Staying Healthy on Vacation

On Friday, I’m going to Scotland with m’lad (see what I did there?!?!) I am SO excited! Tom and I will be there for 8 days, and then will spend a day/night in Iceland on the way back. We’re in desperate need of a vacation. Okay, more so him. He works crazy hours to begin with, but this summer has been out of control. I hardly see him! Even on the weekends when we’re down the Cape he ends up having to work, and maybe I’m a horrible girlfriend, but I’d rather go to the beach by myself than sit at the house and watch him work… Getting my tan on=priority.

While I’m looking forward to relaxing, I naturally have some anxiety about working out and eating well. I’ve been to Scotland once before, and not to stereotype, because I LOVE Scotland and have Scottish blood, but… the food wasn’t very healthy. This was way before I went Paleo, and there was a lot of fish and chips involved on that trip. I mean, their national dish is “Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties” (haggis, potatoes and turnips) which bothers me for 2 reasons. 1) Haggis is not very tasty at all and 2) Haggis, Neeps and Tatties sounds like a porno.

This week, I’m doing a lot of planning as to how I will manage to stick with my “diet” when I’m over there. I’m sure I will be splurging a little (the place we’re staying at is known for their sticky toffee pudding, win) but I don’t want to take 1000 steps back. I’m going to be bringing plenty of snacks to have on hand in case I’m in a desperate situation. And because I eat all day long, let’s be honest. I’m going to do a big Trader Joe’s run and stock up on dried fruit, trail mix, nuts, dark chocolate (vacation….!) and am going to make a big batch of grain free granola as well.

We’re staying on a golf course, and they don’t allow golf carts! Amazing! I know we’ll be doing tons of walking on the course, and also doing exploring and walking a lot in general, but naturally I creeped the hotel’s website to make sure they have a gym. They do!


So fancy huh?! Dark red carpet, plaid curtains.
Does Lululemon make workout kilts?

I’m not planning on going crazy with exercise, especially since we’ll be doing so much walking, but I have to do something. Teaching spin after 10 days of not working out would truly suck. I might even try to work on my golf game.. but I’m mostly looking forward to wearing the obnoxious Argyll sweater vests that I bought (if you know me, you know that Argyll isn’t exactly my style..)

How do you guys stay on track when you’re on vacation? Do you totally splurge, stick totally to it, or find a happy medium? Do you bring prepared snacks? Let’s hear some tips!



12 thoughts on “Staying Healthy on Vacation

  1. Great post. I travel a lot for business. I take a lot of snacks and graze throughout the day, or stick with restaurants that serve healthier foods (for example, Subway, Pei Wei, etc), and I plan my workouts around what fitness center or equipment is available. I have a membership to a national gym chain, so if there is one in the area, then I will try to fit a workout into my schedule at that gym.

  2. I am in the process of moving from Kansas City, MO to New Orleans, to start law school, and I just did a road trip down there to secure a place to live. Anyway, the trip down consisted of two days of almost continuous sitting, on the way there and on the way back. I did what I could before leaving. Since I knew I would be without weights for a week, I packed on some back-to-back days of working out, with more intensity, thus fatiguing more than normal and allowing me to rationalize going a longer time without a workout. I did the same for running, though I was less concerned about losing my running endurance, since I have been running for 4 years, and only working out with weights for about a year. The biggest problem vacations present is the sudden series of changes they make to one’s routine (yeah, I know that’s kinda their purpose 😛 ). For me, shifting my sleep pattern around, shortening the number of hours I got, being sedentary for hours and hours caused my muscles and tendons to contract. and perhaps the biggest one was forced dehydration. I am not kidding, normally, I drink enough to pee about every 30 minutes (on that note…brb 😉 That policy doesn’t work in a car, so I purposely went from drinking probably around 3 gallons per day to about a half gallon during parts of the trip. It seems like your situation (ahh, a gym…) is sufficient for whatever you choose to do, whether it is to renounce your regimen for the week, or to carry on your normal routine internationally. If I were you, I would take advantage of the time, the place and the person you are with, for exercise and health is an important part of your life, but that’s exactly what it is…a PART. Try to do some form of intense exercise each day, to bolster your well-being mentally, so that you can justify that 7th serving of toffee pudding, saying ‘I worked out today, and hell, this is a vacation.’
    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say its the oats in haggis that keeps you from enjoying it, right? 😉

    Well, I think I have babbled enough.Have a good trip!

  3. I travel internationally usually twice a year and find that a happy medium works. Was I really going to spend two weeks in Italy and not eat gelato every day? Nope. But vacations also mean busting my butt by walking everywhere. My biggest rule for staying on track is to only eat when I’m hungry. I don’t have to be a competitive eater at breakfast because the food is free, I don’t have to buy junk and mindlessly eat. It’s too easy to load up at a meal when the food is different and fun, but enjoying these different foods and gorging on them are very different things.

  4. My husband and I travel frequently so how to do it healthfully is something I’m constantly working on. It was fun to see your post because I recently discussed this over on my page. Anyway, here are some of the major things I try to do: drink LOADS of water (plane rides are really dehydrating and so is all the walking you’ll probably do) so I chug it (helps with jet lag and digestion too), I also try not to go TOO crazy with food, at least at first. For me, the time change and inevitable diet deviations mess with my stomach a little so I stay hydrated and try to eat lighter, small meals. I also try to identify some “must have” meals for the travel experience…I can get a greasy burger and fries anywhere so I’d rather save the calories and potential stomach ache to at least indulge in something I can’t readily get at home. We also love to find an activity or two on top of all the miles of walking we inevitably do while touring. For example, we went on a kayak tour when we were in Vietnam in May. It was a great way to get a different perspective on the location and get our workout on. Finally, I pack a resistance band and do a quick 15 minute circuit in my hotel room with compound moves…squats with bicep curls, lunges with lateral raises, a few jumping jacks, a few planks, done.
    (Oh, and I pack larabar’s and almonds like they’re goin’ out of style for snacks).
    Have so much fun on your trip! Can’t wait to hear about Iceland 🙂

  5. Haggis is “not tasty”? You obviously haven’t tasted good haggis! We don’t eat haggis regularly, although it is our national dish. We also have the best of beef and fresh Scottish produce if you eat in the right places. I could say that, as an American, you are knee deep in french fries and fast food every day?

    There is absolutely no need to “do a big Trader Joe’s run and stock up on dried fruit, trail mix, nuts, dark chocolate” because all of those things are freely available in Scotland – we are not a third world country!

    • Since you found this blog, you probably have realized that even though I’m American, I’m not “knee deep in french fries and fast food every day” 🙂 And I had amazing, fresh awesome food in Scotland every day, I just packed lots of snacks as we did a lot of road trips. I’ve tried haggis multiple times and am simply not a fan- didn’t mean to cause any offense!

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