So many of us dream of vacation just to get through the work week, and with Fall just around the corner, now is the perfect time to connect with nature through some good old fashioned tent camping (or “glamping” if that’s your kind of vacation). But camping doesn’t have to mean days full of food regret followed by weeks of trying to get your body back in order. With a plan and some motivation camping can be a fun-filled weekend getaway with no remorse.
A Weekend Getaway For The Books
For weeks I’ve been trying to think of a fun getaway for Labor Day weekend, and with a spur of the moment decision my husband, dog, and I were in the car for seven and a half hours on our way to Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire. I always try to incorporate new ways to stay healthy on the go into my life, and this weekend was no exception. While I had the time of my life, I also have no regrets when it comes to how I ate and I came home feeling just as good about myself as when I left. Here’s how I did it!
Breakfast of Champions
What’s a better breakfast than eggs? While you may be in a campground with little resources for cooking real food, a grill rack to put over your campfire is a great investment. It can hold pots and pans, or you can just grill right on the rack. Eggs in a pan over the fire or oatmeal cooking in a pot are great day-starters and will give you lasting energy for vacation fun.
When the Lunch Munchies Hit
Lunch doesn’t have to mean a fast food run. An easy lunch on-the-go can be a chicken salad sandwich (light on the mayo of course) that you can prepare before leaving your house for vacation. For some extra nutritious value just add a few vegetables. I threw some carrots into a food processor and mixed them in, then chopped onions for an extra crunch. Nuts, grapes, or dried cranberries are great for flavor, texture, and nutrition. Put the chicken salad on whole wheat bread, or sandwich thin, which is my preference because they are smaller than bread and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Wrap your sandwich up with some plastic wrap for easy traveling, keep in a small cooler and off you go. When lunch comes around there is no more struggling to find the “healthy” option on the fast food menu.
Finish it Up With Dinner
Dinner can be done back at the campsite over that nifty grill rack that fits right over your fire. If you marinate your chicken before you even leave your house you can just throw it on the grill rack for an easy and fast dinner that doesn’t take hours to prep and grill. Just make sure to properly store the chicken in a cooler until you’re ready to cook! Prepare some veggies and store them in foil so when the chicken is grilling you can just throw the veggies on the fire too. Then grab some corn on the cob or a few potatoes to complete your meal, adding the starch to your protein and vegetables.
2 Cups of chopped broccoli mixed with 2tbsp of olive oil, 1tsp of garlic powder, 1tsp of onion powder, 1/2tsp of ground black pepper and just a pinch of salt. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in your cooler. When at your campsite and preparing for dinner, place on your rack over the fire and allow to cook, mixing occasionally until soft and starting to brown!
Diet AND Exercise
While food is a major key to keeping up your healthy lifestyle on vacation, it’s important to also stay active and plan activities to keep you moving. I personally am a big fan of mountain top yoga. For this camping trip in particular, I couldn’t do it because I had my dog with me, but I always love the added views of mountain top yoga instead of my everyday routine. It only costs about $15-$20 a person and it really helps kickstart your day in the right direction. Can you even imagine the serenity of starting your day with yoga and a view?
Hike up Your Skirt
Hiking is another great adventure for thrill seekers, and for staying in shape. Taking a hike can be great for any level of fitness because of the different trails that line the mountain to incorporate different skill sets. Its a great way to fit in a cardio workout without even realizing it, and to enjoy yourself. Try to find a hike with beautiful and unique scenery, that way you don’t even realize the workout you’re getting because of the new experience.
Whatever you end up doing, try to stick to some kind of workout routine. Whether it be on a yoga mat in your campsite or a yoga mat on a mountain. There are videos that can be downloaded to your smart device, or you can just jot a workout down on a piece of paper. Any workout is more than no workout!
Keeping up The Vacation Vibes
Going on vacation doesn’t mean sacrificing your healthy lifestyle, just like having a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrificing everything you love. Being more conscious about the decisions you make, even while camping, will go a long way. Finding time to exercise and eat healthy can make indulging in that s’more or hotdog over the fire even more satisfying and a lot less guilt ridden. It’s all about moderation.
Follow me: on Facebook at Dietitian Plus, Instagram and Twitter: @dietitianplus to see how living life to the max can be paired with healthy decisions.