Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog! I don’t like using “busy” as an excuse for anything really. But sometimes other things just take precedence over posting a blog. I’ve been doing a good bit of traveling, for work and play. And today I just got back from Grande Isle, Louisiana. I go with Grant’s family at least a couple times each summer, and it’s always a blast. Most people head down there to go fishing, but we like to spend our time on the beach, drinking a little too much, and eating delicious meals like boiled crabs.
I’m lucky to live only 3-4 hours away from beaches along the Gulf Coast, so I got on a few beach trips each year. I have to be honest and say these trips aren’t always the easiest for me to have a healthy, balanced experience. A lot of the time they involve copious amounts of alcohol, late nights, and so. much. food. The sheer volume is enough to send someone like me who loves a good meal into a food coma!
But as I get older and learn more about what works for me in creating a healthy lifestyle, I get closer to feeling happy and balanced on these trips, instead of overfull and out of energy. All of these tips are important for overall health and wellness, but I find these especially helpful in feeling your best while you’re hanging beach side. Here are my top 3 tips for having a healthy beach trip.
1. Stay Hydrated
Every cell in your body requires water to function! Staying hydrated helps keep your energy up and prevents hangovers and headaches. Staying hydrated also prevents mindless snacking in between meals (a lot of time this snacking comes from confusing hunger for thirst). And I know I need all the help I can get ignoring those Cheeze-Its, VooDoo Zapps, and Pringles! Plus, in the summer you are sweating more, so you are more prone to dehydration. And if you’re drinking alcohol, you’ll need to drink even more water since booze is a diuretic.
My general rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. So if you are 150 lbs, then you need to drink 75 oz daily. I love bringing a reusable cup to help me get to my goal. This one is life-changing and keeps your drinks hot/cold for HOURS. The good news is that liquids besides water count too! Sparkling water, kombucha, iced tea, and almond milk can all contribute to your overall daily water goal. Some of my favs are La Croix and Big Easy Bucha. These fizzy drinks are awesome to take to the beach too. My boyfriend drinks beer all day – these make me feel like I’m not missing out. You can even meet your water goal with fruit and vegetables with a high percentage of water, like pineapple, watermelon, cucumbers, and celery. Hello, beach snacks!
2. Eat Fiber
Raise your hand if you can’t poop while you’re on vacation??? If you’re hand is raised, see tip # 1, and know that you probably need to eat more fiber! I personally love my morning poops, and feel much better heading down to the beach after doing my business. This may be TMI for some, but I know you’re all thinking it too. Staying regular just makes you feel better! So the combination of drinking enough water and eating enough fiber will get you there. The daily recommendation is 25-38 grams per day. Here are some of my favorite high fiber foods:
- Black Beans
- Brussels Sprouts
- Banza Pasta
- Chia Seeds
3. Respect Your Fullness
So this one has been a work in progress with me for years. When I’m on vacation, I have this underlying feeling that if I don’t take full advantage of the seasonal and specialty foods in front of me, then I might not get another opportunity to eat them. Foods like boiled crabs, fried fish, and even fruit are things I have restricted in the past, or wouldn’t normally have at home. So then I feel like I have to get them in while I can, and end up overeating, which makes me feel uncomfortable. The solution is to be mindful of every food you eat, and savor each bite. Being mindful at meals allows your to truly enjoy food, while being keenly aware of when you are reaching fullness, so that you can respect your body and finish up your meal in an enjoyable way. Check in with yourself half way through your meal and evaluate: are you starting to feel full? Are you enjoying this food? Or just eating it because it’s there? This practice, amongst others, is demonstrated in the book, Intuitive Eating, and has helped me understand that I can always go back and get more if I am truly hungry, and to enjoy the food in that moment.
What are your favorite ways to stay healthy at the beach? Do you have any beach trips planned this summer? Let me know!