Healthy on holiday

by Khushboo on June 23, 2014

I hate to categorize my blog under a single genre, but I think Healthy Living would be most apt. Looking back on my posts & instagrams from these past few weeks, I’m sure my eats hardly come across as healthy. There have been snacks in the form of cakes; chocolate just because; burgers & fries for dinner; alcohol that is not only in the form of heart-healthy wine.

While these may not fit under the conventional definition of healthy, they certainly do according to my evolved standard of healthy.  Over the years, I’ve come to realize that being healthy for me is an all-encompassing state whereby I feel great physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Along with nourishing my body through the foods I eat, I aim to be healthy by manifesting a positive mindset & nurturing my relationships with others.  Last Tuesday marked my 10-year anniversary of when I embarked on my journey to improve my health and of course it’s been quite the learning curve. I’ve learned that there’s more to life than constantly fixating on eating a “clean diet”.  I don’t want to say ‘no’ to a plan because of the possibility that I might not find something nutritional to eat.  I don’t want to solely pick dishes based on their nutritional value. I would rather hang out with my loved ones than spend time in the gym.  Most importantly, I’ve learned that the more I let go of perfection, the healthier I become.

Ten years down the line, chances are I will look back on memories that involved me laughing with friends after a slice or 3 of cake rather than that time I sipped on a glass of water. While I once would have thought otherwise, there is plenty of truth in the expression “No good story ever started with a salad’. While those salads may nourish me physically, the in-between indulgences nourish me mentally and emotionally.

That being said, I’ve had a few questions on how to stay healthy on holiday so here are my tips:

  • Make it count when you can:  Out of 21 meals a week, I’m only eating 12-13 of those at home.  Although it’s not much, I try to use every single one of those meals to cover all my nutritional bases.

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  • Realize that you may gain a kilo or 2, but that’s easily reversible when you’re home:  You might go home with a bit of extra weight, but you’ll also go home with more memories and experiences.  And in the grand scheme of things, that weight is a small price to pay…and a small amount to get rid of.

But if you’re really concerned about your weight:

  • Travel with that special pair of jeans: i.e. that pair of jeans you gauge your weight by. If it starts to feel snug, consider it an indication to rein things in.
  • Work out: With diet influencing weight by up to 70%, you can’t out-train a bad diet…but you can limit the damage so get moving.  Walk, run, lift weights, swim, whatever…just get that heart rate up.
  • Indulge in ‘worth it’ foods: I don’t normally eat from the breadbasket at restaurants, but if it’s freshly made and hot out of the oven, I sure will.  As for a packet of crisps or McDonalds, thanks but no thanks.

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  • Look at the context: If X food adds to the overall experience, it might be time to let your hair down.  If I’m in a restaurant that is known for pizza, there’s no way I’m ordering a salad.

I mentioned that these are my tips for eating healthy on holiday but to be honest, these have become the foundation of how I live my life…holiday or not.

 What does ‘healthy’ mean to you?

 How do you stay healthy on holiday? 

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Shashi @ RunninSrilankan June 23, 2014 at 2:25 pm

“Indulge in ‘worth it’ foods” – couldn’t agree more! Great post Khushboo – I think I’ve mentioned this before, but -for me- healthy comes from being happy and vice versa!
Most times, when my daughter and I go on holiday, we end up walking ALOT (for example when we went to Cali we walked from Pier 52 to Sausalito, of course we hopped on a ferryride to Alcatraz, we stopped at Ghirardelli Square, veered off to Lombard, took in the golden gate park and stopped at a grocery store, but we were out walking all day) and -being on a budget – we snack on healthy-ish stuff during the day and opt for an indulgent dinner and so far we have not come back with snugger jeans. 🙂
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Oh your trip to Cali sounds wonderful- I would love to visit there soon!

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Arman @ thebigmansworld June 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Great mindset and one which I share too- it isn’t just for holidays but lifelong. I usually don’t even enter a gym on holidays but walk like a maniac- I think I wrecked one pair of shoes with each trip.

And I’m terrible I know I owe you an email- Promise it will be done this week- yours is top of the list! 🙂

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Haha I’m going to hold you to it, buddy 😀

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Lucie@FitSwissChick June 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Yes!! Hanging out with loved ones is definitely more important than gym time.
I do love to workout on vacation though. It’s the fact that I have more time and can try new things – AND I get to explore the enviroment if I go for a run!
But yes, I especially love to try local foods. Why travel to a country if you don’t try the traditional specialities?? No way!!

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm

I agree- going to Italy and NOT indulging in pizza and/or gelato is almost criminal!!

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Jess June 23, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Love your attitude! So agree!

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Glad we share the same perspective!

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Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body June 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Wow, I didn’t realize that “No good story ever started with a salad’ was even an expression. It is very true though! These are all great tips!

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Thanks, Sarah 🙂

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P June 23, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Looking at the context is so important I think. I don’t eat out a lot of the time (except while traveling, or after a long run race like a half marathon as a way to celebrate :P), but when I do, I try to order something that I honestly want to eat and enjoy!!

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Definitely- if you’re eating out, you may as well order something you can’t make at home!

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Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health June 23, 2014 at 8:48 pm

this sums up my life lately..eating healthy is one thing but when im stressed im either not eating much or eating out almost all my meals. Well on holidays, i try to indulge on things i really enjoy rather than eat everything just coz i can..I will definitely be thinking of some of your tips.

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Exactly- I really try and avoid falling into the ‘all or nothing’ mindset!

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets June 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Healthy is not the number on the scale; it’s really all in how you feel and there are so many factors that make that up: being active, but not too active, making sure you are able to relax and enjoy the moment, eating great tasting food and great for you food, which can sometimes be the same thing or completely different. It’s also all about loving yourself.
At the end of the day, the only numbers which really matter are tests only doctors can run: blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, etc. and if those are all good, you’re set regardless of what the scale says.

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Khushboo June 23, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Nothing can tell us about our health more than the way we FEEL…especially mentally!!

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables June 24, 2014 at 1:17 am

I feel like I’ve been in a similar place recently! After the wedding, I just kind of relaxed about everything, but sometimes that “relaxation” comes in the form of a little too much chocolate 😉 I’m still learning the balance between a treat and a stomach ache 😉

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Khushboo June 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Sometimes it’s just so hard to put down the chocolate 😉

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles June 24, 2014 at 2:31 am

My version of ‘healthy’ is similar to yours – the more I’ve let go, relaxed, and embraced those ‘off days’, the healthier and happier I feel. It’s nice to not feel like I have to hyper-control everything! I’m currently on a little mini vacation, and I’m following a lot of these – trying to do some healthy meals when I can, and just embracing and being ok with the fact that I may put on a couple pounds.

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Khushboo June 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Hope you are enjoying your mini vacation, Sam- there are plenty of salads when you’re back home 🙂

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Brittany June 24, 2014 at 2:46 am

I love the travel pants idea. HA, such a good gauge for any changes!

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Khushboo June 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm

So simple yet so effective!

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Parita @ myinnershakti June 24, 2014 at 5:11 am

“While those salads may nourish me physically, the in-between indulgences nourish me mentally and emotionally.” LOVE THIS!!

We share the same thoughts when it comes to this. I try to focus on healthy choices when I can without compromising my experience. I, too, cannot order anything but pizza when I’m at a pizza restaurant! EXCELLENT post!

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Khushboo June 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Thanks so much, P! I knew you would share my sentiments 😀

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 24, 2014 at 7:25 am

“I’ve learned that the more I let go of perfection, the healthier I become.” <– Very much this! The funny thing is that I'm healthier now than I was back in the days where I was eating 100% clean, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I eliminated a lot of stress and guilt from my life by not worrying about my diet so much. I mean, sure it's important to nourish the body with healthy foods, but it's equally (if not more) important to nourish the MIND with fun foods… and NOT feel bad about it. Life's too short to say no to the foods you love 🙂

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Khushboo June 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

You nailed it, Amanda! It’s crazy how much importance people give to eating within a number of calories yet not even considering the effects of stress!!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

I love that you mention the experience… that’s what it’s all about for me. Totally worth an extra kilo or two. 😉

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Khushboo June 26, 2014 at 3:54 am

Absolutely- it’s a small price to pay!!

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig June 25, 2014 at 1:16 am

I love this post! The more “junk” I eat, the healthier I feel – it sounds counterintuitive, but I swear having a healthy relationship with food is more important than the number of vegetables on your plate. It always makes me sad when people can’t enjoy themselves on holiday and feel like they need to restrict their food.

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Khushboo June 26, 2014 at 3:58 am

It’s sad that so many people equate health to the size of their figure- I personally think one’s mindset is a more accurate reflection of good health!

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Miss Polkadot June 26, 2014 at 4:57 am

“You might go home with a bit of extra weight, but you’ll also go home with more memories and experiences” <- this! It makes me sad to read all that advice on how to 'stay slim on holiday', 'navigate the breakfast buffet', …
Actually, when I was still struggling a lot and on holiday with my family in Greece I was more lenient than at home at that time. The typical breakfast of full-fat (10 %) Greek yogurt with honey, lots of those amazing sesame-covered almonds, freshly made hummus at restaurants, … Missing out on all that and sticking to my regular measly fare would have been a pity.

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Khushboo June 26, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Going to Greece and not having regular Greek yogurt or hummus would be almost criminal- glad you were able to enjoy both during your trip 🙂

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