“I’m on vacation.”
This simple phrase is universally understood as a free pass to:
- Eat whatever you want.
- Drink more than usual.
- Lounge by the pool all day.
At TA, we know that summer vacation is a time to recharge. A moment of rest, relaxation, and letting go can do wonders for your health. Yet, it’s important to remember the magic word that guides the Tracy Anderson Method: balance. When there is imbalance, our bodies cannot function optimally, and it can wreak havoc on our systems and our quality of life. Many of us go overboard on vacation, and spend it tired, bloated, and irritable. Balance is the only way to take full advantage of your vacation without feeling restricted in any way. Feel your best by trying out these tips.
1. Choose a Fueling Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it affects everything that follows. If you choose foods that provide the nutrients and calories your body needs, that affects the way your body functions throughout the day, from digestion to cognition. To build a breakfast of champions, aim for a healthy balance of carbs, protein, fats, and fiber. Complex carbohydrates (think: oats, fruit, multi-grains, and chia seeds) immediately give your body energy, and protein (eggs, yogurt, and nuts) sustains that energy. Healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nut butter) optimize all kinds of body functions, from vitamin absorption to cellular and hormonal health. Last but not least, fiber (oat bran, lentils, raspberries, apples, pears) keeps you feeling full and eases digestion. Many of the foods mentioned tick all the boxes, and will make you feel great.
2. Redefine “Treats”
Health is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. In every issue of Tracy Anderson Magazine, you’ll find a mix of salads, snacks, party foods, mains, drinks, and desserts. Restriction is never productive (or fun). However, there’s a narrative around vacation mode that encourages overindulgence and binging to a point that can be harmful to your body.
The whole point to vacation is being kind to yourself and your body, so we at Tracy Anderson Method recommend defining the idea of “treating yourself” as personal and flexible. You can treat yourself with a beautiful chocolate dessert, but you can also treat your body to replenishing nutrients. It’s about striking a balance. That could be pairing indulgent foods with vegetables to regulate your sugar levels, trying out a plant-based meal if you’re having a lot of meat, or choosing whole foods over processed options. It’s also worth being mindful about being too liberal with foods that usually throw off your body. (Check out a deep-dive into food intolerance and sensitivity by our Functional Nutritionist Olivia Peláez, MS, FMCHC). There’s no right answer here. It’s about maintaining balance and perspective to make sure you’re feeling your best.
“The whole point to vacation is being kind to yourself and your body, so we at Tracy Anderson Method recommend defining the idea of ‘treating yourself’ as personal and flexible.”
3. Celebrate Movement
Let’s be real, you might not want to spend your one week away in the gym. Especially if you’re with family or friends, you want to enjoy the time you have and make meaningful memories. That being said, movement is essential to feeling good in your body, so incorporating it into your vacation activities can keep your physical and mental health in check. Organize a group bike ride, a walk on the beach, a swimming race, a group TAM workout (first-time subscribers now get a complimentary 2-week membership to the TA Online Studio). Celebrating movement in creative ways keeps travel anxiety at bay, and generally creates good vibes for everyone.
4. Stay Hydrated
This tip cannot be more important. Many of our physical and mental health issues are affected by hydration levels. According to Harvard’s T.H. Chan Public School of Health, hydration directly affects cognition, quality of sleep, and mood, along with many more organ functions. Being on vacation—usually in the sun, off your normal schedule, and drinking alcohol—It can be so easy to forget to hydrate, but it can make all the difference. It’s also essential to feeling full and staying energized. Bring a water bottle with you and eat foods with high water content (peep this Watermelon Gazpacho recipe).
5. Find a Go-To Cocktail
Whether or not you’re drinking, if you’re going to events, dinners, or any kind of gathering where alcohol is involved, find a drink that you can trust. It’s super easy to try out cocktails that are full of sugar and highly calorific, especially in a social moment. But having a go-to drink that a.) you love and b.) doesn’t cause guilt or physical discomfort will make the whole vacation easier. (It’s also a good idea to stick to one kind of alcohol, as a rule of thumb.) If you’re not drinking, a good old club soda with lemon is the drink to stay hydrated and feel celebratory.
Here are a few ideas for healthy, less sugar-heavy alternatives to classic summer cocktails:
Margarita Alternative: Tequila Soda with Lime Juice
Mojito Alternative: Rum Soda with Lime and Mint
Sangria Alternative: Wine Spritzer
Piña Colada Alternative: Caribeño
6. Mindset of Abundance
Here’s the thing: Mental health plays a critical role in your overall health. Feeling great in your body is not just about movement and nutrition—it’s also about cultivating an attitude of positivity, creativity, and generosity. When we adopt a mindset of restriction, our bodies are controlled by cravings, shame, and guilt. When we approach life with a mindset of abundance, we can enjoy every part of our lives trusting ourselves and our bodies. You can be healthy, and order dessert. You can love salad, and love a cocktail. You can be active, and take the rest you need.