Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I’m heading off on a long overdue family vacation this week. I haven’t been away with my parents in almost three years, and we’re all in desperate need of a break from reality. Between stress at work, seemingly never-ending health issues, and the grind of daily life, I’m not sure you could find three people more eager to get the heck out of dodge.

We’re heading to Las Vegas to spend five nights at Mandalay Bay. Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: I do not expect to stick to my clean eating, healthy living habits in Vegas. I wouldn’t be able to truly relax if I were putting pressure on myself 24/7 to “be good” — but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to go totally crazy! There are ways to balance out a relaxing, indulgent vacation with a healthy mindset. Here are some of the things I’ll be doing to make sure that a week away from home doesn’t totally undo all of my hard work…

Find ways to stay active while on vacation. 

Just because I’m away from home doesn’t mean I can’t still be active. True, I won’t be able to take a Studio Poise class for a week, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do some core work on the floor of my hotel room! I’ll have my iPad with me so I can do some follow along videos every morning. I know I’ll feel better if I start my day by getting my body moving, and I’ll also feel less guilty when I indulge later in the day.

Mandalay Bay has a beautiful fitness center, but there’s a daily fee to use it. I’d rather save my dollars, so in addition to my hotel room fitness plans, I’m also bringing my sneakers and plan to get out for a run every day. There’s a half mile jogging path that runs around the outside of the hotel’s pool and beach area that I can take advantage of, or I can venture out and take in the sights along the strip while also logging some miles.

Indulge wisely.

Yes, I plan to have a drink while I’m lounging poolside, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be ordering up one of those ridiculously oversized souvenir glasses of frozen sugary alcoholic goodness. I may have one pina colada as a treat during the vacation, but primarily I’ll stick to vodka sodas. I find these more refreshing, they have significantly fewer calories, and they won’t leave me with a raging sugar-induced hangover the next day.

This was from my last trip to Vegas, in 2010. I'm sipping from a yard of margarita. I have no idea what a yard translates to in ounces, but I can tell you that it leads to one heck of a hangover.

This was from my last trip to Vegas, in 2010. I’m sipping from a yard of margarita. I have no idea what a yard translates to in ounces, but I can tell you that it leads to one heck of a hangover.

I also know that I’ll be having an amazing dinner every night, so I’ll pace myself throughout the day. I’ll scope out my options for healthy, lighter breakfast and lunch choices – places with great salads, fruit bowls, and low calorie offerings. I’ll make sure to steer clear of the poolside stands offering burgers and quick fried options! I’m also packing an assortment of healthy snacks – things like 100 calorie packs of almonds, Lara bars, and packets of Shakeology with my blender bottle – so that I’m equipped for success. This is especially smart for the days when I’ll be flying, as it can be challenging and expensive to find healthy options in airports!

Remember that this is a vacation, and it’s okay to enjoy yourself! 

At the end of the day, I love to eat, and I love trying new restaurants. When we booked the trip, I spent hours reading restaurant reviews before deciding on where we’d be eating each night. We aren’t the type of people who go to Vegas to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet, so I won’t be tempted by the never ending display of caloric options. Instead, we’ve got reservations at some great restaurants, including Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse, Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood, and my personal favorite, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery.

The key, when dining out, is to know where you’ll get the most bang for your buck, calorically speaking. If I order an appetizer somewhere, I’ll pass on dessert. So, I do my homework. I read reviews, and I pay attention to whether certain restaurants have a really astounding pastry chef, or whether there are certain appetizers for which the location is famous for. I’ll try to order wisely based on this research.

However, at the end of the day, I also won’t beat myself up too much for enjoying an amazing meal. I don’t eat this way normally; I might go out for a really extravagant meal once every two or three months when I’m at home. I know that these restaurants are using quality ingredients and everything is being prepared by the best chefs, and I will concentrate on enjoying the experience and savoring every bite.

Come back from Vegas several million dollars richer.

Okay, maybe I’m practicing a little bit of The Secret here. If I put something out into the universe, it will come true, right? ….RIGHT?!

photo 3

Immediately after winning $600 on Sex and the City slot machines back in 2010… so really, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, you guys.

What are your strategies for staying active when on vacation?
Any favorite Vegas activities that I should check out while I’m there?

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