety. But the reality is that, with busy lives and established (bad) habits, meeting even short-term goals can feel like an uphill battle. It’s so easy to say “I’m not going to eat any of the junk food around the office this week” or “I’m not going to drink this weekend.” But the more often we tell ourselves that we’re not going to do something, and then fail to keep that promise, the less likely we are to honor our goals in the future. It’s just natural to join in on the monthly luncheons or birthday parties at work, or to go out for the occasional happy hour. And I would never tell someone to completely change their social lives the second they start training. But here’s what I think…

Spend a month establishing and meeting positive daily goals. DAILY. Example: “I’m going to take a 10 minute walk tonight after dinner.” “I’m going to drink a full glass of water between every glass of wine at that party tomorrow.” “I’m going to eat one fruit or vegetable at every meal.” Think about how much physical activity you’re engaging in each day, how many whole foods you’re consuming, how much water you drink, what time you go to bed… and just focus on one of those areas each day.

If you really want to become a more fit, happier and healthier person, you need to believe that it’s possible. Every. Single. Day. Start today by choosing one healthy activity you can do this afternoon or evening and make it happen. Think positively, act positively and feel positively wonderful!