Summer Vacation Survival Strategies

beach houseLong summer weekends, weeks away at the beach, the kids on summer break, vacation time stocked up, ah the perks of summer vacation! The downside to this blissful stretch of warm-weather free time is that it can be a huge struggle to stay on track. There are beach days with lots of snacks, barbecues and outdoor parties. The solution is to decide that you're going to stay strong no matter what. 

My Top Summer Vacation Survival Strategies

  • The most important segments of summer weekends are the bookends. As with any vacation, start strong and end strong. On Friday night, pack a sandwich or have a game plan for where you can find a healthy meal. Have your return night plan in place. Know a good stop for a meal or stock your freezer so you'll have a tasty frozen dinner waiting when you get home. 
  • Stock your summer kitchen. Whether you're going to stay for a weekend or ten weeks, make sure you have plenty of healthy choices like yogurt, lots of fruits and veggies, healthy portion-controlled snacks, lean meats, chicken and fish. But don't be too restrictive or you'll find yourself ducking out for a giant soft-serve ice cream at the first opportunity. Allow yourself some treats so that you don't feel you're suffering.
  • Take advantage of fresh produce to try new recipes. Summer offers a bounty of great, fresh, local fruits and veggies. Head to the farmer's market to see what's in season locally and then explore cooking sites to find fresh takes on old favorites, especially super-low-cal veggies like greens and squash. 
  • Get outside and move. Stick with your exercise routine. After all, you probably are more relaxed and have more time. But put more activity in your day. Go for a walk, a bike ride, a swim, play outside with the kids. You'll feel energized and it will keep you out of the kitchen. 
  • Pick from the best summer food selections: 
    • At a barbecue, choose grilled chicken breast, salad, corn on the cob and roasted veggies.
    • Best beach snacks include fresh and frozen fruit.
    • Best alcoholic drink choices include vodka on the rocks with soda and lime, light beer or wine. 

Most importantly, enjoy your summer down-time! 

Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN


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